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New Exhibit: The AFL-CIO Merger

The AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of trade unions, represents over 12.5 million workers. Before 1955, the AFL (American Federation of Labor) and the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) were separate, competing organizations. The two organizations chose to merge in 1955 in order to strengthen the labor movement and eliminate competition between different unions and workers. This mini-exhibit, on display in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library, tells the story from the formation of the joint Unity Committee to the December 5, 1955 merger in commemoration of AFL-CIO’s 60th anniversary.

In 2013, the AFL-CIO gifted UMD their entire archive, over 6 miles of documents. The documents, photos, and artifacts on display are all from the AFL-CIO collection. To learn more about what’s in the AFL-CIO collection, go online to go.umd.edu/laborarchives or contact us.

Radio Preservation Task Force Conference Coming to Hornbake Library

On February 26 and 27, the Library of Congress’s Radio Preservation Task Force will host its first conference on the subjects of historical media archives, and the organization of educational and preservation initiatives on a national scale . Friday’s activities will take place downtown at the Library of Congress, and Saturday’s will be held at Hornbake Library North.

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Speakers will include numerous UMD librarians, faculty from various campus divisions, and several iSchool alum, as well as prominent archivists and scholars from throughout the United States. Highlights include panels and workshops on how archives can deal with audio materials, discussions about using digital tools to save our radio heritage, panels on how radio materials document race and gender throughout American history, and a workshop featuring three NEH representatives on how to find funding for archival projects.

Registration is free and open to the public, and can be completed by sending an e-mail to Kevin Palermo at kevinpalermo@gwmail.gwu.edu.

More information is available at the conference website.

Volunteer Opportunities in Special Collections and University Archives

Looking to gain experience working in a special collections library or archival repository? Special Collections and University Archives is host to volunteers and field study students looking to build up their resumes. They work closely with  library staff to make accessible some of the University’s most valuable research collections.

Current volunteer/field study opportunities include:

Archival Processing, Thomas Kahn papers

Thomas Kahn was Director of the AFL-CIO International Affairs Department. Responsibilities will include:

  • Develop processing plan for 130 linear feet of unprocessed records.
  • Assemble metadata by inventorying boxes.
  • Make recommendations regarding preservation needs and series descriptions.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Labor History LibGuide

LibGuides are online subject guides used by the University of Maryland Libraries to provide greater access to materials in our collections. Responsibilities may include:

  • Develop content for a new LibGuide on a topic such as: child labor, labor legislation, membership records, union proceedings, etc… by using existing print guides that are out of date. Content will need to be updated.
  • LibGuide should include information we have in the University of Maryland Archives’s labor collections on the chosen topic as well as resources at other labor archives and bibliographic resources.
  • There is a possibility to create more than one guide and/or write corresponding blog post and/or selecting materials and writing captions for mini-exhibit in Maryland Room.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Research Copyrights For Photos Used In Labor’s Heritage Journal

Journal was edited and printed by the George Meany Memorial Archive, 1989-2004. Responsibilities include:

  • Prepare journal for digitization by researching copyright information of photographs and terms of use. Student will review unprocessed boxes of administrative files as well as gain information from existing institutions’ websites.
  • Draft letters of inquiry for supervisor to review and send to obtain additional information as needed.
  • Student will gain insight into how publications are developed, initial research required, the importance of documenting rights for authors and photographic images used in publication.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Legacy Metadata Conversion

Collection information for the AFL-CIO Archive is located in multiple locations: retired database tables, printed finding aids, spreadsheets, and obsolete e-documents.  In the Winter of 2016, some of this metadata will be migrated into ArchiveSpace. However, it will be partially incomplete. Responsibilities include:

  • Convert legacy metadata/finding aids into EAD for ArchiveSpace.
  • Gain experience using ArchiveSpace by adding missing collection information to existing records while learning about legacy and obsolete metadata formats.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Special Collections Reference Experience

Gain experience with handling reference in a special collection library. Responsibilities include:

  • Serve on the Maryland Room Reference Desk.
  • Rotate in various subject areas within special collections handling outside reference queries.
  • Evaluate reference strategies and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • There is the possibility to assist the Researcher Experience Team, a Special Collections and University Archives staff team, with special projects.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Amber Kohl, Special Collections Services Coordinator

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Speech to AFL-CIO

In 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and leader of the civil rights movement, spoke at the AFL-CIO’s Fourth Constitutional Convention. Though the early labor movement had a complicated history with race relations, by the 1960s the AFL-CIO and the civil rights movement had fully embraced each other in solidarity. President George Meany introduced King as “a courageous fighter for human rights” and “a fine example of American citizenry.”

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In his speech, King commented on the similarities between the labor movement and the civil rights movement:

“Negroes in the United States read this history of labor and find it mirrors their own experience. We are confronted by powerful forces telling us to rely on the good will and understanding of those who profit by exploiting us.”

“Our needs are identical with labor’s needs, decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.”

Dr. King also drew attention to the need for solidarity between the two movements: “The duality of interests of labor and Negroes makes any crisis which lacerates you, a crisis from which we bleed.”

King asked two things of the AFL-CIO in his speech: root out racial discrimination in labor unions and provide financial assistance to the civil rights movement. King’s message did not fall on deaf ears: he received a standing ovation from the delegates.

Read Dr. King’s full speech online

Watch a clip from Dr. King’s speech (starts at 15:33)

Read more about the labor movement’s relationship with the civil rights movement

Curator Pick: Favorite Item from the Alice 150 Exhibit

How could I possibly choose one item out of so many amazing ones as my favorite?! Early on, I digitized the majority of the items that are in the exhibit, allowing me time to really look through every book as I scanned it. Needless to say, I have quite a few favorites! In order for me to dwindle my list down to one, I focused on one criteria: what was the book that made me completely stop what I was doing because it was so curious? For me, that is my lasting impression of Alice from my childhood, and why I still relate to Carroll’s story as an adult.  Alice’s curiosity, the curiosity of the characters and the world that is Wonderland continues to draw people back time and time again.

My favorite would have to be Alitjinya ngura Tjukurtjarangka [Alitji in the Dreamtime], illustrated by Byron W. Sewell. I was incredibly surprised when I first picked it up to find the White Rabbit was a kangaroo!

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This was definitely one the cleverest re-imaginings of the Alice characters that I had encountered and stood on its own as a story that illustrated Wonderland in a different culture so well. Sewell’s illustrations are at once similar and arrestingly different than the traditional Alice. His characters are often ethereal, but when he does have them grounded, he depicts the earth with geometric patterns.

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Note how realistic Alice looks, but how drastically altered the rest of the characters are depicted.

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This is also a bilingual edition, translated into Pitjantjatjara and adapted into Australian English. I enjoy editions with this added factor because it reaches a whole new audience and easily teaches them a little something that could lead to something more. This item is the epitome of what this exhibit aims to represent and why I always include it as an example when I’m describing the exhibit to others.

Honorable mentions [this was inevitable!]:
1. Sakuba‘s intense and instantly classic characters:

2. Rackham‘s muted color scheme and Wonderlandians’ long, spindly features:

3. Kállay‘s warm colors and delightful tea party:

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For your listening enjoyment:

Explore this item and more works by Lewis Carroll in our Alice 150 Years and Counting exhibit, now open to the public in Hornbake Library at the University of Maryland.


Brin Winterbottom is a graduate student at the University of Maryland iSchool. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She currently works in Hornbake’s Digital Conversion Media Reformatting Center and is conducting her field study with the Alice exhibit team. 

December 5th is the AFL-CIO’s 60th Anniversary!

On November 25, 1952, George Meany was elected as President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).  During the later years of former AFL President William Green’s life, Meany was gradually handling more and more of the responsibilities of president.  As such, Meany was intent on his first priority being to strengthen the labor movement through a merger of the AFL and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).  Within six days he was sharing his early plans with the press.  He told them that the AFL and CIO had to meet and “get at this problem as trade unionists” and expressed hope “that we’ll have sense enough to unify the American labor movement in the near future.”  The AFL and the CIO were often “striving for competitive advantage” and that there was “too much effort wasted in competition between unions.” (1)

In 1952, Walter Reuther was elected President of the CIO after the death of his predecessor Philip Murray.  Reuther was also in favor of unity, and Meany arranged to meet with him in January of 1953.  According to an oral history interview by Archie Robinson, Meany recalls the meeting in Reuther’s Washington hotel room:

The two of us met, just by ourselves.  Reuther was CIO president for only about four weeks and I was AFL president for about six weeks; we were brand-new presidents.  I told him that I was not going to waste a lot of time unless there was some chance of success.

I put forward the proposition that we should try to end the raiding – that you could never get a merger unless you created the atmosphere for a merger.  And the way to do that was to stop the raiding, to whatever extent we could stop it.  Reuther agreed.

I proposed exploring what the actual situation was in regard to the warfare.  The warfare between the AFL and CIO was confined to a few unions; certain unions in the CIO didn’t bother us, we didn’t bother them.  A great many of the AFL unions had no interest in raiding; they didn’t have to defend themselves.  But there was extensive activity within a few unions. (2)

The next two years included several milestones leading up to the AFL and CIO merger.  The AFL and CIO formed a joint Unity Committee, made up of AFL and CIO representatives, to explore the possibility of merging. On October 15, 1954, the Committee made the “unanimous decision… to create a single trade union center in America through the process of merger…” (3) After the AFL and CIO each individually voted for merger on December 1 and December 2, 1955. The AFL-CIO held their first joint convention on December 5, 1955.

George Meany’s May 2, 1955 draft of the AFL-CIO Constitution. Contains handwritten notes from Meany and others. Office of the President, President’s Files, George Meany, 1947-1960 (2014-001-RG1-027), Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

The University of Maryland’s Special Collections in Labor Studies has archival materials about the AFL-CIO merger, including audio and film recordings.  Here are some audio clips from AFL-CIO’s first ever convention, held on December 5, 1955:


 

  1.  Archie Robinson, George Meany and His Times (Simon and Schuster, New York: 1981).
  2. Archie Robinson, George Meany and His Times (Simon and Schuster, New York: 1981).
  3. “Report and Recommendations of the Joint AFL-CIO Unity Committee,” 9 February 1955. Office of the President, President’s Files, George Meany, 1947-1960 (2014-001-RG1-027), Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Alice in Special Collections & University Archives

Curious to discover more about Lewis Carroll and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Visit the Maryland Room to view Alice-related material from Special Collections and University Archives in Hornbake Library.

Here you can find early editions of Alice in Wonderland, including copies owned by Djuna Barnes and Katherine Anne Porter.  The Gordon W. Prange Collection holds Alice editions published in Japan during the Allied Occupation. Our Mass Media and Culture collections houses photographs and other records of Alice in film and media.

Check out the list below or search our catalog to discover more.

Special Collections

  • Boys and Girls of Bookland. By Nora Archibald Smith. Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.
    New York: D. McKay, c1923.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. By Lewis Carroll. New York: Macmillan and Co., 1900.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. By Lewis Carroll. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Berkeley : University of California Press, 1982.
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Berkeley : University of California Press, 1983.
  • Yours very sincerely C.L. Dodgson (alias “Lewis Carroll“) : an exhibition from the Jon A. Lindseth Collection of C.L. Dodgson and Lewis Carroll. New York : Grolier Club, 1998.
  • In Memoriam, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, 1832-1898: Obituaries of Lewis Carroll and Related Pieces. Compiled and Edited by August A. Imholtz, Jr. & Charlie Lovett. New York : Lewis Carroll Society of North America, 1998.
  • The Tale of the Mouse’s Tail. By David and Maxine Schaefer. Illustrated by Jonathan Dixon. Silver Spring, MD : Mica Publishers, 1995.

Djuna Barnes Collection

  • Through the Looking-glass and What Alice Found There. By Lewis Carroll. Philadelphia : H. Altemus Co., [1897?]. Altemus’ Young People’s Library.
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. By Lewis Carroll. New York : Macmillan and Co., 1920.
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. By Lewis Carroll. London: Macmillan and Co., 1910.

Katherine Anne Porter Collection

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. By Lewis Carroll. New York: Three sirens press [19–?].

Mass Media and Culture Collections

  • Alice in Sponsor-land: a chronicle of the adventures of Alice, the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse in that twentieth century Wonderland on the other side of your radio loudspeaker: with specific reference, as they say, to the entertainment offerings of the NBC Red Network. Illustrated by Barney Tobey. National Broadcasting Company, 1941.
  • Selections from the Columbia Pictures Television Production of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ Golden Torch Music Corporation, 1985.
  • TV Guide. Triangle Publications, Inc.. Vol. 33, No. 49, Dec. 7, 1985; Vol. 14, No. 13, March 26, 1966.; Vol. 47, No. 9, Feb. 27, 1999.
    • Broadcast and Cable Listings of Alice adaptations on TV.
  • Tea Party Scene Still from “Alice in Wonderland.” (Photograph). Natalie Gregory, Anthony Newley, Arte Johnson, Roddy McDowell. Columbia Pictures Television for CBS Television Network, 1985. From Tom Buckley Collection. 
  • Great Performances’s Presentation of “Alice in Wonderland.” (Photograph). Public Broadcasting Station, Nov. 23, 1984. The late Richard Burton as the White Knight and his daughter, Kate, as Alice.
  • Headshots of the stars from “Alice in Wonderland.” (Photograph). Columbia Pictures Television for CBS Television Network, 1985. From Frank Absher Collection.

Gordon W. Prange Collection

  • Fushigi no kuni no Arisu (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”). Kusuyama, Masao, trans. Tokyo: Komine Shoten, 1948.
  • Fushigi no kuni no Alice (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)Eigo Junia =Junior English, vol. 4, no. 5., 8/5/1949
  • Fushigi no kuni no Alice (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)Hikari no kuni, vol. 2, no. 9., 9/1/1949
  • Fushigi no kuni no Alice (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)Kodomo no mado, vol. 2, no. 2, 5/1/1947
  • Fushigi no kuni (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”). Kitada, Takushi. Tokyo: Furendobukkusha, 1948.
  • Kagami no kuni no Arisu (“Through the Looking-Glass”). Kusuyama, Masao, trans. Tokyo: Komine Shoten, 1948.
  • Fushigi na kuni no Arisu (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”). Kikuchi, Sunao. Tokyo: Kokumin Tosho Kankokai, 1948.