apap056
New York State Modern Political Archive
Collection ID: apap056

Albert J. Abrams Papers, 1961, 1964-1965, 1970-1976, 1980

Collection description

Summary

Creator:
Abrams, Albert J.
Abstract:
Albert Jack Abrams was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on May 29, 1915. Abrams began his university studies at the University of Michigan in 1932, and he attended the National Institute for Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., in 1935. He received an A.B. from New York University in 1936, and he continued his studies at Columbia University (1940) and the Cornell School of Labor and Industrial Relations (1946). The records in this manuscript collection were originally arranged in a numerically classified subject file under the general subject of legislative administration.
Extent:
0.75 cubic ft.
Language:
English and English
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Albert J. Abrams Papers, 1961, 1964-1965, 1970-1976, 1980. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Terms Of Use:

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Background

Scope and Content:

The records in this manuscript collection were originally arranged in a numerically classified subject file under the general subject of legislative administration. This filing system was never completely utilized (most of the folders were empty because no documents fitting the descriptions for those folders were ever created) and there was no key that explained the numbers, so there has been no attempt to maintain that filing system. However, most folders retain the originally assigned titles. The folders have been rearranged in alphabetical order to simplify searching.

Since Abrams worked in legislative administration and also taught about it (through articles and through classes he taught), his ideas about the subject are well considered and of interest to someone researching the subject. Beyond this, the papers offer a glimpse into the day-to-day running of the New York State Senate, such as handling the Senate's internal budget, space allocation, maintenance, security and personnel. Abrams looked at legislative bills from the standpoint of what these cost to print and how to handle the physical volume of these bills, rather than that of the intended legislative effect. These papers also contain some files on personal interrelations among legislators, which are interesting given the effect that such matters can have on the passage of bills.The most interesting of these is "Socialization of Senators Within the Senate Chamber" (1975), which tallies up conversations between senators and names those initiating and receiving conversations.

This series contains copies of essays, staff reports, newspaper clippings, notes, memoranda, photographs and correspondence pertaining to Abrams' work as secretary of the New York State Senate. This series includes files on aspects of administrating the functions of the senate, essays he wrote on legislative administration, and teaching material from a course he taught on legislative administration in 1975. The papers also contain some published material, such as senate handbooks.

For further information on Abrams, a researcher should refer to the records of American Society for Public Administration--Capital District Chapter. These records do not contain his president's records, but there is at least one printed message from him found in the chapter's 1968 annual report.

Biographical / Historical:

Albert Jack Abrams was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on May 29, 1915. Abrams began his university studies at the University of Michigan in 1932, and he attended the National Institute for Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., in 1935. He received an A.B. from New York University in 1936, and he continued his studies at Columbia University (1940) and the Cornell School of Labor and Industrial Relations (1946).[1]

He married Ruth Elsie Weinert on March 7, 1943, and they had three children: David, Eugenie, and Valerie.His first wife died in 1959.On December 16, 1967, Abrams married Lorena Friedman Kessler, a widow who had one adult son, Marc.[2]

Albert J. Abrams was a lecturer at the Vassar Summer Institute and other universities, and he taught a seminar on legislative administration at the Graduate School of Public Affairs, at SUNY, Albany, in 1975.In 1936, while still attending New York University, Abrams worked in the New York State Senate as a research assistant to Senator Thomas circa Desmond of Newburgh.[3] He was the director of the New York State Joint Legislative Committee on Problems of Aging (1947-58), city manager of Newburgh, NY (1958-60), and director of social and economic planning for the New York State Senate (1960-62).[4] Abrams served in the Senate as a special assistant (1960-61) and then executive assistant (1961-62) to Senate Majority Leader Walter J. Mahoney. Abrams was elected Secretary of the Senate on January 6, 1963, and was re-elected to the post in January 1966.[5] He continued as Secretary until 1976.

The American Society for Public Administration awarded Abrams the Governor Alfred E. Smith award for "outstanding administrative achievement in a staff position" in 1964.[6] A member of the American Society for Public Administration, Abrams served as the president of the Capital District Chapter in 1968.[7]

Abrams wrote articles on public administration for technical journals and also explained the workings of the legislative process to the generalpublic through articles in popular magazines.[8] Abrams also wrotearticles for the Delmar Spotlight of humorous anecdotes and his take on the century.

Albert J. Abrams died in 1993.

Acquisition information:

Albert J. Abrams donated these papers to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections in a series of donations in the 1980s.

Processing information:

Processed in 2004 by ALBERT J. ABRAMS.

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Restrictions:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
Terms of Access:
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Albert J. Abrams Papers, 1961, 1964-1965, 1970-1976, 1980. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).