Research Catalog

Emmett Grogan papers : 1965-1968.

Emmett Grogan papers : 1965-1968.
Grogan, Emmett, 1942-1978.
[San Francisco : 1965-1968]

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StatusFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Mixed materialPermit needed Berg Coll m.b. Grogan E46 1965Schwarzman Building - Berg Collection Room 320


Additional Authors
  • Berg, Peter, 1937-2011.
  • Metevsky, George.
  • Murcott, Billy.
  • Snyder, Gary, 1930-
  • Welch, Lew.​
  • Kornspan, Harvey
2 manuscript boxes.
The Emmett Grogan Papers is an archive of manuscripts and typescripts, comprising, articles, manifestos, screenplays, ideas for films, short stories, and poems by Emmett Grogan, accompanied by a group of similar writings by him and others that appeared in The Digger Papersa collective publication published by the Diggersboth parts of the archive spanning the years 1965-1968. Grogans papers document his journey from a young writer, aspiring filmmaker, and actor with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, to his central role, with Peter Berg, as the Diggers leading theoretician and activist. The archive contains early writings by Grogan from his time in Rome, Dublin, and London, and includes several of his most important Digger manifestos, some of them written with his boyhood friend and fellow New Yorker, Billy Murcott. Much of it bears his autograph annotations and corrections.
  • Manuscripts.
  • Personal correspondence.
  • Typescripts.
  • Emmett Grogan was born on November 28, 1942 as Eugene Grogan into an Irish-American family in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. After high school, he attended Duke University for one year before moving to San Francisco. He sang back-up with Ramblin' Jack Elliott on Bob Dylans song Mr. Tambourine Man. Dylan would dedicate his album Street Legal to Grogan after he was found dead from a heroin overdose on an F Train subway car in New York City, on April 6, 1978. Grogan was a founder of the Diggers, a radical, community-action group of improvisational actors in San Franciscos Haight-Ashbury district. They evolved out of two radical traditions that thrived in the Bay Area in the mid-1960s: the bohemian underground and the New Left, which focused its attention on civil rights and the peace movement. The Diggers combined street theater, direct action, and art happenings to advance their revolutionary goal of creating a Free City. They wore animal masks and stopped traffic in down-with-money demonstrations; they drove a flatbed truck of belly dancers and conga drummers into the financial district, where they passed out marijuana cigarettes to the crowd; they dispensed fake dollar bills printed with winged penises.
  • The Diggers emerged from the San Francisco Mime Troupe, an anarchist, guerrilla, street-theater group in San Francisco, and greatly enlarged the scope of their activities in the years 1965-1973, inspiring a sister group in London. They took their name from the mid-17th-century English Diggers (and Levellers)revolutionary Utopians who exploited the dislocations of the Civil War to promulgate their vision of a propertyless, classless society. The best known services provided by the San Francisco Diggers were distributing free food every day in Golden Gate Park, free medical attention by volunteer physicians, and Free Stores, in which everything (clothing, tools, books, etc.) was free. The intent of the Free Stores was not just to meet a social need (Haight-Ashbury had been flooded by thousands of youths from all over the U.S.), but to insist that Americans were not primarily consumers, as they had been identified by the mainstream culture, but human beings. The Diggers coined various slogans that became popular in counterculture circles and soon after in society at large. The best known of these are Do your own thing and Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
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Call Number
Berg Coll m.b. Grogan E46 1965
  • 957292643
  • 957292643
Grogan, Emmett, 1942-1978.
Emmett Grogan papers : 1965-1968.
[San Francisco : 1965-1968]
Restricted access: request permission in holding division.
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Finding aid
Added Author
Berg, Peter, 1937-2011.
Metevsky, George.
Murcott, Billy.
Snyder, Gary, 1930-
Welch, Lew.​
Kornspan, Harvey, former owner
Research Call Number
Berg Coll m.b. Grogan E46 1965
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