Guide to the Papers of Mark Bortman (1896-1967), undated, 1948-1967 (bulk 1952-1964, 1967)
 
*P-856

Processed by Stephanie Call

American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, Massachusetts

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: reference@ajhsboston.org

URL: http://www.ajhsboston.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Stephanie Call as MS Word document, October 29, 2007. Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on November 13, 2007. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Bortman, Mark, 1896-1967
Title: Mark Bortman papers
Dates:undated, 1948-1967
Abstract: This collection primarily consists of MB's correspondence and memorabilia pertaining to his Americana collections and involvement in the People-to-People Program. The bulk of the correspondence consists of condolence letters sent to MB's wife, Llora, and include letters from former Presidents Eisenhower and Truman, and former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. Bortman's own correspondence includes letters from these luminaries as well as Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister. Several photographs, some signed, of Bortman with Vice President and Lady Bird Johnson, Churchill, and Eisenhower are included, as well as scrapbooks with news clippings and programs regarding the People-to-People program and the Paul Revere Liberty Bowl.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 4.15 linear feet (1 and one-half manuscript box, 2 oversized boxes)
Identification: P-856
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located at AJHS, Boston, MA.
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Biographical Note

Mark Bortman (1896-1967)

Mark Bortman (MB) was born in Romania on June 28, 1896 to David and Sophie Bortman. In 1904, Bortman and his parents immigrated to the West End of Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended local schools. After graduating from English High School, he attended Boston University from 1923-1924, Suffolk Law School from 1931-1932, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1942. In 1921, he married Llora Cohen; they had one daughter, Jane Bortman Larus.

Bortman was a businessman, and served as President of both Bortman Plastics, Inc. and the Blaxton Corporation. However, he was also a lifelong student of American history and a strong supporter of civic service. In 1948, Bortman and his wife donated over 2000 early Americana manuscripts and artifacts to Boston University (now the Howard Gotleib Archival Research Center). Bortman was also instrumental in the return of Paul Revere's Liberty Bowl to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In 1956 President Dwight Eisenhower named Bortman Chairman of the People-to-People Civic Committee. Developed by Eisenhower, the program's goal was- and remains to this day- to promote cultural understanding throughout the international community. From 1959-1961 Bortman served as Chairman to the People-to-People Program, overseeing the Sister City Program, which paired together American and international cities.

Chronology of the Life of Mark Bortman

1896MB born in Romania
1904Immigrates to Boston, Massachusetts with parents
1921Marries Llora S. Cohen
1923-1924Attends Boston University
1931-1932Attends Suffolk Law School
1942President of Bortman Plastics, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
1942Attends Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1946-1960President of the Blaxton Corporation
1948Donates Americana collection to Boston University
1949Recipient of Good Citizenship Medal, Sons of the American Revolution
1949Director of the Bostonian Society
1949-1954Chairman, Paul Revere Liberty Bowl Committee
1950Director of the Old South Meeting House Association
1954-1955Treasurer, American Jewish Historical Society
1956Chairman of the People-to-People Civic Committee
1959-1961Chairman of the People-to-People Program
1960Honored by "Old Time West Enders"
1962Honorary Degree, Sunshine University, Pinellas County, Florida
1963Honorary Degree, Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts
1967MB dies
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Scope and Content Note

This collection primarily consists of MB's correspondence and memorabilia pertaining to his Americana collections and involvement in the People-to-People Program. The bulk of the correspondence consists of condolence letters sent to MB's wife, Llora, and include letters from former Presidents Eisenhower and Truman, and former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. Bortman's own correspondence includes letters from these luminaries as well as Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister. Several photographs, some signed, of Bortman with Vice President and Lady Bird Johnson, Churchill, and Eisenhower are included, as well as scrapbooks with news clippings and programs regarding the People-to-People program and the Paul Revere Liberty Bowl.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series, as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Bortman Americana Collection, Howard Gotleib Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Mark Bortman Papers, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Mark Bortman papers ; P-856; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to AJHS in 1995 by Jane Bortman Larus.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I: Correspondence, undated, 1948, 1952-1953, 1958-1964, 1966-1967

English.
.25 linear feet. Box 1.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by sub-series and chronological.

Scope and Content:

This series consists of MB's correspondence with Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson, Douglas MacArthur II, Christian A. Herter, Winston and Clementine Churchill and others relating to both collectors items and the People to People program. A signed typescript of Dean Acheson's paper on "United Nations and Soviet Aggression" is also included. In addition, a folder dedicated to condolences sent to Llora Bortman after MB's death contains correspondence from Dwight Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Harry Truman, numerous People to People delegates, and letters of recognition and proclamations from various universities and People to People organizations. Also of interest are letters and certifications relating to the Paul Revere Liberty Bowl and John Adams' Silver Tea Urn.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Condolences 1967
1 2 People to People 1958-1964, 1966
1 3 Personal 1948, 1952-1953, 1963, 1966
1 4 Correspondence/Revere Liberty Bowl undated, 1948
1 5 Correspondence/Silver Tea Urn (Adams, John) 1964
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Series II: General, undated, 1937, circa 1950-1970, 1954, 1960, 1962-1964, 1973, 1981, 1995

English.
.5 linear feet. Box 2.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by sub-series and chronological.

Scope and Content:

The series consists of information regarding MB's Americana collection, including a guide to the Bortman Collection at Boston University, a book about Moses Michael Hayes, and a pamphlet written by Bortman, Paul Revere and Son and their Jewish Correspondents. Various honors and awards, including an honorary degree from Emerson College are included. Obituaries written about MB in newspapers, the Congressional Record and government publications, as well as numerous photos of MB with Churchill, Eisenhower, Johnson and Kennedy are included. One photo of Bortman with Churchill includes a possible original sketch by, and signature of, Jewish artist Marc Chagall.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2 1 Americana: (The) Bortman Americana Collection at Boston University 1973, 1981
2 2 Americana: "Moses Michael Hays" Book 1937
2 3 Americana: "Paul Revere & Son & Their Jewish Correspondents" by Mark Bortman 1954
2 3a General/Americana: Painting of Jonas Phillips 1953-1954, 1994
2 4 Honors & Awards 1960, 1962-1963
2 4a General/News Clippings undated, 1948, 1963-1964, 1995
2 5 Obituaries 1967
2 6 Photographs circa 1950-1970
2 7 General/Photographs circa 1950-1970
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Series III: Oversized Materials, undated, circa 1910-1920, 1940s-1950s, 1960-1961, 1964, 1967

English.
3.4 linear feet. OS Boxes 3-4.
Arrangement:

Box 3 contains bound books and scrapbooks, one wrapped in tissue. Box 4 contains oversized folders arranged alphabetically by sub-series and a small scrapbook from MB's high school track career. The scrapbook is fragile and must be handled with care.

Scope and Content:

The series includes all oversized materials, including a framed award for distinguished service, signed by Eisenhower, after MB's death, as well as signed photographs from Lady Bird Johnson, a Distinguished Service Citation, and a matted letter from Lyndon Johnson. MB's scrapbooks, detailing his personal, Americana and People to People achievements, as well as his ode to President Kennedy, are also included. MB's high school scrapbook detailing his successes on the track team is also in this series.

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 Oversized Materials/Americana Scrapbook 1940s-1950s
3 Oversized Materials/Personal Scrapbook 1940s-1960s
3 Oversized Materials/John F. Kennedy Ceremony Scrapbook 1963
3 Oversized Materials/Bound Congressional Record 1967
BoxFolderTitleDate
4 1 Oversized Materials/Distinguished Service Citation 1960
4 2 Oversized Materials/Lyndon B. Johnson Letter 1960
4 3 Oversized Materials/Photographs undated, 1946
4 Oversized Materials/Eisenhower Post-Mortem Declaration 1967
4 High School Scrapbook circa 1910-1920?
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