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E. Victor & Judith Wolfenstein Research Collection

Collection Processed by: Jorge Arévalo Mateus, PhD

Collection Guide Prepared by: Original finding aid was prepared by Jorge’ Arevalo Mateus, PhD; updated by Steven Putt, Intern & Tiffany Colannino, Archivist – Woody Guthrie Archives. August 2012; updated by Kate L. Blalack, December 2013

© Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.

Date Range:



1 linear foot


E. Victor Wolfenstein

Biographical Sketch:

E. (Eugene) Victor Wolfenstein (1940-2010) was a Professor of Political Science at University of California, Los Angeles from 1965-2010.  Over the course of his career, Wolfenstein published prolifically in topics including political, psychoanalytic, and critical theory, and on subjects including Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, W.E.B. DuBois, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Malcolm X.  Wolfenstein received degrees from Columbia College (BA ’62); Princeton University (MA ’64; PhD ’65); and the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute (PhD ’84). He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1974-75.

Beginning in 1967, E. Victor and his wife Judith began gathering primary source material related to the life, family, and friends of Woody Guthrie.  Until 1974, the Wolfensteins conducted extensive research on Guthrie, gathering copies of materials, including correspondence, articles, manuscripts, and audio recordings from archives and collections across the United States. The Wolfensteins also conducted oral history interviews with individuals who knew Guthrie, focusing on Guthrie family members and friends from Oklahoma and Texas. The collection also includes the Wolfenstein’s personal research notes, and transcriptions of several of the oral history interviews. This research did not culminate in a publication or production, and the relationship between Guthrie and the Wolfensteins is unclear; however, it is possible that their research may have been the groundwork for an abandoned biography of Woody Guthrie. In 2003, E. Victor Wolfenstein donated this research collection to the Woody Guthrie Archives.

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of 1 linear foot of material, including ½’ of paper documents (photocopies of manuscripts, correspondence, song lyrics, other printed material; original copies of periodicals; and the personal research papers of E. Victor and Judith); 3 ¼” reel-to-reel magnetic audiotapes; and 31 audiocassette tapes featuring interviews conducted by E. Victor or Judith.  All material in the collection is in English.


Material entirely in English.

Collection Restrictions:

There are no access restrictions, however, the Archives does not have the capacity to play back this audio in-house. Transcriptions exist for some of the tapes (See: 2003-73.8: – Personal Papers). All material is protected by copyright.

Related Material:

In July 1979 the publication Westways reprinted two of the Woody Guthrie Hollywood Tribune articles found in this collection (2003-73.5) with an introduction written by Judith Wolfenstein under the title “Okay Okie.”


Original order of series has been preserved.

List of Series:

Series 1: Media – ¼” reel-to-reel tapes
Series 2: Media – Cassette tapes
Series 3: Manuscripts
Series 4: Periodicals
Series 5: Printed Material
Series 6: Correspondence
Series 7: Song Lyrics
Series 8: Personal Papers
Series 9: Business Documents

Container Lists:

Series 1: Media – ¼” reel-to-reel tapes (2003-73.1)

Contains three (3) 7” reels of ¼” reel-to-reel magnetic audio tape

Reel 1 Original box missing; no label on reel
Reel 2 Original box missing; label on reel “Guthrie II”
Reel 3 Original box reads “Guthrie Tapes from D.K. Wilgus.”  Contains note inside box:

  • Side A: Jeff Guthrie, Aileen Guthrie, Cluster Baker.  Pampa TX.  September 1, 1942; Archive of American Folk Song, Library of Congress, recorded by John Lomax.
    1. Little Nell
    2. The Mocking Bird- instrumental
    3. Grey Eagle- instrumental
    4. I’ll Remember You Love in My Prayers- instrumental
    5. The Dying Cowboy
    6. Little Rosewood Casket
    7. There’s a House In This Old Town
    8. Ridin’ Old Paint and Leadin’ Old Bald
    9. The Cowboy’s Meditation- sung by Cluster Baker
    10. Untitled Breakdown- Jeff Guthrie, Fiddle; Cluster Baker, guitar
    11. Done Gone- Jeff Guthrie, Fiddle; Cluster Baker, guitar
    12. Utah Girl- Jeff Guthrie, vocal; Aileen Guthrie , accordion; Cluster Baker, guitar
    13. At My Window Sad and Lonely- Jeff Guthrie, vocal; Aileen Guthrie , accordion; Cluster Baker, guitar
    14. Old Judge Parker Take the Shackles Off- instrumental
    15. Durang’s Hornpipe- instrumental
    16. Arkansas Traveler- instrumental
    17. Beaumont Rag- instrumental
  • Side B: Procured by the Archive of California and Western Folklore from David Williams, UC Berkeley, 1967. Original date of recordings unknown.
  1.  Hobo’s Lullaby – Woody Guthrie
  2. Slipknot – Woody Guthrie
  3. Ladies Auxiliary – Woody Guthrie
  4. Swearing (monologue) – Woody Guthrie
  5. Goodnight – Woody Guthrie
  6. Roll On Little Ocean – Woody Guthrie with Marjorie Guthrie
  7. Woody’s Rag – Woody Guthrie, mandolin

Series 2: Media – Cassette tapes (2003-73.2)

Contains thirty one (31) audiocassette tapes of interviews conducted by E. Victor or Judy Wolfenstein. Tapes are arranged alphabetically by interviewee, based on label content, as follows:

Box 2 Tape 1 Moses Asch
Box 2 Tape 2 Mary Boyle 12/28/71; Pomona, CA
Box 2 Tape 3 Mary Boyle- II
Box 2 Tape 4 Will Geer #1 & 2
Box 2 Tape 5 Will Geer 3
Box 2 Tape 6 George Guthrie
Box 2 Tape 7 Jeff Guthrie- September 28-29, 1971
Box 2 Tape 8 Jeff Guthrie, Aileen Guthrie, Cluster Baker- September 1-2, 1942
Box 2 Tape 9 Jeff Guthrie
Box 2 Tape 10 Mary Jo Guthrie- September 25, 1971
Box 2 Tape 11 Shorty Harris- September 26, 1971
Box 2 Tape 12 Shorty Harris (concluded), Reefe Jordan, Jeff Guthrie
Box 2 Tape 13 Butch Hawes
Box 2 Tape 14 Butch Hawes (side 1); George Guthrie (side 2)
Box 2 Tape 15 Lee Hayes II- March 11, 1972
Box 2 Tape 16 Lee Hayes- I
Box 2 Tape 17 Lee Hayes- III
Box 2 Tape 18 Joe Jaffe- Guthrie interview, Berkeley, CA- December 27, 1969
Box 2 Tape 19 Matt Jennings
Box 2 Tape 20 Matt Jennings- El Paso, 1/9/71 I
Box 2 Tape 21 Matt Jennings- III
Box 2 Tape 22 Matt Jennings- tape case has postage stamps on it
Box 2 Tape 23 Colonel Martin- September 24, 1971
Box 2 Tape 24 Clara Robins- December 28, 1969 Guthrie interview
Box 2 Tape 25 Ed Robins- December 28, 1969 Guthrie interview
Box 2 Tape 26 Robinson- 1st session, 2nd part
Box 2 Tape 27 Earl Robinson- stored in “scotch magnetic tape 150” box labeled “Robinson on Woody” on spine and “1-8-68, I Remember Woody, 3 ¾ / Oakwood School, North Hollywood (Earl Robinson) (4 sides) [Who is H.S. principal?] introducer?]”   Cassette labeled “Robinson 1,” and “Robinson II.”
Box 2 Tape 28 Earl Robinson- stored in “scotch magnetic tape 150” box labeled “Robinson on Woody” on spine and “1-8-68, I Remember Woody, 3 ¾ / Oakwood School, North Hollywood (Earl Robinson) (4 sides) [Who is H.S. principal?] introducer?]”   Cassette labeled “Robinson 3,” and “Robinson 4.”
Box 2 Tape 29 Earl Robinson, 1st session- June 9, 1971
Box 2 Tape 30 Earl Robinson, 2nd session-, part 2
Box 2 Tape 31 Earl Robinson- Robinson part II “fucked up tape”

Series 3: Manuscripts (2003-73.3)

Box 1 Folders 2 – 4 Guthrie, Woody. “House of Earth.” No date. Typed manuscript with original binder. (photocopy) (3 Folders)
Box 1 Folder 5 “Songs to Grow On.” No date. Typed manuscript. (photocopy)
Box 1 Folder 6 Logsdon, Guy. “Woody Guthrie and the Dustbowl.” 1970. Typed manuscript with handwritten notes. (photocopy) Logsdon, Guy. “Tragedy in Oklahoma: The 1930’s.” March 30, 1970. Typed manuscript with handwritten notes.  (photocopy)  August 24, 1970 letter from Guy Logsdon to Victor Wolfenstein included.
Box 1 Folder 7 Reuss, Richard A. “Woody Guthrie and His Folk Tradition.” Journal of American Folklore, v83, n329 July- September 1970. Typed manuscript.

Series 4: Periodicals (2003-73.4)

Box 1 Folder 8 Sing Out! magazine.  December/January, 1967/68. Contains previously unpublished lyrics, writing, and artwork by Woody Guthrie and article “The Ballad of Chanukah” by Moses Asch.;
University of Tulsa Magazine, Fall 1970.  Includes article by Guy Logsdon, “Woody Guthrie: Poet of the People.”; Four Woody Guthrie Newsletters: November 1961; September 1964; June 1966; January 1968 Published by The Guthrie Children’s Trust Fund.

Series 5: Printed Material (2003-73.5)

Box 1 Folder 9
Guthrie, C.E. Procrastination if the Thief of Time. Okemah, September 1912. (photocopy)Guthrie, C.E. Kumrids: a Discussion of Scientific Socialism. Ledger Print: Okemah, 1912. (photocopy)
Box 1 Folder 10 Guthrie, Woody. $30 Wood Help! Los Angeles: self published, 1939 (photocopy)
Box 1 Folder 11 Four articles from “The Hollywood Tribune.” (photostat)Guthrie, Woody. “Hollerwood Bolevard.” The Hollywood Tribune. [Los Angeles] Monday, July 31, 1939: p7.;
Guthrie, Woody. “Skid Row.” The Hollywood Tribune. [Los Angeles] Monday, August 7, 1939: p7.
Guthrie, Woody. “Sunshine an Vitafones.” The Hollywood Tribune. [Los Angeles] Monday, August 14, 1939: p14.; Guthrie, Woody. “False Fronts.” The Hollywood Tribune. [Los Angeles] Monday, August 21, 1939: p14.
Box 1 Folder 12  Seeger, Pete, Phil Ochs, Gordon Friesen, and Josh Dunson. “Woody Guthrie: A Tribute.” Reprinted from Mainstream magazine, August 1963 by The Guthrie Children’s Trust Fund.
Box 1 Folder 13  Reuss, Richard A. A Woody Guthrie Bibliography: 1912-1967. The Guthrie Children’s Trust Fund: New York, 1967.
Box 1 Folder 14  Okemah Newspaper articles (photostat):

  • Barry, W.N. “Mr. Guthrie has been misled by his Friends.” Okemah Ledger Thursday, July 18, 1918. p8.
  • Guthrie, C.E. “W.N. Barry Gags at a Gnat and Swallows a Camel.” Okemah Ledger Thursday, July 25, 1918. p4.
  • “Young School Girl Dies from Burns.” Okemah Ledger Thursday May 29, 1919. p1.  This article concerns the death of Woody Guthrie’s sister Clara.
  • Guthrie, C. E. “Do We Want the League of Nations.” Okemah Ledger Thursday, October 14, 1920.
  • Guthrie, C. E. “For Whom Shall I Vote?” Okemah Ledger Thursday, October 28, 1920.
  • “C.E. Guthrie Feels Sure of Winning State Nomination.” Okemah Ledger Thursday, July 13, 1922. p1.
  • “Young Indian Girl Dies From Burns.” Okemah Ledger June 29, 1922. p1. Handwritten note on copy, “This is story CEG told Mary Jo happened to Clara.”
  • Hale Hanson Gro. Company. “Ten Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat.” Okfuskee County News April 21, 1927. p2.
Box 1 Folder 15  Miscellaneous articles (photocopies)

  • “Tribute.” The New Yorker. January 29, 1972. p30-31. Article about Woody Guthrie.
  • “Unsung Women Organizers.”
  • “The Miners, The Mines and the Music.”
  • Friesen, Gordon. “Woody Guthrie: Hard Travellin’ [hard travelin’].”
  • Guthrie, Woody.  “The Bowery and Me.” January 26, 1947.
  • “Woody Guthrie says…Earl Robinsons are solid folks.”
  • Dunson, Josh. “Woody Sez.” Selections from Woody Guthrie’s writing in the DailyWorker and the Sunday Worker, March 17 through December 10, 1940 compiled by Josh Dunson.
  • Guthrie, Woody. “Freedom Fire.”
  • Lazere, Donald. “The Echoes of a Balladeer.”
  • Lomax, Alan. “Song Structure and Social Structure.” Ethnology. v 1, n 4, October 1964. p425-451. Reprint.
  • Ochs, Phil. “Glory Bound” and “The Guthrie Legacy.”
  • Seeger, Peter. “Remembering Woody.”
  • Seeger, Pete. Woody Guthrie, Songwriter. Ramparts. November 30, 1968. p29-33. Excerpt from The Incompleat Folksinger. Jo Schwartz. Simon & Schuster. 1972.
  • Terkel, Studs.  “Woody Guthrie: Last of the Great Balladeers.” Climax. p54-69. This article is described as a “book length feature” and refers to, “rehearsals this Fall for a 1962 musical to be based on Woody’s life.”
Box 1 Folder 16  “Should Pete Seeger go to Jail?” Pamphlet published by “Friends of Pete Seeger” with note, “correspondence and inquiries should be sent to Harold Leventhal.” Features “Statement in Court by Pete Seeger” dated April 4, 1961; “A Musical Tribute to Woody Guthrie.” Swapping Song Fair Inc. presents A Musical Tribute to Woody Guthrie: Bound for Glory. The Pythian, March 17, 1956. (photocopy)
Box 1 Folder 17  Clippings of assorted periodicals related to Woody Guthrie circa 1970-74


Series 6: Correspondence (2003-73.6)

Box 1 Folder 18 Correspondences  From Woody Guthrie to miscellaneous recipients. Includes one letter from Marjorie Guthrie to the Earl Robinson family and one letter from Jeff Guthrie to the Woody Guthrie family.

  • Woody Guthrie to Alan Lomax, September 19, 1940
  • Woody Guthrie to Mary Jo Guthrie and Brat, March 29, 1944
  • Woody Guthrie to Irving Lerner family, August 3, 1946, September 28, 1947, October 31, 1947, November 6, 1947, October 6, 1948, October 8, 1948, October 25, 1948, November 10, 1948, December 25, 1948, March 17, 1949, May 14, 1949,
  • Woody Guthrie to Irving Lerner family and Maddow family, September 24, 1948, October 19, 1948
  • Woody Guthrie to Maddow family, October 6, 1948
  • Woody Guthrie to Earl Robinson family, October 1942, August 31, 1945, March 3, 1947, November 21, 1947,
  • January 26, 1948, November 20, 1948,
  • Marjorie Guthrie to Earl Robinson family, December 25, 1948
  • Woody Guthrie to Earl Robinson family and Lee Hays family, September 8, 1951, September 13, 1956
  • Woody Guthrie to “American Youth for Democracy,” March 20, 1945Jeff Guthrie to Woody Guthrie family, November 3, 1948
Box 1 Folder 19 Correspondence To Woody Guthrie

  • December 17, 1945
  • October 13, 1947
  • September 30, 1948
Box 1 Folder 20 Miscellaneous Correspondence

  • Mary Jo Guthrie from Anneke Guthrie, October 30, 1954
  • Irving Lerner from Jay Richard Kennedy, October 27, 1947
  • Irving Lerner from Charles Pearce, November 16, 1948
  • Charles Pearce, November 24, 1948
  • Earl Robinson from Marjorie Guthrie
  • Earl Robinson from Woody Guthrie
  • Earl Robinson family from Woody Guthrie, December 1945 (postcard)
  • Earl Robinson from Marjorie Guthrie, May 7, 1947
  • Earl Robinson from Anneke Guthrie

Series 7: Song Lyrics (2003-73.7)

Box 1 Folder 21 Contains photocopies of four songs written by Woody Guthrie.

  • Guthrie, Woody. “Gypsy Davy” Two typewritten pages with handwritten notes including date of 1939.
  • Guthrie, Woody.  “I Mister Me” handwritten.
  • Guthrie, Woody. “It’s Hanuka” November 23, 1949. Typewritten page with handwritten notes.
  • Guthrie, Woody. “Why Do You Stand There in the Rain?” typewritten pages from a book with note, “By Woody Guthrie. Copyright 1966 by Stormking Music, Inc. “ p362-363.

Series 8: Personal Papers (2003-73.8)

Box 1 Folder 22 Contains handwritten or typed research notes prepared by E. Victor or Judith Wolfenstein.

  • Miscellaneous original typed and handwritten research notes by E. Victor Wolfenstein and Judith Wolfenstein.  Includes partial transcriptions of taped interviews.
  • Working bibliography of source material with citations from 1935-1947 and 1970. (photocopy with handwritten notes)

Series 9: Business Documents (2003-73.9)

Box 1 Folder 23 Contains a one-page sheet outlining expenses and revenues for Woody Guthrie Children’s Trust Fund, 1956/57. The Guthrie Children’s Trust Fund Financial Statement. March 1956 to May 15, 1957. Submitted by: Harold Leventhal, Trustee, 5/15/57.  (photocopy)