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AFL-CIO News is Online!

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.

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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.

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Explore our Labor History Subject Guide, or contact a curator for more information!

Labor History Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

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Hornbake Library

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

George Meany

George Meany

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.

https://hornbakelibrary.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/civil-rights-and-labor-in-the-united-states-in-poland-and-in-south-africa/

https://prangecollection.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/labor-studies-related-materials/

New Exhibit: Civil Rights and Labor: in the United States, in Poland, and in South Africa

New Exhibit: Civil Rights and Labor…in the United States, in Poland, and in South Africa

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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.

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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.

IMG_3781Apartheid 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.

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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.

Find out more about all of our labor collections here, or contact a curator for more information!

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Media Studies Spring Talks in Hornbake Library

We are pleased to announce the Spring Media Studies Talks, hosted by UMD Libraries, Special Collections in Mass Media and Culture, in Partnership with Media Studies at Catholic University of America.

Join us on March 26 at 4:30pm for a talk by Ethan Plaut of Stanford University.

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Ethan R. Plaut received his Ph.D. in Communication in 2014 from Stanford University, where he continues his research as a postdoctoral fellow in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. His dissertation addressed communication “avoidance”—the ways we limit our own communication—and other research interests include silence, propaganda, digital media, transparency, journalism, remix culture, media ethics, and humor. Recently published and upcoming work appears in both popular media and academic journals including Quartz, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Communication, Culture & Critique. Before coming to Stanford, Ethan spent three years working as a journalist in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Contact us at askhornbake@umd.edu with any questions.

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New Exhibit: Highlights from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Archives

Do you work an eight-hour day? Get paid overtime? Have a safe workplace?

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You have unions to thank for all of those, and many other, changes to labor law. The University of Maryland is the official repository of one of the most influential labor unions in United States history, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (UBCJA).

Visit the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library to see a display of some interesting materials from the collection.

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The exhibit highlights union activities and important moments of union history, including photographs of the influential 1963 Reesor Siding strike, which became one of the bloodiest labor conflicts in Canadian history. You can also see Carpenters marching in 1947 with spears and shields to protest the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act.

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Photographs in the exhibit featuring the Reesor Siding Strike and the Taft-Hartley Act Protest

Not everything the Brotherhood did was so militant, however. President Dwight Eisenhower was the guest of honor at their 75th anniversary party in 1956, where he lit the candles on a cake adorned with tiny hammers and saws. The union also held conventions where its members discussed union goals and policies. And, when union carpenters were too old to work anymore, the union cared for them in their old age at the Carpenters Home in Lakeland, Florida.

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Ribbons on display worn at various conventions

To learn more about the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and the role it has played in American history since 1881, stop by the exhibit. Then use the collection to further your research about the union’s efforts toward anti-Communism, an eight-hour workday, open shops and many other issues. Learn about the various professions of the members of the UBCJA, from carpenters, house-framers and lumberjacks to furniture makers, wharf builders and pile drivers.

All of the 700 linear feet of UBCJA correspondence, meeting minutes, official union publications, photographs, blueprints and film recordings are available for your perusal in the Maryland Room. These materials are currently being processed, with the support of the UBCJA, in order to make them more accessible to researchers.

Contact a curator to find out more!

Guest Lecture on “The Advertising Film Before Commercial Broadcasting “

Novelty News, May 1911

Novelty News, May 1911

Special Collections in Mass Media & Culture is pleased to announce an upcoming guest lecture presented by Martin Johnson, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Catholic University on:

  • Date: Tuesday, October 21st
  • Time: 4:30pm
  • Location: 3rd floor instruction space in Hornbake Library North

The title of Dr. Johnson’s lecture is, “The Best Advertisement Will Never Be Written”: The Advertising Film Before Commercial Broadcasting.” He will discuss the attempts by producers of industrial films in the 1910s to create moving-image advertisements and, despite early setbacks due to resistance within the motion picture industry, the subsequent success of using non-theatrical spaces as advertising platforms.

Judicious Advertising, December 1912

Judicious Advertising, December 1912

“By locating these advertising films within a diverse media landscape,” Johnson claims, “it becomes possible to trace the emergence of ‘useful’ mass media in the early 20th century.”

The lecture is free and open to the public. Students in Communication and Film Studies are especially encouraged to attend. A reception will follow Dr. Johnson’s presentation.

Questions? Contact Mike Henry, Research Specialist, at mlhenry@umd.edu.

Driving and parking directions

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Class Assignments in Special Collections and University Archives

Not only can can make requests, place duplication orders, and manage your special collections research online, now it’s easier for professors to collaborate with special collections staff to organize class tours and assignments using our collections.

Get started by registering online

Once you register, you will be able to remotely request materials from Special Collections and University Archives, the Prange Collection, and Special Collections in Preforming Arts. The first time you visit the reading room after registering, you will be asked to present a valid university-issued or government-issued photo ID to confirm your identity.

With a special collections research account, collaborating with special collections staff on classes and tours is easier than ever. Is there a set of primary sources you would like to use for a class assignment? Professors can create a list of materials on a particular subject, request them using their research account, and keep the materials on hold in the Maryland Room for their class. Students can visit the Maryland Room to access the materials quickly, spending more time doing their research. Teaching the class again next semester? With your research account, you can pull up your request history and have special collections staff place the same materials on hold again.

Visit the reading room in person for help from special collections staff setting up your account and to inquire about using Special Collections and University Archives materials for a class assignment or tour.

For more information, follow us @hornbakeLibrary on Twitter or follow Special Collections and University Archives on WordPress.

Have questions? Contact us

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