The Lusk Committee
From 1919 to 1920, the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities (commonly referred to as the Lusk Committee) sought to expose those organizations and individuals who allegedly posed a threat to American democracy and capitalism. Throughout New York State, socialist, labor, and ethnic organizations were investigated or called before the committee to account for their activities. The Lusk Committee gathered an enormous amount of information on these groups. These records should prove extremely useful to those interested in race, labor, immigration, ethnicity, civil rights, and social issues during post-World War I America.
The records of the Lusk Committee are part of the holdings of the New York State Archives . The committee's records consist of 16 series totalling almost 50 cubic feet. These records have been microfilmed, and the film contains detailed container or folder lists. Microfilm copies are available on inter-library loan and are available for purchase at the cost of duplication. Microfilming of these records and preparation of this guide was supported, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This finding aid provides a general history of the Lusk Committee and descriptions of each series. It also contains an index of names, organizations, and subjects found within the records.
The State Archives, part of the Office of Cultural Education of the State Education Department, is mandated to acquire, preserve, and make available for research use State government records of enduring value. Since the opening of the Archives storage and research facility in the Cultural Education Center in 1978, over 52,000 cubic feet of records have been transferred from State agencies, and additional records are accessioned continually.
The records of the Lusk Committee are available to researchers at the State Archives research facility weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Further information about the content or use of these or other State Archives holdings is available from:
Research Services Unit
New York State Archives
Cultural Education Center, Room 11A42
Albany, NY 12230
This guide was prepared by Senior Archivist Daniel J. Linke. Senior Archivist Richard Andress helped prepare the history of the Lusk Committee and all but one of the series descriptions. Archivist Christine Karpiak described the maps found in Series L0041.