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Anne Taft Papers

Call Number



1936-1980, inclusive
; 1937-1940, bulk


Taft, Anne, 1912-1990


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


Anne Taft (later Muldavin, 1912-1990) served with the American Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy in the Spanish Civil War from January 1937 to September 1938. Her unit was the first to leave for Spain. This collection consists largely of correspondence from Taft's stay in Spain as well as correspondence just after her return to the United States. Most notably, there are letters in which Taft describes her experiences as a nurse in Spain to her family. Also included are letters that Taft received from two Spanish nurses as they were held at the Argelles Concentration Camp. Other materials include news clippings, notes that Taft exchanged with Nurse Fredericka Martin, and Taft's U.S. passport.

Historical/Biographical Note

Anne Taft (Muldavin), a graduate of Brooklyn Jewish Hospital School of Nursing, served as a nurse with the First American Medical Bureau Unit during the Spanish Civil War. Taft sailed to Spain on January 16, 1937 under the direction of Dr. Edward Barsky and Head Nurse Fredericka Martin. In February 1937, Taft helped set up the first American hospital in Romeral, turning an abandoned schoolhouse into a medical ward. Taft and her unit had the hospital prepared in time to receive wounded from the Jarma offensive. Taft then served throughout Spain, helping to set up operating rooms in Villa Paz, Tervel, the Aragon Front, Belchite, Gandesa, and Cuevas Lebradas. She returned to the United States in September 1938. Upon her return, Taft served as a spokesperson for a fundraising drive in New York to send an American relief ship with food, clothing, and supplies to Spain. She married Dr. Leon F. Muldavin of New York City, and they remained in the city throughout their lives. Anne Taft Muldavin died in 1990 in New York City.


Folders are arranged alphabetically.

The files are grouped into two series:

Missing Title

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Subject Files

Scope and Content Note

Series I, Correspondence (1937-1971) consists mostly of letters from Taft's service in the Spanish Civil War as well as letters from just after her return to the United States. The series includes letters, postcards, and telegrams that Taft sent to her family while she was in Spain. She closely describes her entrance into Spain and her duties once she was there. Upon her return to the United States, Taft continued to communicate with individuals in Spain. Notable are letters to Taft from two Spanish nurses who were held in the Argelles Concentration Camp. This series also includes correspondence from David Kraus, a Polish medical volunteer who was held in the Vernet Concentration Camp. Other correspondence includes letters from the Belgian doctor Rene Dumont and letters from a member of the Spanish Relief Committee in Sydney, Australia.

Series II, Subject Files (1937-1980) contains Taft's United States Passport (reissued after it was stolen in Spain), one copy of the Spanish publication Milicia Popular from October 1936, and news clippings. The news clippings feature the American Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy at the time the group departed for Spain in 1937. There are also more contemporary clippings that document North American involvement in the Spanish Civil War. In this series are notes that Taft forwarded to Fredericka Martin in which Taft recalls patients from Villa Paz, including a recounted memory of a wounded soldier who, in despair, committed suicide.

Access Restrictions

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives for more information and to schedule an appointment, or 212-998-2630.

Use Restrictions

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), were transferred to New York University in November 2000 by the ALBA Board of Governors. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. For more information, contact or 212-998-2630.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Brandeis University, January 2001.


The Anne Taft (Muldavin) Papers were donated to Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives in 1972. This collection came to New York University in January 2001 as part of the original acquisition of ALBA collections, formerly housed at Brandeis University.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

ALBA collections at the Tamiment Library.

Toby Jensky and Philip Schachter Papers, ALBA #55

Fredericka Martin Papers, ALBA #1

Frances Patai Papers, ALBA #131

Rose Weiner Papers, ALBA #116

Collection processed by

Jessie Wilkerson

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:34:55 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from a paper finding aid.


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012