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Myra Tanner Weiss Papers

Call Number



1933-1997, inclusive
; 1952-1963, bulk


Weiss, Myra Tanner
Nagel, Shirley (Role: Donor)


2.5 Linear Feet in five manuscript boxes.

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


Myra Tanner Weiss (1916-1997) was a socialist, feminist, and the Socialist Workers Party's vice-presidential candidate in 1952, 1956, and 1960. Together with her husband Murry she organized the School for Marxist Education in New York. The papers contain correspondence, speeches and writings and Socialist Workers Party internal documents.

Historical/Biographical Note

Myra Tanner Weiss was born May 17, 1916. She joined the Socialist Workers Party in 1935 while attending the University of Utah. She moved to Los Angeles in the 1940s, at which time she organized agricultural and cannery workers. She also helped establish the SWP in Los Angeles where she met another party organizer, Murry Weiss [born Morris, in Chicago, September 9, 1915, son of Joseph and Freida; died December 26, 1981] whom she later married. Tanner Weiss ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 1945 and 1949. The Weisses moved to New York City in 1953 where Murry Weiss edited the Socialist Workers Party's newspaper The Militant. Running with Presidential candidate Farrell Dobbs, Myra Tanner Weiss was the Socialist Workers Party's Vice Presidential candidate in 1952, 1956, and 1960. Together with her husband she organized the School for Marxist Education in New York. Tanner Weiss left the SWP in the early 1960's because she thought the party had undergone a 'gross bureaucratization'. According to records of the New York local branch of the SWP Myra Tanner Weiss would no longer be considered a member of the Party as of October 1966. She did however remain politically active and became involved with the New York Socialist Feminists and the Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party (CRSP). Tanner Weiss received a masters degree in political science from New York University in 1972. She subsequently worked as a proof reader. She died on September 13, 1997.


This collection is arranged into five series:

Series I: Personal
Series II: Correspondence
Series III: Socialist Workers Party
Series IV: Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party (CRSP)
Series V: Speeches and Writings

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists primarily of correspondence and Socialist Workers Party (SWP) internal documents, dating mostly from the 1940s-1970s. The correspondence is mostly by Tanner Weiss and her husband, Murry, related to the SWP and family correspondence. The collection contains a significant amount of SWP internal working materials, including draft resolutions, minutes, correspondence, articles, circulars, reports, flyers, convention materials, and other ephemera documenting the SWP's politics and activities, as well as the Party's responses to splits and the formation of factions. The collection also contains internal papers and correspondence which document Murry and Myra Tanner Weiss' involvement with the Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist Party (CRSP). The collection also contains speeches and writings written by Murry and Myra Tanner Weiss. Important in the collection is the letter to Tanner Weiss from Natalie Sedova-Trotsky concerning a purported meeting between Leon Trotsky and Jack Soble in Turkey in 1931-1932.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (and related rights to publicity and privacy) to materials in this collection created by Myra Tanner Weiss was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Myra Tanner Weiss Papers; TAM 158; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were donated by Myra Tanner Weiss and her sister, Shirley Nagel, in 1994. The accession numbers associated with this gift are 1994.015, 1994.016 and NPA.1998.028.

Separated Materials

A set of Discussion Bulletins published by the Committee for a Revolutionary Socialist from 1978-1980 were separated to the library collection.

Related Archival Materials

Tamiment's Oral History of the American Left (OH 002) contains an interview with Myra Tanner Weiss. Other institutions hold materials related to Tanner Weiss, including oral history recordings in Prometheus Research Library, New York (Myra Tanner Weiss interview 12/20/77; 2 cassettes) and Tanner Weiss's campaign literature in the Bob Chester Papers at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

Collection processed by

Natasha Simon, 1998. Edited by Nicole Greenhouse in compliance with DACS and Tamiment Required Elements for Archival Description, July 2013.

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:54:45 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is in English

Processing Information

Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Myra Tanner Weiss Photographs (PHOTOS 085). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Myra Tanner Weiss Papers.


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