Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

NEH Preservation and Access Grant Proposal

Project Director: Katie Kashmiry

Source of Materials: Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB) Photograph Collection
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive.


The photographs of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade document the history of North American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and its aftermath. In 1979, Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB) formed the Archives of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (ALBA). The Archives contain the most comprehensible documentation of American volunteers fighting fascism abroad in Spain. VALB’s photograph collection (7.7 linear feet) contains photographic prints, slides, and negatives collected and used in VALB’s offices in New York City. The photographs include portraits, group shots, and combat scenes of American volunteers activities in the Spanish Civil War. They document post-war demonstrations, support activities, and commemorative events in the United States, as well as veteran supporters, international volunteers, friends, and families of veterans.

The collection interests a large domestic and international community of users, including educators, scholars, and friends and family of the Lincoln Brigades. The proposed project involves the digitization, preservation, and description of the photograph collection in order to promote wider access, greater outreach, and preservation efforts for this collection containing relevant informational and evidential research value. There is a growing need for those involved with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to have an outlet to disseminate information. Generations of individuals with selective knowledge of the stories of the Brigades are depleting, and as a result personal, social, and political histories of these individuals and this period in International and American history are becoming lost in time. This project will not only help preserve the photographs themselves, but also give voice to the unspoken history of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License