Barton/Veltrusky working in his Paris apartment, circa 1970s.

Archiving AFL-CIO

Spotlight on Paul Barton:

AFL-CIO European Representative, 1968-1994

By Chris Carter
University of Maryland iSchool graduate, May 2015

Creating a plan

As a part of my Master of Library Science degree, I worked at the AFL-CIO Archives for my field study course and worked on a semester-long project with the institution.  The collection I worked on was the unprocessed records of Paul Barton, the European Representative of the International Affairs Department of the AFL-CIO, to make them accessible to the public.  This collection is twelve linear feet of records created and accumulated by Barton between 1945 and 1992.  To make these records accessible we conducted a survey of the records, created a processing plan, and wrote the finding aid.

Understanding the subject

Barton/Veltrusky working in his Paris apartment, circa 1970s.

Barton/Veltrusky working in his Paris apartment, circa 1970s.

As a part of this process we conducted some research on Paul Barton to provide context for the records.  Paul Barton, whose real name was Jiri Veltrusky, was a Czech from Czechoslovakia born on June 5, 1919.  Barton who, as an intellectual in Prague received his PhD in the philosophy of aesthetics of semiotics with a special interest in theater, was a member of the Prague Circle, a group of intellectuals, as well as an advocate for free trade unions and democracy.  When the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia successfully launched a coup and took over the government in 1948, Barton, like other pro-democracy advocates, was forced to flee the country or face persecution, ultimately fleeing to Paris where he would live the remainder of his life.  In the early years of his exile Barton used several pseudonyms before settling on Paul Barton.  While in Paris he spent time writing articles and supporting the labor union movement, becoming a representative of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions before joining the AFL-CIO around 1968.  Upon joining the AFL-CIO he served as the European Representative of the AFL-CIO International Affairs department, serving in the Paris office until his death on May 31, 1994.

Contextualizing the collection

Books authored by Barton

Books authored by Barton

Barton’s papers reflect the many communities the AFL-CIO worked with as the records are found in six languages, English, French, German, Russian, Czech and Spanish.   The topics in the records also demonstrate concerns held by Barton and the AFL-CIO, with topics ranging from trade unions in the USSR and developing countries and forced labor in the USSR.  The records also reflect the views of labor unions concerning such historical events like the Prague Spring in 1968 and the 1970 Polish Protests.

These records complement currently available collections in the AFL-CIO Archives, including the records of Jay Lovestone (2014-001-RG18-003), Irving Brown (2014-001-RG18-004), and the Country Files from the International Affairs Department (2014-001-RG18-001 and 2014-001-RG18-010).  The Thomas Kahn papers are also related, however they are not open to the public yet.  Note: Records dating after 1965 may be restricted.

Contact us if you have any questions or are interested in researching these collections.

Explore UMD’s labor collections, including the AFL-CIO archive.


IMAG1685

New Exhibit: Achievements and Milestones in UMD Athletics

Have you ever been curious about the history of Midnight Madness? Have you heard talk of the women’s rifle team, which ruled women’s athletics in the 1920s and 1930s? Or perhaps you want to know just how big a size 18 basketball shoe really is.

IMAG1685

Visitors to the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library now have the chance to learn more about university athletics through a special exhibit on display until September 18th. The exhibit features milestones in both men’s and women’s athletic competition at the University of Maryland and pairs interesting material objects with related photographs. For example, action photographs from a track meet in 1914, only three years after intercollegiate competitions in track and field began, sit in front of an original 1913 trophy from the Georgetown Relays.

IMAG1675

One of the University Archives’ most fragile items can also be viewed here: a flag from the football team’s surprise victory over Michigan State in 1950. The team captured at least two flags from MSU and brought them back to Maryland. The flag in our collection includes signatures of the football team members, coaches, and staff, as well as university president Curley Byrd. Other football highlights include three helmets worn at different times in the 20th century, making obvious the drastic changes in helmet design and safety since the early 1900s.

IMAG1681Developments in women’s athletics feature prominently in the exhibit. For the first female students on campus, opportunities for recreation consisted of intramural competition in sports like tennis, basketball, and field hockey. In the 1920s, the women’s rifle team became the first to engage in competition with other schools. The teams did not travel, but rather transmitted scores via telegraph and exchanged their bullet-riddled paper targets through the mail! Since Title IX and the expansion of women’s varsity teams, many of UMD’s team have achieved national prominence – including women’s basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse.

The University Archives’ Athletics Collections contain much more than what’s highlighted in this exhibit. Documentation about the history of various sports on campus, in addition to statistics, programs, and media guides comprise the majority of the paper records. Many memorabilia items (such as t-shirts, bumper stickers, and gameday tickets), hundreds of trophies, thousands of photographs, and over 10,000 film reels and videotapes can also be found in the collections.

IMAG1691

Most of the items on display are donations from university alumni or transfers from the Athletics Department. To find out more about these materials or other items in the collection, or to inquire about donating materials, please contact Athletics Archivist Amanda Hawk at ahawk@umd.edu.

Labor History Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

kklohjb

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/

Symposium Flyer

Symposium: Organizing for Power and Workers’ Rights in the 21st Century

We are pleased to announce a symposium and introduction to our very special labor archives. See specific information about the symposium below:

NewAmericaBanner

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

Organizing for Power and Workers’ Rights Flyer March 2015

2015-01-05 15.48.02

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?

ubja

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.

2

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.

3

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.

2015-01-05 15.49.51

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

Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & Microsoft Excel, Part 2

As you now know I began my tenure as the interim Curator for Literature and Rare Books by trying to get more familiar with cataloged items in Rare Books and Special Collections by creating a spreadsheet that would give me an overview of the collection as a whole. Technical Services provided me with a MARC file containing the complete MARC records for every item in these collections and pointed me to MARCedit to be able to create a customized report about the collections. Previously I explained how I used MARCedit in Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & MARCedit, Part 1. Now I’m going to share how I imported and set up my data in Microsoft Excel so that it revealed the contents of Rare Books and Special Collections to me.

I began by opening a new workbook in Microsoft Excel and went to the “Data” Menu Ribbon.

Excel Data Menu Import from Text File

Excel Data Menu Import from Text File

In the furthest left column I choose to import my data “from text” and directed the request box to the correct file.

Excel Import File Selection

Excel Import File Selection

The Import Wizard then allowed me to choose how to import the file. I chose “delimited” because that was the type of file I created and left “Start import at row” to its preset of “1”. In order to keep the diacritics and special characters from foreign languages I had to change the “File origin:” to match my file type “Unicode (UTF-8)”.

Excel Import Selection of Unicode UTF-8 File Type

Excel Import Selection of Unicode UTF-8 File Type

For Step two I chose “tab” to match my previous file.

Excel Import Selecting Tab Delimited

Excel Import Selection of Tab Delimited

And in Step 3 I choose “Text” because I didn’t want Excel thinking it was smarter than me and assuming that what might be a combination of numbers and letters is something other than it is and changing it. You know Excel likes to do this!

Excel Import Selection of Text

Excel Import Selection of Text

Finally I told excel that I wanted it to use the current worksheet to display the data. And after the import was complete I saved my new excel file!

Excel Import Location Selection

Excel Import Location Selection

Finally, because I wanted to sort my data I choose to “Format as Table” from the “Home” Menu Ribbon.

Excel Formatting as a Table

Excel Formatting as a Table

And now I have a very useful excel table with all currently cataloged Rare Book and Special Collections items.

Sample data with special characters and diacritics

Sample data with special characters and diacritics

More sample data with special characters and diacritics

More sample data with special characters and diacritics

This file is so much more useful than browsing the stacks for projects like the environmental scan for Revealing La Revolution. It is also a great help to me as I update the webpages about our collections and reach out to instructors with resources for their classroom. Hopefully the information on how I created this report is useful to you, too.

See Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & MARCedit, Part 1 to learn more about using MARCedit to read how I used MARCeditor to define the fields for my Excel spreadsheet.

Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & MARCedit, Part 1

As the interim Curator of Literature and Rare Books I am writing the Environmental Scan for the French Pamphlet Project. Two tools I have found very useful to help with this are MARCedit and Microsoft Excel (I sort of love spreadsheets). I became familiar with MARCedit over the summer as I attempted to gain intellectual control over my expanded collection responsibilities and learned a new (to me) feature of Microsoft Excel which has proved very useful for putting together this report. So I wanted to tell you a little about what I’ve learned.

After I was appointed interim Curator for Literature and Rare Books in May, I requested a report from Technical Services of all cataloged items in Rare Books and Special Collections. I already had a comfortable grasp of the literary manuscript collections but had not had an opportunity to really get to know the Rare Books and Special Collections volumes. In an effort to become better acquainted with these collections, I asked Technical Services to include several descriptive MARC fields (language and subject entries) for each item in Rare Books and Special Collections.

Rare Books and Special Collections Stacks

Rare Books and Special Collections Stacks

Rare Books and Special Collections Oversize Stacks

Rare Books and Special Collections Oversize Stacks

I was hoping that the final report would provide me a broad overview of the collection as well as the ability to examine the collection at a more granular level without having to go and browse the stacks. While I do love browsing the Rare Books stacks this just seemed a very inefficient way to get to know the collections. Additionally, Rare Books are fragile (sorry to state the obvious) and I don’t want to be pulling them of the shelves, flipping through them, and the re-shelving them to gather information about them that should be discernible from their catalog records.

Rare Books Shelf

Rare Books Shelf

Technical Services ran a standard report version of my request and offered me a MARC file with all Rare Book and Special Collections items complete MARC records if I wanted to create my own report using MARCedit. I accepted the challenge and a short guide to MARCedit.

MarcEditor

MARCeditor

After downloading and installing MARCedit, the first step to using MARCedit requires running the entire MARCfile through MARCbreaker to create a UTF-8 MARC file. By converting the file to a UTF-8 file the succeeding programs that this information is run through will recognize the special characters and diacritics. MARCbreaker will clean up and search for errors in MARC records while providing preliminary data about the entire file. This data let me know how many times each MARC field was used which helped me in figuring out what MARC fields I wanted MARCedit to provide in my report.

MARCbreaker

MARCbreaker

I then ran my new MARC UTF-8 file through MARCedit and checked the result of my report in Microsoft Excel. My report was a mess! Many of the records were missing information in the MARCfields I had requested and most of the records in foreign languages using special characters and diacritics came through garbled. The problems were not MARCedit or Excel’s they were mine. I realized that I was going to need to dig a little deeper into MARC fields and get crafty about how I imported my data into Excel.

I had a basic understanding of the MARC fields from one of my introductory iSchool courses but found it necessary to rely heavily on the Library of Congress’s MARC21 Bibliographic Data website to make sure that I was getting the MARC fields I truly wanted.* I had to run the report several times before I was able to figure out all of the MARC fields I wanted and how to request them from MARCedit.

Entering the fields I wanted into MARCedit was the hardest part. I could only select a single MARC field or field and subfield at a time when I knew I wanted about 20 fields in my report. So it was time consuming to select each one individually and see whether or not UMD Libraries was using that field the way I expected them to or not. The fields I finally ended up with in my report are:

008$35 – Language Code (letter 1)

008$36 – Language Code (letter 2)

008$37 – Language Code (letter 3)

* Did you know that for MARC’s three-letter-language-code each letter is entered individually into three separate subfields? Also, I had to enter each subfield individually so that each letter gets its own column in the spreadsheet!!!  Why catalogers? Why?

035 – OCLC #

050 – LOC Call Number

090 – Local Call Number

100 – Main Entry (Personal Name)

110 – Main Entry (Corporate Name)

240 – Uniform Title

245 – Title Statement

246 – Title Variation

260 – Publication

300 – Physical Description

362 – Dates of Publication

500 – General Note

510 – Citation & References

600 – Subject Entry – Personal Name

610 – Subject Entry – Corporate Name

611 – Subject Entry – Meeting Name

630 – Subject Entry – Uniform Title

648 – Subject Entry – Chronological Term

650 – Subject Entry – Topical Term

651 – Subject Entry – Geographic Name

653 – Index Term – Uncontrolled

655 – Index Term – Genre/Form

700 – Added Entry – Personal Name

740 – Added Entry – Uncontrolled Related Title

752 – Added Entry – Hierarchal Place Name

800 – Series Added Entry – Personal Name

830 – Series Added Entry – Uniform Title

852 – Location (Local)

856 – Electronic Location & Access

Having finally established all the MARC fields I needed. I returned to MARCedit to begin the process of exporting my final file. Under the “Tools” Menu I choose “Export Tab Delimited File” and set up a path to my new file, including the file name and .txt file type.

Exporting from MARCedit Step 1

Exporting from MARCedit Step 1

Next I entered each of the individual MARC fields I wanted for my report.

Exporting in MARCedit Step 2

Exporting from MARCedit Step 2

Once they were all entered I choose to export the file. I opened the text file just to check and make sure that it looked correct.

Exporting from MARCedit Step 3

Exporting from MARCedit Step 3

However I did not really want to keep my data as a .txt file. I wanted to be able to analyze the data and manipulate it in a table format. So I needed to import my .txt file into Microsoft Excel.

To be continued in Part 2… Revealing La Revolution: The Environmental Scan & Microsoft Excel, Part 2

*While I was working on this the government (including all Library of Congress webpages) was shut down. I had to use the Internet Archive’s Way Back Machine to retrieve the information I needed.

New Material Available from the AFL-CIO Collection

This week we’re re-opening 6 more sub-record groups and a small number of selected Labor History publications! See other available portions of the collection or contact us to plan your visit.

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)

The George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive at the University of Maryland

The George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive at the University of Maryland

Updates to the availability of the AFL-CIO Collection

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.

AFL-CIO boxesRG9: Civil Rights Department

• 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-

See other available parts of the collection

Contact us with your questions