Joseph Polakoff Collection Guide

Joseph Polakoff Collection

Collection Guide

Summary

Abstract
Documents, correspondence, and scrapbooks from University of Scranton alumnus Joseph Polakoff's career as a State Department employee and journalist, relating to World War II, Central America political history, United States diplomatic history, recent Middle East history and culture, and Jewish history and culture.
Source
Joseph Polakoff
Creator(s)
Joseph Polakoff
Date Range
1930s - 1990s
Extent
200 Boxes
Language(s)
English

Access and Use

Digital Access

Only a small selection of items from this collection have been digitized. All digitized items are publicly available.

Physical Access

The collection is open for research. Physical materials may be browsed by appointment in the Reading Room of the University Archives and McHugh Special Collections.

Rights

Digitized images may be used with attribution for educational purposes. For all other uses, contact the McHugh Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Item Title], [Date], [Box], Folder], Joseph Polakoff Collection, McHugh Special Collections, The University of Scranton. [Reference URL for digital items]


Contents

Administrative/Biographical History

See biographical sketch of Joseph Polakoff.

Scope and Content Note

The Joseph Polakoff Collection documents Joseph Polakoff’s career as a U.S. State Department employee and journalist.

Documents from Polakoff’s early journalistic career are limited to four scrapbooks of Scranton Tribune clippings of his articles titled "Polly’s Chatter." There is material from his United States Information Agency (USIA) career, notably a scrapbook from a traveling "Atoms for Peace" exhibit, correspondence from London, and correspondence and publications from Central and South America.

A substantial portion of the collection is from Polakoff’s journalistic career. He retained a considerable amount of material that may have been used for research. A wide variety of newsletters, magazines, interview and speech transcripts, press kits, newspaper clippings, and "junk" mail was present in the collection. Most of the newspaper clippings and common magazines have been appraised out of the collection. The interview and speech transcripts, press kits, and extended runs of newsletters are being retained.

The bulk of the collection contains material relevant to Jewish culture and Middle Eastern politics primarily during the period 1970-1996.

Polakoff served as Washington bureau chief for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) from 1970-1981. Consequently, the collection contains a substantial—but not complete—run of the JTA Daily Bulletin from 1970 to 1996. There is also a collection of the JTA Weekly Report with substantial gaps. There are copies from 1972-1980, 1982, and 1994-1997. The JTA Community Reporter is present from 1970-1997 with substantial gaps including the period from 1984-1989.

There is one processed set of Polakoff’s articles. The set contains typescript articles from 1970 to 1996. The typescript articles are arranged by month and year. His articles also exist in currently unprocessed collections in the form of acidic teletype print-outs and acidic newspaper clippings.

Polakoff collected transcripts from television news interview and debate shows, such as Meet the Press. There is a substantial amount of these transcripts from the 1970s to the 1990s. Another series contains speech and interview transcripts of government and political figures. Television news shows are arranged by show. Government speech and interview transcripts are arranged by office or department.

Polakoff was on the mailing list of Jonathan Pollard, the convicted Israeli spy. Pollard sent photocopies of articles about his case, with annotations, to Polakoff and other journalists. Along with these mailings, Polakoff retained articles about the Pollard case as well as related court documents. This series is also in a preliminary stage of arrangement.

Polakoff’s correspondence, mostly incoming, is arranged chronologically.

System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged into six series.

Inventory

Series I. Articles

This series contains a substantial, but not complete run of Polakoff's articles in typescript form. Many articles show corrections and some are taped together. No attempt has been made to determine how many of these articles have been published nor how any published version may have been edited for length or content in comparison with the typescript version. For each box, a date range is provided and a date range is listed for each folder. In most cases, the folder description lists the gaps for the covered time period. Hence, Folder 11 in Box 1 contains articles from the first half of 1973 but notes that the second half of the year is missing.

Box 1. October 1970 - 1983
  • Folders 1-2: October - December 1970
  • Folders 3-6: January -December 1971 (missing June 1971)
  • Folders 7-10: January - November 1972 (missing April and December 1972)
  • Folder 11: January - August 1973 (missing September - December 1973)
  • Folder 12: Articles from 1974 (most of these articles are missing)
  • Folder 13: Articles from 1975 (most of these articles are missing)
  • Folders 14-16: January - December 1976 (missing June and November 1976)
  • Folder 17: Articles from 1977 (most of these articles are missing)
  • Folder 18: Articles from 1978 (most of these articles are missing)
  • Folders 19-20: January - December 1979 (many of these articles are missing)
  • Folders 21-25: January - December 1980 (missing September and December 1980)
  • Folders 26-28: January - December 1981
  • Folders 19-34: January - December 1982
  • Folders 35-40: January - December 1983
Box 2. 1984-1985
  • Folders 1-6: January - December 1984
  • Folder 7: Undated Articles 1981-1984
  • Folders 8-13: January - December 1985
  • Folder 14: Undated Articles 1983-1985
Box 3. 1986-1988
  • Folders 1-6: January - December 1986 (all articles with the exception of 10/1/86 missing)
  • Folder 7: Undated Articles 1986
  • Folders 8-13: January - December 1987 (articles missing from November 1987 with the exception of 11/2-11/6)
  • Folder 14: Undated Articles 1987
  • Folders 15-20: January - December 1988 (many articles missing from June, September - November)
  • Folder 21: Undated Articles 1988
Box 4. 1989-1992
  • Folders 1-6: January - December 1989 (June 1-11 articles missing)
  • Folder 7: Undated Articles 1989
  • Folders 8-13: January - December 1990 (many articles missing January - December: many of these articles are taped and pieced together)
  • Folder 14: Undated Articles 1990
  • Folders 15-20: January - December 1991
  • Folders 21: Undated Articles 1991
  • Folders 22-27: January - December 1992
  • Folders 28: Undated Articles Late 1980s - Early 1990s
Box 5. 1993-1996
  • Folders 1-6: January - December 1993
  • Folder 7: Undated Articles 1993
  • Folders 8-13: January - December 1994
  • Folder 14: Undated Articles 1994
  • Folders 15-20: January - December 1995
  • Folder 21: Undated Articles 1995
  • Folder 22: January - February 1996
  • Folder 23: Undated Articles Dated 1991-1996

Series II. Jewish Telegraphic Agency Publications

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) has been a primary source for Jewish journalism since the 1920s. Polakoff became Washington Bureau Chief in 1970 and retained a substantial, but incomplete, collection of JTA publications since that time. The JTA Daily Bulletin averages four pages. The Weekly Report and Community Reporter also run about four pages. Articles by Polakoff appear from time to time. The collection is arranged chronologically.

Box 6. JTA Daily Bulletin 1970 - 1973
  • Folders 1-9: April 1970 - December 1970 (missing many from April and October)
  • Folders 10-21: January 1971 - December 1971
  • Folders 22-33: January 1972 - December 1972
  • Folders 34-45: January 1973 - December 1973
Box 7. JTA Daily Bulletin 1974 - 1976
  • Folders 1-12: January 1974 - December 1974
  • Folders 13-24: January 1975 - December 1975 (missing many from July and August)
  • Folders 25-36: January 1976 - December 1976
Box 8. JTA Daily Bulletin 1977 - 1979
  • Folders 1-12: January 1977 - December 1977
  • Folders 13-24: January 1978 - December 1978
  • Folders 25-36: January 1979 - December 1979
Box 9. JTA Daily Bulletin 1980 - 1983
  • Folders 1-12: January 1980 - December 1980
  • Folders 13-24: January 1981 - December 1981 (missing most from January, February, and March)
  • Folders 25-36: January 1982 - December 1982 (missing many from December)
  • Folders 37-48: January 1983 - December 1983
Box 10. JTA Daily Bulletin 1984 - 1987
  • Folders 1-12: January 1984 - December 1984
  • Folders 13-24: January 1985 - December 1985 (many missing from September and October)
  • Folders 25-36: January 1986 - December 1986
  • Folders 37-48: January 1987 - December 1987 (missing many from April and May)
Box 11. JTA Daily Bulletin 1988 - 1999
  • Folders 1-12: January 1988 - December 1988 (missing most from 1988)
  • Folders 13-24: January 1989 - December 1989 (missing most from 1989)
  • Folders 25-36: January 1990 - December 1990 (missing most from May through August)
  • Folders 37-48: January 1991 - December 1991 (missing most from May through August)
Box 12. JTA Daily Bulletin 1992 - 1995
  • Folders 1-12: January 1992 - December 1992
  • Folders 13-21: January 1993 - December 1993 (many missing from September - November)
  • Folders 22-33: January 1994 - December 1994 (many missing from September)
  • Folders 34-45: January 1995 - December 1995
Box 13. JTA Daily Bulletin 1996 - 1998
  • Folders 1-8: January 1996 - December 1996 (missing most of February, March, April, and July)
  • Folder 9: January 1997 - May 1997
  • Folder 10: June 1997 - December 1997
  • Folder 11: January 1998 - July 9, 1998
Box 14. JTA Community Reporter 1970 - 1997
  • Folder 1: 1970 (missing January - March, some from April and October)
  • Folder 2: 1971
  • Folder 3: 1972 (missing all of September)
  • Folder 4: 1973
  • Folder 5: 1974 (missing February through June, all of September, October, and December)
  • Folder 6: 1975 (missing all of November and December)
  • Folder 7: 1976 (missing all of February)
  • Folder 8: 1977
  • Folder 9: 1978 (missing all of April and some October)
  • Folder 10: 1979 (missing all of June - August, some September - November and all of December)
  • Folder 11: 1980 (missing some of January - July)
  • Folder 12: 1981 (missing some March - April, August - October)
  • Folder 13: 1982
  • Folder 14: 1983 (missing all of February and March, some April, June - September, November- December)
  • All of 1984 missing - no folder
  • Folder 15: 1985 (missing all except for November 15)
  • Folder 16: 1986 (missing all except October 17)
  • All of 1987 missing - no folder
  • Folder 17: 1988 (missing some from January - December)
  • Folder 18: 1989 (missing some May - June and November - December)
  • Folder 19: 1990 (missing some June, August and December)
  • Folder 20: 1991 (missing some July, November and December)
  • Folder 21: 1992 (missing some January - December)
  • Folder 22: 1993
  • Folder 23: 1994 (missing some January - December)
  • Folder 24: 1995
  • Folder 25: 1996 (missing some of March, April, May, July, and October - December, missing all of January, February, August and September)
  • Folder 26: 1997 (missing some from all months), 1998 (most missing)
Box 15. JTA Weekly News Digest 1972 - 2000

Many issues are missing in this box. All folders within the box are labeled with the missing series.

  • Folder 1: 1972 (most missing)
  • Folder 2: 1973 (missing March 2, May 4, December 7 and 14)
  • Folder 3: 1974 (most missing)
  • Folder 4: 1975 (most missing)
  • Folder 5: 1976 (missing all March, some June, all August, and all November)
  • Folder 6: 1977 (missing all of July)
  • Folder 7: 1978 (missing January 20, some March, April, and June 2)
  • Folder 8: 1979 (missing January 19, August 3, 10, 17)
  • Folder 9: 1980 (missing January 18 and 25, February 15 and 22, March 8 and 21, April 4 and 25, May 4, 11, 23, all of July, August 1, 15, 29, September 12, October 10, December 12, 26)
  • Folder 10: 1981 (missing January 30, March 13, 27, all of April and December)
  • Folder 11: 1982 (all missing, except July 6)
  • All of 1983 - 1992 missing - no folder
  • Folder 12: 1993 - 1994 (1993 all missing except February 12, 1994 all missing except March 11 and April 1)
  • All 1995 missing - no folder
  • Folder 13: 1996 (missing January - June, all of July except 5 and 19, October 18 and 25, November 1, 8, 22, and 29, December 6 and 23)
  • Folder 14: 1997 - 1999 (1997 missing some January - February, April, September, October, November and December; 1998 some missing from January, March, April, and May)
  • Folder 15: 2000 (all missing except some from January - April)

Series III. Transcripts and Letters

This series contains various transcripts from U.S. and foreign government news conferences, and letters from Attorney Leonard Horwin (a series of open letters to the president on foreign policy issues).

Box 16. Transcripts

Transcripts contained in this box are as follows:

  • Folder 1: Department of Justice
    • 1976-12-05
    • 1982-03-14
    • 1987-08-26
    • 1975-04-07
  • Folder 2: Transcripts Domestic Affairs
    • Two undated articles
    • 1976-06-09
    • 1978-02-28
    • 1979-10-15
    • 1980-01-30
    • 1980-02-07
    • 1980-10-22
    • 1984-09-24
    • 1986-01-15
    • 1988-08-18
    • 1991-06-07
    • 1993-02-24
    • 1994-03-29
    • 1995-01-10
    • 1995-02-22
  • Folder 3: Transcripts from foreign affairs dated 1972-1985
  • Folder 4: Various Foreign Relations Transcripts 1986-1996
  • Folder 5: Jewish/Mideast Issues Transcripts 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979
  • Folder 6: Jewish/Mideast Issues Transcripts 1980-1984
  • Folder 7: Various Jewish/Mideast Issues Transcripts 1990-1996
  • Folder 8: Jewish/Mideast Issues Transcripts 1985-1989
  • Folder 9: Miscellaneous Transcripts Foreign, Congressional, Senatorial, dated 1959-1995, many documents from previous years missing
Box 17. Transcripts
  • Folders 1-13: Press Dept. of State Transcripts 1973-1995
Box 18. Transcripts
  • Folders 1-4: Foreign Relations Committee Transcripts 1971-1991
  • Folders 5-7: Foreign Press Center Transcripts 1983-1995
  • Folder 8: United Nations Transcripts 1950, 1979, 1980, 1993
  • Folder 9: U.S. Information Agency November - December 1984
  • Folder 10: Republican and Democrat Transcript 1972, 1976, 1980, 1990, and 1992
Box 19. Transcripts
  • Folders 1-5: Office of Press Secretary Transcripts 1970-1995
  • Folders 6-7: U.S. Department of State William Rogers Interview 1969-1972
  • Folder 8: U.S. Department of State Office of Media Services 1974-1975
  • Folder 9: U.S. Department of State various briefings
  • Folder 10: U.S. Department of State - Daily Briefing Transcripts
Box 20. Letters and Briefings
  • Folders 1-5: Letters from Attorney Leonard Horwin 1989-1991 and 1996
  • Folder 6: Secretary of State 1973-1976 and 1988-1989
  • Folder 7: U.S. Department of State Special Briefings 1979, 1992, and 1993
  • Folder 8: U.S. Department of State 1991-1995 (missing 1996 and 1997)
Box 21. Various Miscellaneous Governmental Transcripts
  • Folder 1: American Israel Public Affairs Committee 1978, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994-1995
  • Folder 2: Conference and reports transcript 1988
  • Folder 3: House/Senate Foreign Relations 1982, 1987-1988, 1993
  • Folder 4: Joint Press Conference 1986, 1991, 1993-1995
  • Folder 5: Pool Reports
  • Folder 6: Presidential Address United Nations 1993
  • Folder 7: Presidential remarks at White House 1976, 1991, 1993, 1995
  • Folder 8: Various White House Transcripts
  • Folder 9: Miscellaneous Transcripts Undetermined Dates

Series IV. Television Transcripts

This series contains transcripts from major television network news programs.

Box 22. This Week with David Brinkley
  • Folders 1-8: This Week With David Brinkley (ABC), dates ranging from 1982-1996
Box 23. Face the Nation
  • Folders 1-8: Face the Nation (CBS), dates ranging from 1978-1996
Box 24. Meet the Press
  • Folders 1-10: Meet the Press (NBC), dates ranging from 1975-1996
Box 25. Miscellaneous Television News Transcripts
  • Folder 1: Agronsky at Large (PBS), 1976-1977
  • Folder 2: CNN 1989, 1993, 1995
  • Folder 3: Fox News Sunday 1996
  • Folders 4-5: Issues and Answers (ABC), 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979-1981
  • Folder 6: Network News Transcripts
  • Folder 7: Nightline (ABC), 1988
  • Folder 8: Worldnet (USIA), 1988

Series V.

This series contains transcripts from speeches, conferences, hearings, US government and foreign affairs.

Box 26
  • Folder 1: B'Nai Brith/ADL Transcripts 1980, 1985, 1987, 1992
  • Folder 2: Embassy of Israel transcripts 1984 and 1986
  • Folders 3-4: National Press Club Transcripts
  • Folder 5: Occupied Arab Territories Conference Transcripts
  • Folder 6: USIA Foreign Press Center 1980, 1984-86, 1988, 1993-1994

Series VI. Personal and Government Correspondence

This series contains personal and government correspondence, mostly to Polakoff. Series also contains personal papers, photos, notes from a book Polakoff planned to write, and other assorted notes.

Box 27. Correspondence
  • Folder 1: Personal and government correspondence (1943 - October 1995)
  • Folders 2-5: Letters to Polakoff personal and business related (1931 to 1995)
  • Folder 6: Undated letters to Polakoff
  • Folder 7: Personal Paperwork
  • Folder 8: Personal papers and pictures
  • Folder 9: Items containing Polakoff's notes
  • Folder 10: Biography and Photos
  • Folder 11: Correspondence containing research for book (1964-1970)
  • Folder 12: Information compiled by Polakoff for book
  • Folders 13-14: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council News
  • Folders 15-16: Faxes received by Polakoff personal and business related
Box 28. Correspondence
  • Folders 1-25: Personal Correspondence (1943-1996)
  • Folder 26: Letters from B'Nai Brith congratulating Polakoff March, May, and June 1981
  • Folder 27: Resume 1977
  • Folder 28: Undated personal correspondence
  • Folder 29: Correspondence business related
  • Folder 30: Notes written by Polakoff
  • Folder 31: Press release from University of Scranton concerning obtaining Polakoff papers

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joseph Polakoff '32 in 1996


Processing Notes

Processing and Description

A number of individuals contributed to the processing of the collection and the creation of its finding aid. Carolyn Barry, Jennifer Page, and Kristina Brown contributed initial processing and list creation. Debbie Zenzal contributed substantially to refine and reorganize the arrangement of the material and improve the inventory.

Digitization

Selected items from this collection have been digitized at researcher request. Digitization was performed in-house, using an Epson Expresson 10000XL flat-bed scanner. Digital images were captured in full color (24-bit) in uncompressed TIFF format.

Harvesting

Metadata from this collection is exposed via Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Known, active harvests include: