Biography: Morris L. Ernst 1977

A Guide to the Collection of Oral History Interviews at Indiana University Bloomington

Finding aid prepared by the staff of the Center for the Study of History and Memory with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access, 2000-2002

Creator: Indiana University Center for Documentary Research and Practice
Title: Biography: Morris L. Ernst
Collection No.: ohrc022
Dates: 1977

Quantity: 1 Interview

(Audio files, transcripts, and collateral materials )
Abstract: Malcolm A. Hoffman discusses his relationship with Morris L. Ernst, best known for his defense in the censorship case against Ulysses by James Joyce.
Location: Interviews are housed in Franklin Hall, Room 0030A. Contact for more information. Copies of interview transcripts are also held by the IU Libraries University Archives. For other locations housing the interviews from this project, please contact the Center for Documentary Research and Practice office.
Language: Materials are in English
Repository: Center for Documentary Research and Practice
Franklin Hall 0030B
601 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Business Number: 812-855-2856

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains one interview, lasting thirty minutes. The interview contains 1 reels and a typed transcription of twelve pages.


Usage Restrictions:

The archive of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice at Indiana University is open to the use of researchers. Copies of transcript pages are available only when such copies are permitted by the deed of gift. Scholars must honor any restrictions the interviewee placed on the use of the interview. Since some of our earlier (pre-computer) transcripts do not exist in final form, any editing marks in a transcript (deletions, additions, corrections) are to be quoted as marked. Audio files may not be copied for patrons unless the deed of gift permits it, and a transcript is unavailable for that interview. The same rules of use that apply to a transcript apply to the audio interview. Interviews may not be reproduced in full for any public use, but excerpted quotes may be used as long as researchers fully cite the data in their research, including accession number, interview date, interviewee's and interviewer's name, and page(s).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[interviewee first name last name] interview, by [interviewer first name last name], [interview date(s)], [call number], [project name], Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Indiana University, Bloomington, [page number(s) or tape number and side if no transcript; if digital audio and no transcript, cite time when quote occurs].

Acquisition Information

Oral history interviews conducted by the Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory from 1968 to the present, with particular focus on the history of twentieth-century America and the Midwest.

Collection Inventory

Hoffman, Malcolm A. , October 26, 1977

No(s): 77-032

Physical Description: 12 pages; 1 reel, 1 7/8 ips, 30 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Malcolm A. Hoffman discusses his recollections of the attorney Morris L. Ernst, born August 23, 1888, died May 1976, who was most famous for his defense of the censorship case against Ulysses by James Joyce. Hoffman discusses Ernst's physical characteristics and mannerisms. He mentions that despite Hoffman's work in co-founding the American Civil Liberties Union and his anti-censorship stance, he was accused of being a spy for J. Edgar Hoover. Ernst was the representative of Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic who was accused of murdering Jesús María Galindez. Ernst also represented Frank Costello, a New York organized crime boss arrested for tax evasion. Because Hoffman knew Ernst later in his career, he did not have a lot to say about the Ulysses case, although he did mention Ernst's autobiographies The Best as Yet and My Love Affair With the Law as good sources for information about the Ulysses case. Hoffman finally touches upon his perceptions of Ernst's views on the definition of pornography and its relationship to First Amendment rights.

Indexed Terms:

  • Places:
    • New York, New York
  • Occupations:
    • attorney
  • Subjects:
    • The Best as Yet
    • censorship
    • First Amendment legislation
    • My Love Affair With the Law
    • organized crime
    • pornography
    • trial strategy
    • Ulysses
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • American Civil Liberties Union
  • People:
    • Baldwin, Roger
    • Cerf, Bennett
    • Costello, Frank
    • Galindez, Jesús María
    • Hoover, J. Edgar
    • Joyce, James
    • Trujillo, Rafael
    • Woolsey, John M.

Access Status: Open