Collection Number: 20450

Collection Title: Si Kahn Collection, 1970s-2018

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 203.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 50,000 items)
Abstract Si Kahn (1944- ) is a white folk singer and songwriter, community and labor organizer, civil rights and social justice activist, and the founder and retired executive director of Grassroots Leadership. The collection contains songbooks and song sheets with original lyrics; organizational records; printed items and publications; name and subject files; newspaper clippings; t-shirts, pin back buttons, and posters; and audio and video recordings. Organizations represented in the collection include Grassroots Leadership, Citizen Action Inc., Jewish Fund for Justice, Youth Project, Forest Service, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, United Mine Workers of America, Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, and AFL-CIO. Materials reflect Kahn's musical career and his work and interests in student activism, unionism, community organizing, voting rights, health and safety of textile workers and coal miners, and environmental justice. Union materials document his work on the 1970s campaign to organize in J.P. Stevens textile plants across the South and the 1974 Brookside coal miners' strike in Harlan County, Ky. Audio and video recordings are chiefly of interviews and musical performances.
Creator Kahn, Si.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
Grassroots Leadership materials are CLOSED to researchers.
This collection contains additional audiovisual materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Restrictions to Use
Publication requires permission of the donor. Contact Research and Instructional Services staff at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Si Kahn Collection #20450, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Si Kahn in July 2010 (Acc. 101323), October 2010 (Acc. 101684), and December 2018 (Acc. 103509).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Si Kahn (1944- ) is a white folk singer and songwriter, community and labor organizer, civil rights and social justice activist, and the founder and retired executive director of Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit organization which advocates for the rights of prisoners and immigrant detainees.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The Si Kahn Collection documents Kahn's musical career and his work and interests in student activism, unionism, community organizing, voting rights, health and safety of textile workers and coal miners, and environmental justice. Union materials document his work on the 1970s campaign to organize in J.P. Stevens textile plants across the South and the 1974 Brookside coal miners' strike in Harlan County, Ky. Materials include correspondence; songbooks and song sheets with original lyrics; organizational records for Grassroots Leadership and Citizen Action, Inc.; printed items and publications; name and subject files; newspaper clippings; t-shirts, pin back buttons, and posters; and audio and video recordings. Organizational records include memoranda, meeting minutes, reports, manuals, contracts, financial documents, and bylaws for Citizen Action, Inc. Audio and video recordings are chiefly of interviews and musical performances. Other organizations represented in the collection include Jewish Fund for Justice, Youth Project, Forest Service, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, United Mine Workers of America, Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, and AFL-CIO.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010).

About 50000 items.

Arrangement: as received

Acquisitions Information: Accessions 101323, 101684

Grassroots Leadership materials are CLOSED to researchers.

Box 1-3

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Song lyrics #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 1-3

Box 8

Cotton mill songs #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 8

Box 9-11

Box 9

Box 10

Box 11

Forest service #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 9-11

Printed materials and background research for The Forest Service in Appalachia, a report on the impact of the federal government sale of timber at below market prices in Fannin County, Ga. This report led to changes in how the federal government paid taxes to states on sale of timber.

Box 11

Brown lung record sales on June Appal Recordings #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 11

Box 11-14

Box 11

Box 12

Box 13

Box 14

Brookside, United Mine Workers Association strike #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 11-14

Notes, printed material, articles by others, correspondence relating to campaign strategy and organization against Duke Power Company, which owned Brookside.

Box 14

Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, J.P. Stevens #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 14

Organizing work in Charlotte, N.C., and in Roanoke Rapids, Va. Includes box of index cards of Roanoke Rapids workers.

Pete Seeger #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 14

Community Service Administration #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 14

Government project to evaluate community organizing and community action agencies.

Box 15

Midwest Academy #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 15

Training guide.

Citizen Action #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 15

Virginia Action #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 15

Box 15-16

Box 15

Box 16

Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, J.P. Stevens #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 15-16

Orientation kit for campaign.

Box 17

Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, J.P. Stevens #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 17

Appalshop #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 17

Forest Service #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 17

Box 18

Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, J.P. Stevens #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 18

Song lyrics #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 18

Box 19

Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, J.P. Stevens #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 19

Brookside, United Mine Workers Association strike #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 19

Southern Institute of Occupational Health #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 19

Brown lung.

Mountain Life and Work #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 19

Box 20

Personal files, 1980s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 20

People with whom Si Kahn was in touch.

Box 21

Jewish Fund for Justice #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 21

Largest Jewish social justice fundraising organization in the United States that supports direct action projects.

Box 22

Virginia Action, 1981-1985 #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 22

Box 23

Virginia Action, 1981-1985 #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 23

Box 24

Virginia Action, 1981-1985 #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 24

Box 25-29

Box 25

Box 26

Box 27

Box 28

Box 29

Carolina Community Project and Citizen Action #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 25-29

Carolina Community Project is the North Carolina Branch of Grassroots Leadership.

Citizen Action is the national organization of state coalitions.

Box 30-37

Box 30

Box 31

Box 32

Box 33

Box 34

Box 35

Box 36

Box 37

Grassroots Leadership #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 30-37

CLOSED to researchers.

Box 38-42

Box 38

Box 39

Box 40

Box 41

Box 42

Chronological and personal files, 1980s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 38-42

Primarily name subject files, including but not limited to correspondence.

Box 43-50

Box 43

Box 44

Box 45

Box 46

Box 47

Box 48

Box 49

Box 50

Chronological and personal files, early 1980s-1990s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 43-50

Office files for administrative operations, organizations, names, subjects, activities.

Box 51

Chronological and personal files, early 1980s-1990s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 51

Si Kahn's doctoral work in cultural studies within the field of American Studies at Union Graduate School (UGS): "Habits of Resistance."

Box 52

Chronological and personal files, early 1980s-1990s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 52

Box 53-55

Box 53

Box 54

Box 55

J.P. Stevens, 1975-1979 #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 53-55

Box 56

J.P. Stevens, 1975-1979 #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 56

Brookside #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 56

Forest Service #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 56

Box 57

Citizen Action #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 57

Box 58-60

Box 58

Box 59

Box 60

J.P. Stevens, 1975-1979 #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 58-60

Box 61

Chronological and personal files, late 1980s-early 1990s: A-B #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 61

Box 62

Chronological and personal files, late 1980s-early 1990s: B-C #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 62

Box 63

Chronological and personal files, late 1980s-early 1990s: E-H #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 63

Box 64

Chronological and personal files, late 1980s-early 1990s: I-K #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 64

Box 65-68

Box 65

Box 66

Box 67

Box 68

Chronological files, 1970s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 65-68

Box 69

Chronological files, 1970-1986: Music files #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 69

Touring and songwriting.

Box 70

Chronological files, 1970-1986: Grassroots Leadership #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 70

Box 71

Chronological files, 1970-1986: Music files #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 71

Chronological files, 1970-1986: Grassroots Leadership #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 71

Box 72

Chronological files, 1970-1986: Music files #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 72

Chronological files, 1970-1986: Grassroots Leadership #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 72

Box 73

Chronological files, 1970-1986 #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 73

Individual name files.

Box 74-76

Box 74

Box 75

Box 76

Chronological files, late 1980s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 74-76

Box 77-81

Box 77

Box 78

Box 79

Box 80

Box 81

"1993" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 77-81

Alphabetical files, circa 1988-1993

Box 78

"1993" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 78

Box 79

"1993" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 79

Box 80

"1993" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 80

Box 81

"1993" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 81

Box 82

"1994": A-C #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 82

Box 83

"1994": C-J #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 83

Box 84

"1994": J-R #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 84

Box 85

"1994": S-Z #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 85

Box 86

1990s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 86

Box 87

1990s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 87

Box 88

"Files to sort, 1996-1997" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 88

Box 89

"Files to sort, 1996-1997" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 89

Box 90

"1-18-98" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 90

Box 91

1998: A-C #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 91

Box 92

1998: D-K #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 92

Box 93

1998: K-P #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 93

Box 94

1998: R-W #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 94

Box 95

1998: W-Z and miscellaneous #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 95

Box 96

1990s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 96

Box 97

"2000" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 97

Box 98

"2002" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 98

Box 99

"2002" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 99

Box 100

"2002" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 100

Box 101

"2002" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 101

Box 102

"2004" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 102

Box 103

"2004" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 103

Box 104

"2004" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 104

Box 105

"2004" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 105

Box 106

"2004" #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 106

Box 107-113

Box 107

Box 108

Box 109

Box 110

Box 111

Box 112

Box 113

1970s-1990s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 107-113

Materials are in labelled folders, but there does not appear to be an alphabetical, chronological, or topical arrangement. All topics may be represented.

Box 114

Printed materials #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 114

Box 115

Printed materials #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 115

Box 116

Printed materials #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 116

Box 117-134

Box 117

Box 118

Box 119

Box 120

Box 121

Box 122

Box 123

Box 124

Box 125

Box 126

Box 127

Box 128

Box 129

Box 130

Box 131

Box 132

Box 133

Box 134

Loose papers, 1970s-1990s #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 117-134

Materials are not foldered or arranged. All topics may be represented.

Box 135

T-shirts #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 135

Box 136

Miscellaneous #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 136

Buttons, address file, office stamps, ball caps, union ephemera, lettering kit for creating flyers.

Box 137

Grassroots Leadership #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." Box 137

CLOSED to researchers.

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-20450/1

Bethlehem Steel #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." OPF-20450/1

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-20450/2

Posters #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." OPF-20450/2

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-20450/3-7

OPF-20450/3

OPF-20450/4

OPF-20450/5

OPF-20450/6

OPF-20450/7

Posters #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." OPF-20450/3-7

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-20450/8

J.P. Stevens #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." OPF-20450/8

Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-20450/1

Osman residence #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." XOPF-20450/1

Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-20450/2

Posters #20450, Series: "1. Papers, 1970s-2000s (Original deposits of July-October 2010)." XOPF-20450/2

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1A. Papers, 1980s-2018 (Addition of December 2018).

About 1000 items.

Arrangement: as received

Acquisitions Information: Accession 103509

Files relating to Si Kahn's publishing company, Joe Hill Music, including copyright files for individual songs written by Kahn, notably "Aragon Mill."

Box 4

Song lyrics: A-Fis #20450, Series: "1A. Papers, 1980s-2018 (Addition of December 2018)." Box 4

Box 5

Song lyrics: Fiv-La #20450, Series: "1A. Papers, 1980s-2018 (Addition of December 2018)." Box 5

Box 6

Song lyrics: Le-Shi #20450, Series: "1A. Papers, 1980s-2018 (Addition of December 2018)." Box 6

Box 7

Song lyrics: Sho-Y #20450, Series: "1A. Papers, 1980s-2018 (Addition of December 2018)." Box 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

This summary description was created in March 2018 to provide information about unprocessed materials in Wilson Special Collections Library.

Encoded by: Laura Smith, March 2018

Revisions by: Nancy Kaiser, June 2019

Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

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