1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Edward J. Bloch Papers

1931-2001

PDF Version

Abstract

This collection contains the papers of Edward J. Bloch, a native of New York who served in the military between 1943 and 1946 with assignments in Okinawa during World War II and post-war North China, taught science in Istanbul, Turkey (1947-1950), and dedicated the majority of his career to labor concerns as a representative for the labor union United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (1950-1984). Edward Bloch also served as President of the Labor Action Coalition of New York (1975 to the late 1990s), Director of the Interfaith Impact for the New York State Council of Churches (1987-1995), and ran unsuccessfully for two different congressional district seats (1984,1986,1995-1996). Among the many honors Bloch received during his lifetime is the Purple Heart, which he was awarded for his actions during World War II.

Summary

Creator:
Bloch, Edward J.
Date Coverage:
1931-2001
Quantity:
5.41 cubic ft.  processed to date

Edward James Bloch (Block) was born to Henry, a New York attorney, and Sylvia Bloch, in New York City on April 17, 1924. As of 2002, he is a devout Presbyterian living in a rural town in upstate New York, with his second wife, Naomi Finkelstein.

Known as either Ed or Jim to his family and friends, he lived in Scarsdale, New York until he attended college. At the age of seventeen, Bloch entered the US Marine Corps V-12 program, which encouraged college students to train for military service. Simultaneously attending Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Private Bloch rose to Lieutenant Bloch in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Leaving Williams College between 1942 and 1943, he entered Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire, to continue the V-12 program.

Military service between 1943 and 1946 interrupted his academic career. During World War II he was stationed in San Francisco, California, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Okinawa, and North China. Rising from a 2nd Lieutenant to a 1st Lieutenant, Bloch became Rifle Platoon Leader in the "L" Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. While in Okinawa in 1945, he was shot in the right arm and leg. Months later, on September 30, Bloch's new assignment was the post-war occupation of North China. Interviewed years later, he recalled the atrocities committed against civilians here by a combined force of Marines and Japanese soldiers, who were ordered to prevent a further Communist infiltration in certain locations of North China. One such incident included taking part in the shooting of civilians under orders from a Japanese officer (Bloch, Edward J..Courage Coward Courage!!undated. p. 59-62. Oversize Box 1, Folder 15). For his actions in World War II, Bloch was awarded a Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Finished with his military career, Bloch returned to Williams College, receiving an B.A. in 1946. The following year, he attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and obtained an M.A. From 1947 to 1949, Bloch taught science and coached basketball and wrestling at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. During this period, he also acted as a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.

By 1950, the soldier turned teacher came home. Between 1950 and 1984, Edward Bloch dedicated his time to labor concerns and the labor union, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). Beginning as a chief steward and rising to a field organizer and international representative, Bloch collectively bargained contracts with companies, such as General Electric, Westinghouse, and ExCello. He helped organize the Local 332 branch of the UE just outside Albany, New York. For seventeen years, he served as an international representative for UE and worked in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Vermont, and South Carolina.

From 1975 to the late 1990s, Edward Bloch served as President of the Labor Action Coalition of New York. In this position he coordinated the political action of numerous local unions, fought to save jobs and obtain employee benefits. Bloch also worked with the Labor/Religion Coalition of the Capital District for similar means.

In 1984 and 1986, Bloch ran two campaigns for New York State's 24th Congressional District seat. As a Democrat in 1984 and 1986, he faced Republican Gerald Solomon and lost both times. In 1995-1996, Bloch ran as an Independent candidate for the 21st Congressional District seat and again failed in his bid for election.

Beside his political ambitions, Bloch volunteered much of his time in the late 1980s and 1990s to interfaith organizations. Between 1987 and 1995, he served as Director of the Interfaith Impact for the New York State Council of Churches. As director, Bloch represented a collection of religious groups determined to translate their religious and moral beliefs into mostly legislative action. After eight years, Bloch left Interfaith Impact for the Interfaith Alliance (TIANYS). The Interfaith Alliance was similar to the Interfaith Impact, demanding changes in public policy based on religious understanding. As of the late 1990s, Bloch continued his volunteer service with the Interfaith Alliance.

Throughout his life, Edward J. Bloch developed his own religious and moral understanding or philosophy of life. Fearing the cruelty of anti-Semitism in America after the first World War, Bloch's parents, both of the Jewish faith, tried to hide his religious identity. Seeing the horrors of World War II in combat and in the occupation of China, he changed his allegiance from capitalism to socialism in the post-war period. During the Vietnam War, he protested US military intervention in Southeast Asia through Veterans for Peace in Vietnam. As a labor leader, he dedicated more than thirty years to workers through the UE, even being investigated by the FBI for ties to Communism in his union. Finally, while observing Presbyterian values and beliefs, he still recognized the need for interfaith organizations.

Bloch's family is mentioned frequently in his personal papers. They include his wife, Naomi, daughter Rebecca, and his three children from a previous marriage, Linda, Alan, and Susan. Other key figures mentioned in the collection are Lawrence Wittner, professor of history at the University at Albany, the late Joe Powers, former Chair of the Capital District Labor Religion Coalition, former Governor Mario Cuomo, and folk singer Pete Seeger (Bloch, Edward J..Courage Coward Courage!!undated. p. 59-62. Oversize Box 1, Folder 15).

The collected papers of Edward J. Bloch detail his early life, his military service in the Marine Corps during World War II, his three years in Turkey teaching biology, leadership in the UE, the Labor Action Coalition, the Capital Labor Religion Coalition, Interfaith Impact, Interfaith Alliance, three unsuccessful campaigns for Congress, and personal papers and correspondence.

Correspondence and creative writing make up the majority of Bloch's papers. His letters are particularly voluminous between 1944 and 1946, when he served in Okinawa and China as a Marine. During this time span, he wrote mostly to his parents and brother, Henry, concerning the war, his current positions in Asia, and on other personal matters. His father replied specifically with news from the home front concerning the war and politics. Other letters in the collection span his career in the UE, Congressional campaign runs, and varied personal subjects. Beside correspondence, Bloch wrote poetry, plays, essays, and other literature. These writings begin in the published version of his very early poetry, Verses(1931).

Of the records kept on the UE and Bloch's other union work, those files on General Electric and FBI files on Bloch and the UE stand out above the rest. Beside these records, only the 1984, 1986, and 1995-1996 congressional election folders have a great deal of substance. Election letters, news clippings, press releases, notes, speeches, pamphlets, stickers, a poster, buttons, photos, newsletters, and position statements, are all included in these files.

Many files were originally interspersed in various folders of the collection, leaving some half-written letters, notes detached from their original position, and copies of newspaper articles with missing sections or words. Most of the handwritten notes lack dates and are difficult to decipher. Likewise, many newspaper clippings lack dates and do not specifically mention Edward Bloch.

Some of the Capital District Labor Religion Coalition papers from 1981-1985 were created by former co-chair, Lawrence Wittner, a professor of history at the University at Albany. For more information on Wittner, consult the Lawrence Wittner (APAP-100) collection. The papers of Libby Post (APAP-045) include materials created during the 1984 and 1986 campaigns to defeat Gerald Solomon. Post served as Bloch's Press Secretary. For additional labor collections in the Department, see the online Labor subject guide at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/conservation.htm. For other related collections, consult the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archvies.

The collection is organized into the following series:

All series are arranged alphabetically with the exception of Series 6, which is arranged by subject. Series 7 is organized alphabetically by campaign.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Edward J. Bloch in May 2001.

Processed by: Michael J. Newman and Beth Sheffer

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2017-04-14 10:20:21 -0400

Encoded in EAD by Nick Demetriades, 2013

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Edward J. Bloch Papers, 1931-2001. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 0.33 cubic ft.
Arranged alphabetically.
This series contains records dating from 1931 to 1943. It includes files on Ed Bloch's high school and college related activities, correspondence, news clippings, poetry, essays, short stories, papers, and miscellaneous files.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1Correspondence1936-1943

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1 2Diary Sheet and Record Card1937-1938

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1 3Essays, Stories, and Papers1939-1943, Undated

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1 4News Clippings1941-1943

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1 5Poetry1931-1940

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1 6Williams College Materials1941-1943, Undated
Quantity: 0.62 cubic ft.
Arranged alphabetically.
This series focuses on Ed Bloch's military involvement during World War II, with material dating from 1942 to 1972. It includes files on World War II related activities, correspondence, news clippings, poetry, essays, short stories, papers, and miscellaneous files. Most of the material comes from the 1940s, with articles recalling Bloch's World War II experiences written in the 1970s and a book commemorating the 1996 reunion of the Special Officer Candidate School which Bloch attended.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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17Brochure, "Information for Christian Scientists"Undated

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1 8Bulletin for Concerned Asian Scholars and Correspondence1971-1972

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1 9Correspondence1943

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1 10Correspondence1944

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1 11-12Correspondence1945

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1 13Correspondence1946, Undated

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1 14Essays, Stories, Papers1945-1946

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1 15News Clippings about Bloch1944-1946

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1 16PhotographsUndated

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1 17Poetry1944-1946

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1 18Sketch of Ed BlochUndated

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1 19Telegrams1942

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2 1Candidates Class for Commission1942

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2 2Essay1945

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2 3Photographsca. 1943-1946

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2 4Poetry1931-1940

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2 5Winning of the War in Europe and the Pacific1943-1945

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Oversized 1Book, The SOCs [SOCs= Special Officer Candidate School]1996
Quantity: 0.37 cubic ft.
Arranged alphabetically.
This series is comprised of records dating from 1947 to 1950 when Ed Bloch taught biology in Istanbul, Turkey and was a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. It includes files on early Cold War related activities, correspondence, Turkish news clippings, articles written for The Christian Science Monitor, essays, short stories, and papers.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1The Christian Science Monitor1947-1949

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1 2Correspondence1947-1950

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1 3Essays, Stories, Papers1947-1950

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1 4News Clippings1949

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2 1Correspondence1948
Quantity: 0.53 cubic ft.
Arranged alphabetically.
This series documents Ed Bloch's career as a field organizer and international representative for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America from 1950 to 1984. The files in this series date from 1949 to 2001 and include labor related activities, correspondence, news clippings, handwritten notes and rough drafts, newsletters, files related to the UE Local 332 labor organization, General Electric related files, FBI documents, and miscellaneous papers.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1Articles, Essays, and Papers1975-1986, Undated

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1 2Book, Them and us: Struggles of a Rank File Union, by J. J. Matles and J. Higgins, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc.1974

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1 3Correspondence1980-1995

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1 4Correspondence with FBI and Navy1983

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1 5FBI Files1950-1960

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1 6Fliers and Event Announcements1985, Undated

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1 7General Electric1981-1999, Undated

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1 8Local 332 Ballots1979-1998

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1 9Meeting Minutes and Notices1987-1993

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1 10News Clippings1949-1988

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1 11Newsletters, UE Local #3321992-2001

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1 12Rough Drafts and Notes1979-1983

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2 1General Electric, UE Local 332, News Announcements, Meeting Synopsis1974-1993

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2 2General Electric1976-1991
Quantity: 0.53 cubic ft.
Arranged alphabetically.
This series contains records dating from 1977 to 1985. It includes correspondence, newsletters, press releases, news clippings, reports, and speeches.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1Agendas for Meetings1977-1982

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1 2Annual Legislative Conference Registration Lists1978-1983

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1 3Annual Reports1978-1983

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1 4By-laws1978

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1 5Correspondence1978-1985

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1 6Executive Board Lists1978-1979, Undated

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1 7Fliers and Brochures1981-1982

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1 8Jobs Rally1982

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1 9Litigation1982

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1 10Meeting Minutes1978-1983

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1 11News Clippings1982-1983

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1 12Newsletters and Press Releases1979-1983

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1 13Notes and DraftsUndated

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1 14Papers and Reports (Non Labor Action Coliation)1977-1982, Undated

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1 15Payment of Dues Lists1979-1980

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1 16Poems and SongsUndated

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1 17Reports and Speeches1979-1980

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1 18State Assembly Member and Witness Lists1980, Undated

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1 19State of New York 1981-1982 Regular Sessions in Assembly1981

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1 20Union/Community Committee for Solidarity1982, Undated

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2 1Peoples Power Coalition1979, 1981

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2 2Notes and DraftsUndated
Quantity: 0.33 cubic ft.
Arranged by subject.
This series is a collection of records dated from 1981-1996. The correspondence, meeting agendas and minutes, news clippings, newsletters, and press releases from 1981 to 1985, were collected by Lawrence Wittner when he was Co-Chair and given to Ed Bloch. Similar items from 1985 to 1996 were collected by Ed Bloch as executive secretary of the organization.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1Correspondence1981-1985

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1 2Fliers, Event Announcements1982, Undated

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1 3Meeting Agendas and Minutes1982-1984

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1 4News Clippings, Articles1981-1983, Undated

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1 5Newsletters1981-1983

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1 6Press Releases1983, Undated

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1 7Reports of New York State Labor Religion Commission1982-1983

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1 8State of New York 1981-1982 Regular Sessions in Assembly1981

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1 9Reports, Summaries, and Resolutions1982-1983, Undated

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1 10AFL-CIO "Current Developments"1987

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1 11AFL-CIO Daily Labor Report1987

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1 12By-laws1995

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1 13Correspondence1981-1996, Undated

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1 14Fliers, Applications1985-1998, Undated

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1 15Mailing Lists1987-1995, Undated

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1 16Meeting Minutes1985-1995

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1 17News Clippings1987-1994

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1 18Press Releases1986-1988
Quantity: 0.50 cubic ft.
Arranged alphabetically by campaign.
This series contains records dating from 1982 to 1996, covering Ed Bloch's three unsuccessful bids for Congress. It includes files on campaign related activities, correspondence, news clippings, press releases, position statements, newsletters, photographs, notes, pamphlets, stickers, posters, buttons, benefit and fundraiser ads and invitations.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1Correspondence1983-1984

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1 2Congressional Voting Record1984

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1 3County Enrollments and Committee Lists1983-1984

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1 4Expenditures1984

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1 5Fliers, Events Announcements1984

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1 6The Freeze Economy1982

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1 7Meeting Minutes1984

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1 8News Clippings1982-1984

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1 9Newsletters1983-1984

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1 10Political Action Committee Kit and Cover Letter1984

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1 11Photographs1984

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1 12Position Statements1984

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1 13Press Releases, Public Relations1983-1984

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1 14""The 1984 Campaign of Ed Bloch,""1984

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1 15Account Information1990

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1 16Correspondence1984-1988

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1 17Fliers, Event Announcements1986

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1 18Meeting1986

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1 19News Clippings1985-1988

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1 20Newsletters1985-1986

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1 21Press Releases1986

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1 22Position Statements and Speeches1985-1986

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1 23Various Lists of Campaign Contributors1986-1987, Undated

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2 1Correspondence1996

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2 2Mailing Lists1996

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2 3News Clippings1994-1996

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2 4 Position Statements 1995-1996

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2 5 Resume 1996

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2 6 Speeches 1995-1996

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2 7 Miscellaneous Notes, Maps, and Election Tallies Undated

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2 8 Pamphlets, Stickers, Photographs Undated

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2 9 Rough Drafts and Notes 1984-1987, Undated

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Oversized 2Campaign T-ShirtUndated

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Oversized 31Campaign PosterUndated

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Oversized 4Campaign ButtonsUndated

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Oversized 5Large Campaign Posterca. 1980s
Quantity: 0.33 cubic ft.
Arranged alphabetically.
This series consists of records dating from 1990 to 2000. It includes files on Ed Bloch's Interfaith Impact/ New York State Council of Churches activities. The majority of the series contains records from conferences, articles, and meeting minutes from the Interfaith Alliance.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1-2Correspondence1996-2000, Undated

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1 3Events and Events Announcements1998-2000

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1 4Income Statements1996-2000

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1 5Interfaith Impact/ New York State Council of Churches1990-1996, Undated

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1 6Mailing Lists1996, 1998

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1 7-8Meeting Minutes1996-2001

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1 9Miscellaneous Drafts, Board Member Lists, and Fact SheetsUndated

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1 10Mission Statement and By-lawsUndated

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1 11National Association of Ecumenical Staff Conference1989

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1 12News Clippings1998-2000

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1 13Press Releases and Fliers1996-2000
Quantity: 0.53 cubic ft.
Arranged alphabetically.
This series concerns all of Bloch's personal papers and correspondence from 1939-2001, including non-campaign political materials, news clippings, church related materials, poetry, buttons, a calendar, essays, short stories, papers, Vietnam and veterans' related documents, and miscellaneous files.
BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1Biographical Data1984

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1 2Correspondence1959-2001, Undated

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1 3Church Sermons and Papers1990-1999, Undated

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1 4-5Essays, Stories, Papers1959-2000

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1 6-7Essays, Stories, PapersUndated

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1 8Memories of FletcherUndated

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1 9Miscellaneous NotesUndated

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1 10News Clippings1985-2001, Undated

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1 11Photograph1981

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1 12Poetry1950-2001

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1 13PoetryUndated

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1 14Veterans' for Peace1985-1987

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1 15Vietnam Protest Marches1965-1967

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2 1Bloch's AutobiographyCourage Coward Courage!!, Two Copies, One SignedUndated

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2 2Essays, Stories, PapersUndated

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2 3PoetryUndated

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Oversized 2Gift from Presbyterian Church, "Elder Edward Bloch, Moderator 1993-1994, Albany Presbytery,"1993-1994

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Oversized 32International Railway Workers Action Day Calendar2001

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Oversized 4Buttons and Pins1960-1980, Undated