Carpenters Union (UBCJA) Archives Now Fully Processed!

Carpenters1If you follow this blog you might remember a post about this time last year about a little exhibit we created with materials from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

In the past year we have been hard at work processing the Carpenters collection, and we are happy to announce that the collection is now fully “processed.”  This means that the entire collection is now represented online via a finding aid (or guide) to the folders in the collection.

The UBCJA archives could not have been processed without generous support from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA).  The processing took over five years (2010-2016) to complete and represents the hard work of the following archivists:  Kristen G. Albert, Kate Aras, Elizabeth A. Novara (curator for the collection), and Maya Riser-Kositsky.  All of our hard work has paid off and all 602.75 linear feet and 247 items of the collection are now fully processed, arranged, and described in the online finding aid.  During the processing, materials were also selected for digitization and either digitized in house or sent to offsite vendors.

The collection has something for everyone – meeting minutes, biographical files on union officials, over 60 boxes of photographs, audio, film and more!   Material designated as “Online” in the box list of the finding aid is available in the UMD Libraries Digital Collections.  A few examples of the most notable digitally available items include: an almost complete run of The Carpenter , the Journeyman House Carpenters’ Association of Philadelphia Banner (1835), original charters of local unions, photographs of carpenters on the job, and nineteenth-century documents from the early days of the union.  So, take a look at the finding aid, discover something of interest to you, and then come on down to the Maryland Room and do some research in the collection!

And, our work is not yet complete.  We’re continuing to work on preserving deteriorating film materials and well as memorabilia (including convention badges and ribbons) in the collection.

If you have any questions, as always, don’t hesitate to contact us!


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Photograph from UMD Libraries Digital Collections:

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America delegates at their Detroit fifth general convention, 1888. They carried the Journeyman House Carpenters’ banner at this event. The banner was used once more in public – at a labor parade in 1889 – before the UBCJA placed it in a glass-covered frame for safekeeping at their national headquarters. The banner was restored in the late 1990s and currently resides in Special Collections at the UMD Libraries.


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