No joking about art and the 1st Amendment: The Lenny Bruce collection at Brandeis University


Brandeis University, an institution founded on principles of social justice and named in honor of a Supreme Court Justice who championed every American's right to free speech, will process the personal papers of internationally renowned Jewish comedian, social critic, and 1st Amendment activist Lenny Bruce. In Brandeis's Archives & Special Collections, these materials will join the papers of many other influential figures and historymakers as well as materials that highlight social justice efforts both at Brandeis and in America. Lenny Bruce had an undeniable impact on the intersection of art and freedom in America, and the processing and promotion of his papers we propose here will allow that impact to continue and thrive.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded


Year Added



Brandeis University


  • Ms. Sarah Shoemaker (Brandeis University)

Date Range

1940 - 1966

Geographic Scope

New York and California


  • 10 Artifact (Including Archaeological Objects, Weapons, Machinery, Instruments, Costumes, Textiles, Ceramics, Glass, Furniture, Etc.), Audio (Including Speech And Music), Audiovisual, Ephemera, Image, Manuscript, Text (Including Electronic Texts)