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Sam Abrams papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0075

Scope and Contents

The Sam Abrams papers consist of materials collected by Abrams during his time at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). A large portion of the collection is made up of biographical files on various writers including Amiri Baraka and Hettie Jones, Jim Cohn, Cornelius Eady, Allen Ginsberg, Ed Sanders, Gary Snyder, Anne Waldman, and Philip Whalen. There are also files on other individuals who presented or performed at RIT including media tycoon Ted Turner and folksinger Charlie King. In addition to biographical information, these files contain correspondence, event fliers, and sample works.

The collection also includes files on various projects and events overseen by Abrams. For instance, there is information on the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar from 1980. There is also information on the film "From Hitler to M-X," an anti-war documentary. Again, these files include correspondence, promotional material, and related clippings.


  • Creation: 1980-1994


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Abrams (1935- ) was born on November 18, 1935 in Brooklyn, NY to Moe and Miriam (née Rosenthal) Abrams. After graduating from Brooklyn College with his A.B. in 1958, Abrams attended the University of Illinois where he earned his M.A. in 1959. He then worked at Drew University in Madison, NJ as an instructor and the head of the classics department.

Abrams was opposed to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He participated in anti-war demonstrations and was arrested for civil disobedience. From January 29 to February 4, 1967, Abrams participated in the Angry Arts Against the War in Vietnam protest. The protest was held in New York City and attracted over 600 artists.

In 1978, Abrams accepted a position in the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) College of Liberal Arts. As an associate professor in the English department, Abrams taught literature courses at the university. While serving as the coordinator for the Writers Series at RIT, he was able to convince Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder to visit Rochester. Abrams was also able to bring Ted Turner to speak at the university on September 29, 1981. He retired from RIT in 2005.

Selected Works

Barbara (published under Frank Newman)
The Post-American Cultural Congress
"People of the Dawn" (short film)
The Neglected Walt Whitman: Vital Texts
The Old Pothead Poems


3 Linear Feet (6 document boxes)




Professional papers of Sam Abrams, the American poet. Abrams taught as a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1978-2005. The collection includes correspondence, committee notes, fliers, brochures, poems, and class materials. There are also biographical files on various writers.


This collection is currently unprocessed. Materials are grouped by person or event.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Sam Abrams papers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2007:044

The collection contains Sam Abrams's professional papers, given to the RIT Archive Collections by the College of Liberal Arts in 2007.

Related Materials

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in February 2011.

Sam Abrams papers
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
27 January 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA