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Lillian Reiner Collection

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: PRB
Date: May 2004

Biographical History

Lillian Reiner (1901-1987) was a native of Syracuse, New York and a civil rights and peace activist. She graduated from Syracuse University at the age of 64 and ran unsuccessfully for mayor, State Legislature, Congress and other offices as a member of the Onondaga County Liberal Party. In her campaigns, she often drew attention to issues of human services and the threat of nuclear weapons.

She was a member of the National Council of Negro Women, the National Organization for Women, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union. She was an advocate of gay rights and belonged to a number of peace organizatons, including the Syracuse Peace Council.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

A perpetual candidate and letter writer, Lillian Reiner was an active voice in many liberal causes and her interests and activism provide a unique perspective on the political climate of Central New York in the second half of the Twentieth Century. The Lillian Reiner Collection comprises Correspondence/subject files, Writings, and Memorabilia relating to the Syracuse, New York teacher and political activist (1901-1987).

Arranged alphabetically, the Correspondence/subject files (Boxes 1-3) illustrate the wide range of issues and organizations to which Reiner gave her time and talent, as well as her many campaigns for political office.

Including articles, letters to editors, and class notes by Lillian Reiner, Writings (Box 4) primarily comprise material gathered for Gutsy Lady, Reiner’s memoir, which was completed by Sari Biklen, Janet Bogdan, Karen DeCrow, and Jean M. Hoefer following Reiner’s death.

Memorabilia (Boxes 5-8) includes clippings, photographs, and printed material as well as Reiner’s collection of political buttons.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Reiner, Lillian, Archives

Corporate Bodies

Liberal Party of New York State


Women political activists, New York (State)
Women political candidates, New York (State)
Women social reformers

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Notes (documents)


Social reformers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Lillian Reiner Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Sari Biklen, Janet Bogdan, Karen DeCrow, and Jean M. Hoefer. Refer to donor file or finding aids file for itemized donor/material list.

Table of Contents

Biographical material

Correspondence-subject files