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Mordecai and Irma Bauman Papers

Call Number



1926-2006, inclusive


Bauman, Mordecai, 1912-2007 (Role: Donor)
Bauman, Irma, 1915-2014 (Role: Donor)
Perry, Elizabeth Israels (Role: Donor)


4.45 Linear Feet in 3 record cartons, 3 manuscript boxes, and 1 half manuscript box.
4 videocassettes (vhs)
3 audiocassette
8 electronic discs (cd-rom)

Language of Materials

Materials are in English and German


Mordecai Bauman (1912-2007) was a singer, music educator, concert promoter, and progressive activist. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, ephemera and other materials documenting his association with notables including Marc Blitzstein, Hanns Eisler, and Mrs. Charles Ives, concerts, including benefits for progressive causes, his recording career, his educational work at Brooklyn College and the Bread and Roses Cultural Project, and his documentary, The Stations of Bach.

Historical/Biographical Note

Mordecai Bauman (1912-2007) had a long and varied musical career as a singer and recording artist, a music administrator, educator and producer, much of which occurred in the context of progressive and labor movement cultural activity during the 1930s and 1940s. Additionally, he was personally and professionally associated with Hanns Eisler and Marc Blitzstein. Born in the Bronx, New York, Bauman received degrees from the Julliard School of Music (1934), Columbia University (B.A., 1935), and Case Western Reserve University (M.A., 1949). From 1952 to 1975 he was the founder and owner, with his wife Irma Commanday Bauman, of the Indian Hill, a summer workshop in the arts in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, which he then donated to Brooklyn College, where he was Professor of Music. From 1970 to 1972 he was managing director of Symphony Hall (Newark, NJ). Bauman was the founding director of the Bread and Roses Project, the ongoing cultural program of District 1199, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees. Bauman also conceived and produced The Stations of Bach (1990) a documentary filmed in Germany, and recorded the collaborative works of Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler, the works of Charles Ives, and American folk, labor and popular songs.

Source: Bauman, Irma and Mordecai. From our angle of repose: a memoir. New York City: "Privately published for our friends & family," 2006. 526 p. : ill., ports.


Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains clippings, concert programs, correspondence, ephemera, memorabilia, and photographs, which document Mordecai Bauman's education and musical career. Principal and/or prominent correspondents include: Joseph Abilieah (Society for Middle East Confederation), Irma Commanday Bauman, Betty Bean (American-Soviet Musical Society), Marc Blitzstein, Ronald D. Cohen (folk/left music historian), Congressmen Silvio Conte and Robert Drinan, Barker Fairley, Victor Grossman, Mrs. Charles Ives, Peter Janz (Berlin), Charles Panzera, Samuel Puner, Eberhard Rebling (East Berlin), Werner Schmidt (Dresden Art Museum). Also included in the collection are a photo album and memorabilia from Bauman's service in World War II, as well as recordings of Bauman's interviews and performances from the 1980s and 1990s. Interviews feature discussions of Bauman's musical career and the works of Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler.

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 Irma and Mordecai Bauman was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form: Identification of item, date; Mordecai and Irma Bauman Papers; TAM 222; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mordecai and Irma Bauman between 1999-2004; additional materials were accessioned after 2006. In 2015 Elisabeth Israels Perry sent a photo album and recordings of interviews with Bauman. The accession numbers associated with these gifts are 1999.005, 1999.008, 1999.010, NPA.2005.036, and 2015.011

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Access to audiovisual materials in this collection is available through digitized access copies. Researchers may view an item's original container, but the media themselves are not available for playback because of preservation concerns. Materials that have already been digitized are noted in the collection's finding aid and can be requested in our reading room. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Born-digital materials have not been transferred and may not be available to researchers. Researchers may request access copies. To request that material be transferred, or if you are unsure if material has been transferred, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Separated Material

Sixteen audiocassettes (interviews, lectures, radio programs) have been separated to the Library's audio collections, and established as Mordecai Bauman Audiocassettes (OH 055).

Related Material

The Indian Hill Records, 1952-1976, 15 boxes, are located at the Stockbridge (Massachusetts) Library Association.

The Mordecai Bauman Collection of Political Music and Papers, 1914-1952, two boxes, is at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Music Division).

Collection processed by

Peter Filardo

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:57:47 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid written in English

Processing Information

Some material pertaining to Bauman's military career have been redacted for privacy concerns. Social security numbers have been blacked out. Unprocessed materials were grouped into folders by subject and integrated into the collection. Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Mordecai Bauman Photographs (PHOTOS 198). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Mordecai Bauman Papers.

In 2015 title was changed from Mordecai Bauman Papers to Mordecai and Irma Bauman Papers to better reflect the contents of the collection. In 2017 recordings of inteviews with Bauman and a photo album were added to the collection and integrated into the existing arrangement of the collection. The photo album originally contained several pages of loose photographs. Loose photos were removed from the album and placed in archival folders, and have been kept in their original groupings.

Revisions to this Guide

March 2015: Edited by Bonnie Gordon to reflect the addition of nonprint and unprocessed materials;
January 2017: Edited by Heather Mulliner to reflect inclusion of 2015 accretion

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Bauman.doc


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