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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Russ 141

Isaac Hourwich papers


Professional papers on topics including immigration and labor, extradition cases, and Russia.


  • circa 1891-1924

Language of Materials

English, Russian, Yiddish

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

This collection/ a portion of this collection may contain fragile materials that require special care in handling. Please request assistance as needed with fasteners or brittle pages.


5 linear feet (8 boxes)

Collection materials were created and collected by Hourwich during the course of his professional career in the United States and reflect the different jobs and views he held over the course of his lifetime with items dating from the late 19th century to the mid-20thcentury. Material types include correspondence (including with George Kennan), clippings, manuscripts of IHA's "Labor and immigration," printed materials, books, reviews, photographs, reports, congressional documents, and legal briefs. The collection focuses on 3 major topics: immigration and labor, extradition and political refugees (including Jan Janoff Pouren and Feodor Fedorenko), and materials related to Russia and U.S./Russia relations including social, political, legal, and economic aspects.

Biographical / Historical

Isaac Hourwich (1860-1924), born in Lithuania (Russian Empire) immigrated to the United States in 1890 fearing persecution for his involvement in revolutionary activities. He first settled in New York City where he received his PhD at Columbia in economics and then moved to Chicago where he worked at University of Chicago. Hourwich held several positions within the United States Government working at the Bureau of the Mint as a translator and the Bureau of the Census as a statistician and was admitted to the bar in Illinois and Russia. Hourwich used his legal expertise in the field of immigration and served on several extradition cases. Hourwich was a member of the Socialist Labor Party and later the Social Democratic Party and also became active in the Zionist movement.


Box-level description. Detailed inventory in curatorial file.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Custodial History

Gift of family of Isaac Hourwich, 1969.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

70M-173. Gift of the family of Isaac Hourwich in 1969 December.

Processing Information

Processed by Ashley Nary, 2018

This collection was processed to a basic level with minimal rehousing, organization, and preservation.

Hourwich, Isaac A. (Isaac Aaronovich), 1860-1924. Isaac Hourwich papers, circa 1891-1924 (MS Russ 141): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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