Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Gay Humphrey Matthaei and Francis B. Randall Collection of Photographs, Films, and Clippings, 1954-2010

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1773
Bib ID 11538327 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Matthaei, Gay Humphrey
Title Gay Humphrey Matthaei and Francis B. Randall Collection of Photographs, Films, and Clippings, 1954-2010
Physical Description 3.15 linear feet (6 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This original film is archival only and cannot be used.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Arranged in four series.

Description

Summary

Twelve reel of 16mm film and two cans of edited out footage, as well as article, clippings, letters, photographs, ephemera, and a thesis.

General Note

The films have been digitized by the Preservation Reformatting Department of the Columbia University Libraries

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This original film is archival only and cannot be used.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); The Gay Humphrey Matthaei Collection of Photographs, Films and Clippings.; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers Processed 8/21/2015 by PTL and Robert Davis

Revision Description

2015-08-19 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Acetate film Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Curran, Robert Theodore Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Harriman Institute Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kerensky, Aleksandr Fyodorovich, 1881-1970 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lidsky, Jeri Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Matthaei, Gay Humphrey Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mount Holyoke College Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Randall, Francis B., 1931- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Soviet Union -- Description and travel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

In August 1954, four graduate students from Columbia's Russian Institute--Gay Humphrey, Ted Curran, Jeri Lidsky, and Francis B. Randall--set off on an eight-week journey across the Soviet Union. They became, effectively, the first student tourist group to visit the USSR, just seventeen months after the death of Stalin and before Khrushchev had consolidated power. Although photography was carefully controlled in the USSR, they were allowed more or less free access to all save military and other secure installations.

Equipped with camera and film provided by CBS (and according to her obituary, by NBC as well), and Kodachrome provided by Time Magazine (the undeveloped film was, alas, ultimately confiscated from Ms. Lidsky at the border) their observations and footage created a sensation back in the U.S.

Following their return, the students became celebrities, with Ms. Humphrey appearing with Eric Sevareid on CBS's "The American Week" and articles in the New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, and other publications. Ms. Humphrey and Mr. Curran went on the lecture circuit, with well-received presentations at many universities throughout the country.

All four participants went on to distinguished careers. Mr. Randall became a professor of history at Sarah Lawrence, while Mr. Curran embarked on a foreign service career. Ms. Lidsky's married name was Laber, and she became one of the founders of the human rights group Helsinki Watch. Columbia holds Ms. Laber's papers as a series within the Helsinki Watch records. Accounts of their trip appear in Ms. Laber's memoir "The Courage of Strangers" (2002, see pp. 35-45 available in-ebook form: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/columbia/detail.action?docID=10477865), and in an oral history interview by Mr. Curran. Mr. Randall published an article in the Amherst Alumni News in 1955 (a copy of which is found in Box 1, Folder 2, and it is referenced in a later note from the News.

Ms. Humphrey married Konrad Henry Matthaei, in 1956. She went on to write prize-winning books about the Lakota Sioux, and produced and directed a film "Where Time is a River" that was selected for inclusion in the MoMA Archive of Films.

The Matthaei Family was the subject of an extensive photo shoot by Diane Arbus, subsequently donated to Mount Holyoke, Gay's alma mater.

Gay Humphrey Matthaei died in 2010. This collection is a gift from her daughter, Marcella Hague Matthaei.