|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in reverse chronological order.
The Alexander Erlich Papers span his thirty-year career as an economics professor and lecturer at Columbia University and Barnard College. Contained in the collection are a biographical file written by Columbia University upon Erlich's death, letters of recommendation written by Erlich, correspondence, manuscripts, and Erlich's research and lecture notes. The correspondence, dated from 1981-1984, is primarily professional in nature, though often familiar in tone, consisting mostly of intra- and interdepartmental communication at Columbia and correspondence between Erlich and various publishers regarding his review of and contribution to work on the economic situation of the Soviet Union. The three manuscripts contained in the collection include the introduction to an untitled work by Michael Ellman, which Erlich reviewed and which is referred to in correspondence dated from October-December 1982; fragments of Erlich's 1960 seminal work, The Soviet Industrialization Debate, 1924-1928, with hand-written annotations; and a complete copy of Erlich's PhD dissertation, submitted in January 1953. The research and lecture notes contain various economic equations and tables, some of which are written in Russian, Erlich's first language.
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 collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Alexander Erlich Papers; 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
Processed John Roe 09/11/89.
Papers Reprocessed Christina Manzella (Pratt SILS 2011) 06/--/10.
Finding aid Written Christina Manzella (Pratt SILS 2011) 06/--/10.
2010-07-29 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
AAlexander Erlich was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1912. In 1918, shortly after the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution, his family immigrated to Poland where his father, Henryk, became a leader of the Jewish Labor Fund. After the execution of his father in 1941, Erlich and his family fled to the United States.
Influenced by his father's work and the political atmosphere of his youth, Erlich began his study of economics at Friedrich-Wilhelm University in Berlin and the Free Polish University in Warsaw. He completed these studies after moving to the US, earning his PhD from the New School for Social Research in New York City in 1953. His doctoral dissertation, The Soviet Industrialization Controversy, was the basis for his best known work, The Soviet Industrial Debate, 1924-1928, published in 1960.
His lifelong devotion to the study of Soviet economic conditions and policies found Erlich a home at Columbia University. Beginning as a visiting lecturer in 1955, he received a tenured position as professor in 1959. He retired in 1981 only to return as a part-time lecturer and professor at Columbia University and Barnard College in 1982. Erlich died of a heart attack in January 1985 at the age of 72.