Milton R. Konvitz Additional Papers

Collection Number: /4039 B

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Milton R. Konvitz Additional Papers, 1936-1986
Collection Number:
/4039 B
Creator:
Konvitz, Milton R.
Quantity:
6.3 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Papers (documents) .
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Language:
Collection material in English, French


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

March 12, 1908-September 5, 2003 Milton Konvitz, a Cornell University faculty member and authority on constitutional and labor law, and civil and human rights, died Sept. 5 at the age of 95. Konvitz was a founding faculty member in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations from 1946 until his retirement in 1973. He was also a professor in Cornell's Law School. Konvitz is perhaps best known for his American Ideals course, which he taught to more than 8,000 students over the course of his career, never giving the same lecture twice. "I saw the U.S. Constitution as it has been interpreted as a magnificent depository of our ideals, both individual and social," he said. His course exposed students to the great intellectual thinkers and philosophers throughout history whose writings had shaped those ideals. They included Sophocles, whose play Antigone is Cornell's New Student Reading Project this year. One student he influenced was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Cornell Class of 1954, who considers him a mentor. At Cornell Konvitz also was a founder of the university's Department of Near Eastern Studies and Program of Jewish Studies. "I felt it was essential for a college interested in the humanities not to leave out Hebrew language and literature," he said. "And the knowledge of Jewish history, which began 4,000 years ago and has contributed to civilization no less than Greek, Roman or English history, is important to today's students-Jewish and non-Jewish." He often hosted students at his Ithaca home and helped start the first Kosher dining option at Cornell, Young Israel House. In addition, for nearly 30 years he directed the Liberian Codification Project, which drew up the official body of statutory laws that is still in force in the Republic of Liberia today, despite the current political upheaval there. Konvitz also edited the opinions of Liberia's Supreme Court and received the Grand Band of the Order of the Star of Africa, the highest award given to foreigners, as well as an honorary degree from the University of Liberia, one of seven honorary degrees he received in his lifetime. Active as a scholar and writer until his death, he wrote books and articles on American constitutional law that won him wide recognition and were cited in U.S. Supreme Court opinions. Among his nine books is Fundamental Liberties of a Free People: Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, which was republished earlier this year with an expanded introduction by him that is strongly critical of the Rehnquist Supreme Court. Other books include A Century of Civil Rights (1983) and Judaism and Human Rights (2nd ed. 2001). He also edited a dozen volumes, including two on American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose thinking shaped his views. One Emersonian idea he absorbed was that readers give life to books, which Konvitz recast as follows: "It is in their hearing that students bring life to the words, the thoughts, the teacher." Konvitz was born in Safed, Palestine (now Israel ), in 1908, the son of a rabbi. He immigrated to the United States in 1915 and became a naturalized citizen in 1926. He received a bachelor's degree in 1929 and a law degree in 1930, both from New York University, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Cornell in 1933. Before joining Cornell's faculty, he was one of three assistant general counsels to Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for three years. He is survived by his wife, Mary, of Oakhurst, N.J.; a brother, Phillip, of Elberon, N.J.; a son and daughter-in- law, Josef and Isa, of Paris, France; and two grandsons, Eli and Ezra. Josef Konvitz, who grew up in Ithaca, is now an official at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Konvitz, Milton R.(Milton Ridvas), 1908-2003

Form and Genre Terms:
Papers (documents)


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Milton R. Konvitz Additional Papers #/4039 B. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
/3033: Milton R. Konvitz Liberian Project Files
/4039: Milton R. Konvitz Papers
/4039 AV: Milton R. Konvitz American Ideals Lectures Audio-Visual Materials
/4039 a: Milton R. Konvitz Papers Guide (Volume 1). Laser Copy
/4039 L: Milton R. Konvitz Liberian Codification Project
/4085: Milton R. Konvitz Additional Papers
/4220m: Milton Konvitz Additional Papers
/4289 AV: ILR School Alumni Affairs and Development Audio-Visual Materials
/4297: ILR School Biography Files
6047: Archives Information File

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1
Box 1 Folder 1 1984-1986
Has English and Hebrew
Box 1 Folder 2 1984-1986
Box 1 Folder 3 1983-1986
Box 1 Folder 4 1984-1986
Box 1 Folder 5 1984-1986
Box 1 Folder 6 1984
Box 1 Folder 7 1984
Newspaper clipping and correspondence
Box 1 Folder 8 1986
Box 1 Folder 9 1985-1986
Box 1 Folder 10 1974-1981
Box 1 Folder 11 1983-1986
Box 1 Folder 12 1984-1986
Box 1 Folder 13 1984
Box 1 Folder 14 1982-1984
Box 1 Folder 15 1983-1985
Box 1 Folder 16 1984-1986
Box 1 Folder 17 1984
July 1984
Box 1 Folder 18 1983-1986
Box 1 Folder 19 1986
In English and Hebrew
Box 1 Folder 20 1984
In Hebrew and English
Box 1 Folder 21 1982-1984
Box 2
Box 2 Folder 1 1985
Box 2 Folder 2 1983-1986
In English and Hebrew
Box 2 Folder 3 1986
Box 2 Folder 4 1984-1985
Box 2 Folder 5 1985-1986
Box 2 Folder 6 1984-1985
Box 2 Folder 7 1983-1986
Box 2 Folder 8 1986
Box 2 Folder 9 1983
Box 2 Folder 10 1985
Box 2 Folder 11 1982-1985
Box 2 Folder 12 1983-1986
Box 2 Folder 13 1985
Box 2 Folder 14 1983-1986
Box 2 Folder 15 1984-1986
Box 2 Folder 16 1984-1986
Box 2 Folder 17 1983-1984
Box 2 Folder 18 1984-1986
Box 2 Folder 19 1984-1986
Box 2 Folder 20 1984-1986
Box 2 Folder 21 1984-1986
Box 2 Folder 22 1983-1986
Box 3
Box 3 Folder 1 1983-1986
Box 3 Folder 2 1984
Box 3 Folder 3 1984
Box 3 Folder 4 1983-1985
Box 3 Folder 5 1984
Box 3 Folder 6 1984
Box 3 Folder 7 1984-1986
Box 3 Folder 8 1983-1986
Box 3 Folder 9 1984-1985
Box 3 Folder 10 1983-1984
Box 3 Folder 11 1986
Box 3 Folder 12 1983-1984
Box 3 Folder 13 1984
Box 3 Folder 14 1985
Box 3 Folder 15 1985
Box 3 Folder 16 1984-1986
Box 3 Folder 17 1983-1984
Box 4
Box 4 Folder 1 1982-1984
Box 4 Folder 2 1983
Box 4 Folder 3 1983
Box 4 Folder 4 1983
Box 4 Folder 5 1983-1984
Box 4 Folder 6 1983-1984
Box 4 Folder 7 1983-1984
Box 4 Folder 8 1943-1985
Box 4 Folder 9 1983-1985
Box 4 Folder 10 1983-1985
Box 5
Box 5 Folder 1 1983-1985
In English and French
Box 5 Folder 2 1984-1985
Box 5 Folder 3 1983-1985
English and French
Box 5 Folder 4 1980-1982
English and French
Box 5 Folder 5 1960-1963
French and English
Box 5 Folder 6 1960-1962
English and French
Box 6
Box 6 Folder 1 1958
August 8 1958
Box 6 Folder 2 1973-1980
Box 6 Folder 3 1956
Box 6 Folder 4 1971-1979
Box 6 Folder 5 1958
Box 6 Folder 6 1961-1963
Box 6 Folder 7 1955-1957
English and Hebrew
Box 6 Folder 8 1969
Box 6 Folder 9 1970-1973
Box 6 Folder 10 1977-1978
Box 6 Folder 11 1952-1973
Box 6 Folder 12 1951-1974
Box 6 Folder 13 1966-1969
Box 6 Folder 14 1950-1967
Box 6 Folder 15 1955-1968
Box 6 Folder 16 1965-1980
Box 6 Folder 17 1953
Box 6 Folder 18 1967
Box 6 Folder 19 1968-1983
Box 6 Folder 20 1958-1964
Box 6 Folder 21 1950-1966
Box 6 Folder 22 1966
Box 6 Folder 23 1971
Box 6 Folder 24 1948-1951
Box 6 Folder 25 1962-1973
Box 6 Folder 26 1961-1969
Box 6 Folder 27 1961-1966
Box 6 Folder 28 1963-1977
Box 6 Folder 29 1964-1970
Box 6 Folder 30 1947-1964
Box 6 Folder 31 1959-1970
Box 6 Folder 32 1958-1969
Box 6 Folder 33 1966-1979
English and Hebrew
Box 6 Folder 34 1958
Box 6 Folder 35 1965-1967
Box 6 Folder 36 1971
Box 6 Folder 37 1972
Box 6 Folder 38 1964-1968
Box 6 Folder 39
Box 6 Folder 40 1949
July 30 1949
Box 6 Folder 41 1946
Box 6 Folder 42 1959-1964
Box 6 Folder 43 1954-1956
Box 6 Folder 44 1960
December 23 1960
Box 6 Folder 45 1964
Box 6 Folder 46 1953
Box 6 Folder 47 1949-1951
Box 6 Folder 48 1949-1952
Box 6 Folder 49 1955-1979
Box 6 Folder 50
Box 7
Box 7 Folder 1 1936