Just like Jimmy wrote to AF of L President Samuel Gompers in this 1909 postcard,we send you “best wishes for a pleasant time” this 4th of July!
AFL-CIO News is Online!
The AFL-CIO News is a publication produced by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) from 1955-1996. Before the AFL and CIO merged in 1955, they each published their own newspaper. The AFL news-reporter was published from 1951-1955, and the CIO News was published from 1937-1955.
In 2014/2015 the University of Maryland was able to digitize about half of the AFL-CIO News. Volumes 1-25 (1956-1980) are available online in the Internet Archive; each volume can be searched separately by keyword. Volumes 26-40 (1981-1996) will be digitized next year. We hope to digitize the CIO News in future years.
The AFL news-reporter is available online in the HathiTrust Digital Library (limited search only).
Our Special Collections in Labor History & Workplace Studies also have the original cartoon drawings printed in the AFL-CIO News by LeBaron Coakley, John Stampone, and Bernard Seaman.
Friday, May 1, 1:30 – 4:30 pm
Join a community interested in promoting labor history by editing the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Part celebration and part workshop, Edit-a-Thons are organized around a single topic as a means to build awareness and community. We’ll draw content from labor-related collections at the University of Maryland, including the recently acquired AFL-CIO Archives. No editing or technical experience necessary. All participants will receive complimentary issues of Labor’s Heritage journal. As part of a nationwide effort, other libraries with significant labor collections will also participate.
Event details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/UMDLabor
This event is followed by:
AFL-CIO Archive Reception & Tour, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Join us for a unique opportunity to view the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive, a prestigious archive originally at the National Labor College. These rich archives provide a unique history of the labor struggle in the United States and internationally. See behind the scenes in the archives stacks: labor cartoons, buttons, pins, and memorabilia. Civil Rights and Labor items will be on display in the Maryland Room. In addition, view labor-related materials, including photographs, censored newspaper articles, posters, and magazines, from the Gordon W. Prange Collection, the largest archive in the world of Japanese print publications from the early years of the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1949.
New Exhibit: Civil Rights and Labor…in the United States, in Poland, and in South Africa
Labor unions have long been advocates for equality in the workplace, civil rights and worker’s rights, however this wasn’t always the case before the AFL and CIO merged in 1955. Understanding civil rights is still evolving today, as we see in current events in the United States and around the world. The records of the AFL-CIO are a treasure trove, rich with a variety of materials available for research on this. The University of Maryland is the official repository of the AFL-CIO records. Find out more about all of our labor collections here.
The Civil Rights Movement in the United States
The exhibit highlights the overlapping interests in equal rights, between the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1961, Martin Luther King, Jr, spoke at the AFL-CIO Convention, and in the same year George Meany sent a telegram to King lauding King’s contributions to advance the cause of equality for all citizens, a goal AFL-CIO fully supported, and went on to say:
“It is not mere coincidence that where civil rights are most strongly suppressed, unions are most vigorously opposed. Nor is it coincidence that where negroes exist under miserable social and economic conditions, wages are lowest for all workers, social legislation least advanced and anti-labor legislation most severe.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was strongly supported by Martin Luther King, Jr., George Meany, and President Lyndon Johnson. And, when King was assassinated, many national and international labor unions poured out telegrams to the AFL-CIO, and a number of press releases were written by AFL-CIO in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. On the night of King’s death April 4, 1968, Meany sent out a press release stating that the “murder of Dr. Martin Luther King is an American tragedy.”
Our collections also include some information about The March on Washington led by Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963. The March was not fully sponsored by the AFL-CIO because of internal conflicts about civil rights.
Apartheid in South Africa
The AFL-CIO’s allied African American Labor Center was involved with the anti-apartheid movement responding to multiple civil and worker’s rights violations in South Africa, however the AFL-CIO did not fully engage until later because of the communist leadership in the anti-apartheid movement. In 1986, the AFL-CIO participated in a global boycott of Shell Oil Company.
Solidarnosc in Poland
The Polish Solidarnosc movement was strongly supported by AFL-CIO President, Lane Kirkland in the 1980s. The AFL-CIO International Affairs Department sent monthly contributions of $500 to support the underground union organizers in Poland. The AFL even sent CARE packages to Poland in 1949 and received handwritten letters of thanks from Polish citizens.
Our labor collections are comprised of AFL-CIO Department records, trade department records, international union records, union programs, union organizations with allied or affiliate relationships with the AFL-CIO, and personal papers of union leaders. We also have extensive photo documentation of labor union activities from the 1940s to the present in the photographic negative and digital collections. Additionally, collections of graphic images, over 10,000 audio tapes, several hundred films and videotapes, and over 2,000 artifacts are available for research and study.
We are pleased to announce a symposium and introduction to our very special labor archives. See specific information about the symposium below:
On March 5, 2015, the Center for the History of the New America at the University of Maryland will host a symposium exploring workers and organizing in the twenty-first century. The symposium will be coordinated with the annual meeting of the Southern Labor Studies Association in Washington, D.C. on March 6-8, 2015. In addition to the symposium, participants will be invited to view the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive, a prestigious archive recently added to Special Collections in Labor History & Workplace studies at the University of Maryland Libraries, and unique labor materials from the Gordon W. Prange Collection. For more information about speakers and topics visit: http://newamerica.umd.edu/conferences/spring2015.php
Newly opened portions of the collection
RG4: Executive Council
RG4-010 Early Federation Records, 1881-1888
RG18: International Affairs Department
RG18‑006 CIO International Affairs Department. Director’s Files, Michael H.S. Ross, 1934‑1963
RG20: Information Department
RG20-003 Information Department. CIO, AFL-CIO Press Releases, 1937-1995
RG20-004 Information Department. AFL-CIO News Cartoons, 1955-1984
RG28: Organizing Department
RG28-001 Organization and Field Services Department. AFL Federal Local Unions (FLUs); AFL-CIO Directly Affiliated Local Unions (DALUs), Charter Records, 1924-1981
RG28‑002 Organizing Department. Records, 1955‑1975
Labor History Publications:
AFL List of Affiliated Organizations: 1903-1931, 1940-1955
AFL-CIO List of Affiliated Organizations: 1956-1999, 2002-2003, 2005
Reports AFL 1881-1955
Proceedings of constitutional convention CIO 1938-1955
AFL CIO Proceedings 1955-2009
American Federationist 1894-1982
CIO Union News Service (1936-1937)
CIO News 1937-1955
AFL Weekly Newsletter – Vol. 2-12
AFL News Reporter 1951-1953
AFL News 1954-1955
AFL-CIO News 1955-1996
LLPE League Reporter 1949-1951
America at Work 1996-2002
Union Advocate, Vol. 1 (1887)
There are now 80 AFL-CIO finding aids re-opened!
We’ve just completed a new batch of 23 sub-record groups (see list below). There are a few more that we’re working on, including microfilm collections. At this time the microfilm is still under review. We are also working out the best way to retrieve selected published materials from within Hornbake.
PDF versions of the Guide to Collections and each re-opened finding aid are available. Please contact us if there is something you’d like to look at.
• RG9-003 Civil Rights Department, 1946-2000
RG21: Legislation Department
• RG21-001 Legislation Department. Records, 1906 1978
• RG21-002 Legislation Department: Testimony 1953-1994
RG22: Committee on Political Education (COPE)
• RG22-001 Committee on Political Education. Research Division Files, 1944 1979
RG28: Organizing Department
• RG28-003 Organization and Field Services Department. International and National Union Charter Files, 1886 1989
• RG28-005 Department of Organization and Field Services. State Charter Records, 1890-1985
• RG28-006 Department of Organization and Field Services. Local Central Body Charter Records, 1889-1987
RG41: Industrial Union Department
• RG41-001 Industrial Union Department. Publications, 1956-
RG50: AFL-CIO Support Groups/AFL-CIO Constituency Group
• RG50-001 AFL-CIO Support Groups/AFL-CIO Constituency Groups. Frontlash Records, 1968-1997
RG52: American Federation of Women’s Auxiliaries of Labor
• RG52 001 American Federation of Women’s Auxiliaries of Labor. Records, 1935 1977
RG95: Private Donations
• RG95-009 Alan Kistler Papers, 1954-2000
• RG95-011 George Delaney Papers, 1943-1972
• RG95-012 Anthony Wayne Smith Papers, 1920-1992
• RG95-013 National Capital Area Trade Union Retirees Club Paul A. Wagner Oral History Project, 1994-2002
• RG95-014 Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO. The Trades Unionist, 1896-1973
RG97: Audio-Video Media
• RG97-003 Education Department. Labor Films, 1947-
• RG97-004 AFL-CIO Film Productions. Americans at Work, 1959-1960
RG98: Artificial Collections
• RG98 001 Labels, Letterheads and Logos
• RG98-002 George Meany Memorial Archives. Vertical Files, 1882-1990
• RG98-003 Miscellaneous Items
• RG98-004 Scrapbooks, 1883-1982
• RG98-005 AFL-CIO Merger Oral History Project, 1978-1980
RG99: Graphics Collection
• RG99-001 Posters, Broadsides, and Art, 1900-
Contact us with your questions