Rare Book & Manuscript Library

C.L.R. James Institute records, 1932-2003, bulk 1983-1999

Summary Information


The C.L.R. James Institute was founded by Jim Murray to document the writing and influence of James and his circle

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1469
Bib ID 6911371 View CLIO record
Creator(s) C.L.R. James Institute ; Cultural Correspondence (Organization)
Title C.L.R. James Institute records, 1932-2003, bulk 1983-1999
Physical Description 20 linear feet (45 boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



The collection is arranged in five series.


Scope and Content

Jim Murray was C.L.R. James' assistant in early 1983; in 1984 Murray founded the C.L.R. James Institute in New York City. Murray also edited Cultural Correspondence with Paul Buhle. This series contains correspondence with other C.L.R. James scholars and researchers; with Paul Buhle regarding Cultural Correspondence; with Anna Grimshaw regarding various projects; and over tussles regarding rights to publish James' material or the validity and authority of scholarship. Also here are manuscripts, by others, that Murray edited or critiqued, and files on projects by various students who worked for or interned at the Institute.

The hard drive and floppy discs in this series likely contain data for the numerical cataloging system devised by the institute; this system has not been maintained in the arrangement of the material in these papers.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

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.

The audio and digital material cannot currenty be used in The Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); The C.L.R. James Institute Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material at Columbia

C.L.R. James Papers Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Margaret Busby Papers, 1978-1989 Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Anna Grimshaw Papers, 1939-2004 Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Darcus Howe Papers, 1965-2008 Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Constance Webb Papers, 1918-2005 Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library


No accruals are expected

Custodial History

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University purchased the C.L.R. James Records in May 2009.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed August 2013 Patrick Lawlor

Finding Aid written August 2013 Patrick Lawlor

Revision Description

2013-08-27 xml document instance created by Patrick Lawlor

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.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Audiocassettes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Compact disks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Floppy disks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Videotapes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
hard drives Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
laptop computers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Authors, Caribbean Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Buhle, Paul, 1944- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
C.L.R. James Institute Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Communism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cricket Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Grimshaw, Anna Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
James, C. L. R (Cyril Lionel Robert), 1901-1989 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Murray, James, 1949- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Radicalism -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Revolutions and socialism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Socialism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States -- Race relations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Webb, Constance Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

The C.L.R. James Institute was founded in 1984 with the full authorization of C.L.R. James. It was a project of The C.L.R. James Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation based in New York City, and Jim Murray. The Institute was an archive and resource center dedicated to documenting C.L.R. James, the people, circles, and movements with which he was associated, and subjects of relevance to James Studies. The Institute had a mission and underlying philosophy that encompasses much more than James. In addition to the Research and Scholarship functions that resemble the Special Collections division of a research library, the Institute was a community library that provided space for a wide range of gatherings. These include roundtable discussions, media events, book parties, literary readings, etc., which brought together people from many walks of life. Another function of the Institute was professional networking and counseling.

Cultural Correspondence was a radical journal dealing with popular culture founded by Paul Buhle in 1975.