Collection Spotlight: John P. Clark Papers

The John P. Clark Papers is a fascinating collection consisting primarily of correspondence and publications. These materials include correspondence with political thinkers and book publishers, independently published political pamphlets and zines, and serial periodicals such as “Our Generation”. The collection also contains a small number of flyers, microfilm reels, and reel-to-reel audio recordings.

While searching for a selection that is representative of the collection, we came across some correspondence between John Clark and friend David Koven stretching over 25 years and found Koven to be a VERY interesting subject. Following the links embedded in Koven’s brief bio below to gather some context.

Koven was “born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, USA 1918; railroad worker, sailor and electrician; painter and photographer; in his youth a member of the Young Communist League; broke with communism and became a pacifist in 1936; turned to anarchism during the Spanish Civil War, when he got involved with the anarchist Vanguard Group; with Audrey Goodfriend one of the founders of Why? (1942-1947), continued as Resistance (1947-1954); moved to San Francisco in the late 1940s, where he became active in Kenneth Rexroth’s anarchist group; editor of The Needle in 1956; in 1958 with Audrey Goodfriend and three other families cofounder of the libertarian Walden School in Berkeley which still exists; one of the founders of and contributors to Pacific Radio Station and one of the most active members of the Vietnam Day Committee” (David Koven Papers, Finding Aid Biographical Note, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam).

Here’s a glimpse into Box 2, Folder 12, of Collection 57.

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And as an added bonus a sneak-peek at an intro to a jambalaya recipe Koven gathered while visiting Clark and Louisana in the 1980′s… but you’ll have to come visit us to get the full recipe and check out all the other fascinating correspondence in Collection 57.

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