Sam Abrams papers

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Biographical Information for Sam Abrams
Scope and Content
Additional Finding Aids
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Sam Abrams papers
Abrams, Sam
Inclusive Date(s)
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.
3.0 Linear feet (6 document boxes)
C.S. South, Shelf 385
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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Biographical Information for Sam Abrams (Collapse)

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
1966 Barbara (published under Frank Newman)
1974 The Post-American Cultural Congress
1978 "People of the Dawn" (short film)
1993 The Neglected Walt Whitman: Vital Texts
2003 The Old Pothead Poems

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

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.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

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

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Additional Finding Aids (Collapse)

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

Sam Abrams papers

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Abrams, Sam
  • Antler, 1946-
  • Baraka, Imamu Amiri, 1934-
  • Bronk, William
  • Carruth, Hayden, 1921-2008
  • Codrescu, Andrei, 1946-
  • Cohn, Jim, 1953-
  • Dawson, Fielding, 1930-2002
  • Delany, Samuel R.
  • Doctorow, E. L., 1931-
  • Eady, Cornelius, 1954-
  • Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997
  • Hagedorn, Jessica Tarahata, 1949-
  • Holman, Bob, 1948-
  • Jones, Hettie
  • King, Charlie, musician
  • Kingston, Maxine Hong
  • Morrison, Toni
  • Rakosi, Carl, 1903-2004
  • Reed, Ishmael, 1938-
  • Rixon, Bob
  • Sanders, Ed
  • Snyder, Gary, 1930-
  • Turner, Ted
  • Waldman, Anne, 1945-
  • Whalen, Philip

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Institute of Technology -- Faculty.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology. College of Liberal Arts. English Department.


  • English language -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • English literature -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Poetry -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- Rochester


  • Biography files
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Poems

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Sam Abrams papers, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Accession Information

Accession number: 07:44

Source of Acquisition

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

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in February 2011.

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Related Materials (Collapse)

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