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Lawrence H. Fuchs papers

 Collection — other: All
Identifier: 03-MWalB00021A

Scope and Contents

Materials in the collection date from 1948 to 2008 and document Lawrence H. Fuchs's life as a scholar and professional, focusing primarily on his roles as founder and professor of American Studies at Brandeis University. (See biography for his other involvements.)


  • 1948-2008, undated
  • Other: Date acquired: 1998-03-03


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Confidential student correspondence and some American Studies Department correspondence and memoranda are restricted. Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Biographical or Historical Information

Who’s Who in America 2005 classifies Professor Fuchs as: government official, educator. A 2002 Article in the Brandeis Review by Stephen J. Whitfield classifies him according to four of his achievement areas: Teaching, Scholarship, Community, and Public Service. In a letter dated October 1960, he describes himself to the Boston Globe as a "political behaviorist." He was born Jan 29, 1927, and received degrees from New York University (1950) and Harvard University (1955). He was a teaching fellow at Harvard from 1950-51, and was a member of the faculty at Brandeis University from 1952-2002. He began his career in the Department of Politics, until founding the American Studies Department in 1970. He served as dean of faculty and did four terms as a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees. While at Brandeis, he had a leave of absence to serve as head of the Peace Corps in the Philippines (1961-63), and for a visiting professorship in Hawaii. His works include: The Political Behavior of American Jews (1955), Hawaii Pono: A Social History (1961), John F. Kennedy and American Catholicism (1967), Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character (1968), American Ethnic Politics (1968), Family Matters (1973), The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture (1991), Beyond Patriarchy: Jewish Fathers and Families (2000). He was principal scholar of the texts Black in White America (1974) and The American Experiment (1981).  He published a revised version of his original in Hawaii pono = Hawaii the excellent : an ethnic and political history (1992). He was also a prolific writer of journal articles, and was an invited speaker for many social and political organizations. His various involvements include the following: Worked under the John F. Kennedy administration as head of the first Peace Corps unit in the Philippines (1961-63). Founder of the Commonwealth Service Corps in Massachusetts, a domestic Peace Corps organization. Founder of the American Studies Department (1970), which he served as chairman, and was the Meyer and Walter Jaffe Professor of American Civilization and Politics, both at Brandeis University. Appointed by Jimmy Carter and Congress as executive director of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy 1979-81. The recommendations made by this commission eventually became what was the first major reform of U.S. immigration policy since 1965: the Immigration and Control Act of 1986, and later the Immigration Act of 1990. He also served as vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. Involvement on public bodies such as the National Advisory Board of the Commission on Law and Social Action of the American Jewish Congress, the Massachusetts Congress on Racial Equality, and the United World Federalists. He was also on the Board of Directors for the Mexican American Legal and Education Defense Fund. Educational participation such as Chairman of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, and Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the School and Society Program of the Education Development Center (EDC), where he was involved in the introduction of curriculum on family and race relations in the U.S. Fuchs was also closely involved with Facing History and Ourselves, a groundbreaking educational organization bringing ethnic relations and social history into the classroom.


70.00 Linear Feet

70.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in nine series: 1. Personal, 1935-2002; 2. Brandeis University, 1950-2002; 3. Outside Educational Projects, 1951-1991; 4. Publications, Writings, and Speeches, 1948-2000; 5. Subject Files, 1947-2001; 6. Peace Corps, 1959-1994; 7. Select Commission on Immigration & Refugee Policy (SCIRP), 1968-1985; 8. Committee on Immigrants and Refugees (CIR), 1979-1998; 9. Immigration: Subject Files, 1945-1997. Series and sub-series are arranged chronologically, alphabetically, or both; in series 7 (SCIRP files), sub-series 3 and 12 are arranged in their original order. For more information about each series, please consult the series descriptions in the box and folder listing. 67 records center boxes, 5 manuscript boxes, 1 card file box

Custodial History

01/05/1998--76 cubic feet of materials concerning his work with SCIRP and CIR plus subject files on immigration policy and newsletters.

10/08/1998--Files concerning his work with the Peace Corps in the 1960's.

04/20/1999--Correspondence with Eleanor Roosevelt; three Photos with Eleanor Roosevelt and Fuchs, 1959-1961; Fuchs C.V. and memoirs of Brandeis University the first 9 years.

08/20/99--Additional materials for the Immigration Papers and Peace Corps papers.

10/16/2000--Videotaped interview of Fuchs concerning Eleanor Roosevelt.  Interview was done by WGBH for The American Experience documentary on Eleanor Roosevelt, 10/6/98 approximately 30 minutes long.

05/02/2001--2 boxes miscellaneous


03/22/2002--Papers from students in Boston school, 1960s; correspondence with students

03/2003--A mixture of materials (1950s?-2002) including 30 audiotapes, three videotapes, a box of art cards, one file folder, and a large number of INS News Digests (2002).  Covers a wide range of topics having to do primarily with American civil rights and racism, African American history, and ethnic identity.  Includes an index to the audiotapes, a partial index to Fuchs's archival collections, a review of Fuchs's book, Jewish Liberalism, by Stephen Whitfield, and a typed memo by Fuchs tracing his publication history, in preparation for his memoirs.

11/20/2003--Primarily correspondence to/from Fuchs in his role as Chair of the American Studies Department (1980s) and one file of reviews of his 1991 publication, The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture (1990s).  Also includes three Brandeis yearbooks (1961, 1966, 1969).

12/17/2003--1 cu. ft. of the INS News Digest (2002-2003), a copy of the 2002 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, and several publications that Fuchs authored, contributed to, or is cited in: "Two Faces of Capitalism" (1987), "Becoming American/American Becoming: Duke University Workshop on Immigration and Citizenship, Final Report" (ca. 1997), and European Immigration from the Colonial Era to the 1920s (1990).  Also 1 cu. ft. of index cards to Fuchs' personal library on immigration, indexed by author, title, and subject.

08/01/2005--5 chapters of political memoir.

Source of Acquisition

Donated by Professor Lawrence H. Fuchs between March 1998 and Aug. 2005.

Appraisal Information

Materials culled from the collection include: 1) Five boxes of VHS and Beta tapes of immigration bill debates in the House of Representatives in 1984, taped from CBS News; 2) Conference printed matter for "U.S. Immigration Policy at the Millenium: With Liberty and Justice for All?" sponsored by Harvard Law School and Boston College Immigration and Asylum Project, Dec. 3-5, 1999; 3) INS News Digest (media services, Office of Public Affairs of the Immigration and Naturalization Service) 1981-1984, 1994-2003; 4) Issues of The Clipboard (Aug.-Oct. 1983) distributed by the Office of Public Affairs, and issues of Press Report (Oct.-Nov. 1983), U. S. Commission on Civil Rights Press and Communication Division; 5) Many publications that Fuchs did not author on the subjects of immigration, refugees, politics, and pluralism. For a sample of these publications, please refer to the Subject Files series under "Publications on immigration, refugees, and pluralism, 1983-2000"; 6) Many articles not authored by Fuchs on the subjects of affirmative action, various countries and ethnicities, and demographics concerning education, income, etc. Examples of these types of articles may be found throughout the Fuchs collection.

Related Materials

See LOUIS catalog for DVD copy of oral history interview of Professor Fuchs conducted by Professor Stephen J. Whitfield.

Other Descriptive Information

Box 1.1-29 BL17E6-BL17EZ Box 30-45 BL17F0-BL17FF Box 46-63 BL178s-BL1799 Box 64-66 BL17CH-BL17CJ Box 67-72 BL17F6-BL17FL Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may be available for research use. Please contact us for more information.

Maggie McNeely
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections