Maurer (David W.) archive, 1931-1981

Descriptive Summary

Maurer (David W.) archive, 1931-1981
Maurer, David W.
ca. 1,000 items
Popular Culture
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Archives Staff; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
University of Louisville

Collection Overview

Scope and Content
Donated by Maurer just before his death in 1981, this collection contains books, galleys, notes, tapes, scrapbooks, and related materials from a lifetime of research in sociolinguistics and the argots of the criminal underworld of dealers in narcotics, forgers, confidence men, pickpockets, prostitutes, and moonshiners. Among the unique materials are issues of Johnson Family Blute, a periodical developed as a communication tool between members of a gang scattered between various prisons. The gang members wrote articles, letters and cartoons, pasting their contributions into copies of the Congressional Record and mailing them to each other using the congressional franking privilege.