The Abraham Lincoln Brigade

ALB group photo

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), almost forty thousand men and women from fifty-two countries, including 2,800 Americans, traveled to Spain to join the International Brigades to help fight fascism. The U.S. volunteers served in various units (medical, combat and transportation) and came to be known collectively as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the brave American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought and died fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). ALBA’s programs include teacher institutes, exhibitions, publications, cultural programs and an annual award for human rights activism, given in partnership with the Puffin Foundation.  Drawing on the ALBA archival collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.

ALBA 2013-2014 Teaching Institutes

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives is proud to announce the 2013 - 2014 Teaching Institutes for high school teachers, made possible by the Puffin Foundation and donors like you:
  • November 5, 2013: Professional development day in New York City, co-hosted by NYU, with Peter N. Carroll and Sebastiaan Faber. More information: contact.
  • March 8, 2014: Professional development day in Northampton, Massachusetts, co-hosted by The Collaborative for Educational Studies, Amherst College, Smith College, Mt. Holyoke College, with Sebastiaan Faber. More information: contact.
  • May 21, 2014: Professional development day in Bergen County, New Jersey, co-hosted by the Bergen County Academies, with Peter N. Carroll and Sebastiaan Faber. More information: contact.


A Lincoln Brigade Story: An episode of History Detectivesairing on June 28, 2011, includes a moving segment on the friendship between Lincoln Brigaders Sol Fellman and Doug Roach, featuring interviews with Matti Mattson and ALBA's Jim Fernández. View the 20-minute segment here

Watch A Father's Forgotten Tribute in a Spanish Civil War Eulogy on PBS. See more from History Detectives.


News & Updates:

Bryan Stevenson

Save the date! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014 

ALBA's 78th Annual Celebration

Commemorating the Lincoln Brigade and presenting the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equality Justice Initiative. With a special musical tribute to Pete Seeger. 

Click for more info.

New & Improved Educators' Resource Page

Especially designed to supplement ALBA's Teaching Institutes, our redesigned Educators' Resource Page features primary documents, PowerPoint presentations, and lesson plans aligned with the Common Core Standards.

Funding provided by Neal Rosenberg & the Ohio Humanities Council.

Embattled Spanish Judge receives ALBA-Puffin Human Rights Award

Baltasar GarzónBaltasar Garzón, the Spanish magistrate who has headed the effort to identify human rights violations during the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent Franco dictatorship, received the first ALBA-Puffin International Award for Human Rights Activism at the ALBA annual reunion in New York City on May 14. (Click here for Garzón's speechevent videos, and press coverage (New Yorker, Nation, Democracy Now, Reuters, Spanish-language media) “Judge Garzón’s exceptional courage in defense of human rights and his commitment to the recovery of historical memory regarding crimes against humanity make him especially worthy of this honor,” said Peter N. Carroll, chair emeritus of ALBA’s Board of Governors.

This award is given jointly by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation, which provides an endowed fund exclusively for this annual honor. “The award is designed,” said Puffin Foundation President Perry Rosenstein, “to give public recognition, support, and encouragement to individuals or groups whose work has an exceptionally positive impact on the advancement and/or defense of human rights. It is intended to help educate students and the general public about the importance of defending human rights against arbitrary powers that violate democratic principles.” Read more...

Featured Veteran: Doug Roach

Doug Roach by Peter StackpoleDouglas Roach, the subject of a segment of this season's History Detectives (view 18-minute video segment here) was born in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1900. He completed high school in Provincetown and later attended the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst. There, although barely five feet tall, he achieved notice as a star wrestler. Roach joined the Communist Party in 1932. Upon completion of his studies, Roach became a part-time organizer and supported himself by working occasionally as a professional wrestler. Roach departed for Europe, aboard the SS Paris, on January 6, 1937. In Spain, Roach was assigned to the Lincoln Battalion and served in a machine gun company. Roach fought with the battalion at Jarama and during the Brunete Offensive and attained the rank of Gun Commander. Late in the Brunete Campaign Roach received a severe shoulder wound. In the fall of 1937, unable to continue fighting, he was sent back to the United States, where he went to work organizing for the seamen's union. Returning veterans formed the VALB late in 1937 and ... | Read More | Search the archive  


Recent publications

War Is Beautiful: An American Ambulance Driver in the Spanish Civil War. By James Neugass (edited by Peter N. Carroll & Peter Glazer)

NeugassThis nuanced and deeply poetic chronicle of James Neugass's service as an ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War combines fast-paced accounts of darting onto battlefields to pick up the wounded with elegiac renderings of days spent "on alert" in an ever-changing series of sharply observed Spanish towns, enduring that most difficult of wartime activities: waiting. Reviewed in The Nation and the London Review of Books. Buy from Powell's

For more recent publications, visit the ALBA Bookstore at Powell's.


The Volunteer Online

Volunteer Online ALBA's quarterly, The Volunteer, is now a full-fledged online magazine, with longer articles, a frequently updated blog, videos, slide shows, and more.

In the September 2011 issue:

From previous issues: