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Harold Cammer Papers

Call Number



1929-1995, inclusive


Cammer, Harold I., 1909-1995


4.5 Linear Feet in 9 manuscript boxes and one half manuscript box

Language of Materials

Materials are in English


Harold I. Cammer (1909-1995) was a lawyer who championed the rights of workers, labor unions, accused Communists and victims of racial bigotry. This collection contains correspondence, articles and essays, briefs, and other documents pertaining to legal cases he was involved in, as well as his activism and other issues important to him during his lifetime.

Biographical Note

Harold I. Cammer (1909-1995) was a lawyer who championed the rights of workers, labor unions, accused Communists and victims of racial bigotry. Over the course of his 40-year career, Cammer numbered among his clients major organizations like the Congress of Industrial Organizations; the Joint Board, Fur, Leather & Machine Workers Union; the brewery workers' union, New York teachers' union, and the Amalgamated Meat Cutters. During the widespread Communist hunts of the 1950's, he defended union officers and teachers, especially in connection with their appearances before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and its counterparts in New York State.

Cammer was also a founder and active member of the National Lawyers Guild, a nationwide organization noted for its concern with civil rights. He volunteered his legal services in the civil rights movement in the South in the 1960's. He was co-lead counsel in the successful defense of more than 700 students arrested during the sit-in at Columbia University in 1968 and, with his son, Robert, wrote a legal analysis of the Vietnam War.

Mr. Cammer, who was born to Russian immigrant parents in Manhattan in 1909, graduated from City College in 1929 and was admitted on a full scholarship to Harvard Law School. Except for military service during World War II, he spent his career practicing law. His firm, Pressman, Witt & Cammer, evolved into Cammer & Shapiro, a Manhattan firm specializing in labor law, where he worked until he retired.

Source: "Harold Cammer, 86, Champion of Labor And Rights Lawyer," Lawrence van Gelder. New York edition. October 25, 1995


Materials are arranged chronologically by subject and material type.

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes case files, subject files, correspondence, and articles produced by Cammer during the course of his legal career. Of particular note are his files from the Lawyers Committee on American Policy Towards Vietnam, legal briefs from his work on deportation cases and workers rights, and his involvement in efforts to advance desegregation and civil rights in Mississippi in the early 1960s.

Conditions Governing Access

Repository permission is required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy for materials in this collection are maintained by New York University. 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

Identification of item, date; Harold Cammer Papers; TAM 180; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Location of Materials

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least two business days prior to your research visit to coordinate access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in repository, provenance is unknown. The accession number associated with these materials is 1950.161.

Collection processed by

Tamiment staff, 2011

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:55:49 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Description is in English

Processing Information

Materials were re-housed in archival folders and boxes.

Revisions to this Guide

November 2019: Edited by Jacqueline Rider for compliance with DACS and ACM Required Elements for Archival Description and to include previously unprocessed materials.


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