Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

Guide to the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Printed Ephemera Collection on the American Federation of Labor PE.014

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Adrien Hilton

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 20, 2018
Description is in English

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Tamiment Library
Title: Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Printed Ephemera Collection on the American Federation of Labor
Dates [inclusive]: 1892-1992
Abstract: The American Federation of Labor (AFL) Printed Ephemera Collection is an artificial collection, collected and assembled by the Tamiment Library over the course of several decades. Founded in 1886, the AFL served as a large federation of labor unions for the United States and Canada. Unions affiliated with the AFL were traditionally organized by craft rather than industry-wide. The AFL joined with the more industrial focused Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO. In the date range of the late 1800s up through the 1990s, the collection consists of constitutions, rosters, directories and manuals as well as printed ephemera such as fliers, brochures, circular letters, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and other publications. In addition to the material that was generated at the national level of the AFL and by its various departments and committees including the Workers Education Bureau, which later became a part of the AFL, the collection consists of material from city, state and regional Federations of Labor. The New York State Federation of Labor is represented in the collection with convention proceedings and reports, circular letters, press releases, pamphlets as well as the merger agreement reached with the New York State Industrial Union Council.
Quantity: 3 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: PE.014

Return to Top »


Historical/Biographical Note

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in Ohio in 1886, its precursor was known as the Federation of Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada. Samuel Gompers was elected the first president. One of the first campaigns of the AFL was to fight nationally for the 8-hour day, a campaign that spread across the US and into Europe. Initially, organizing unions into the Federation was difficult, but steadily membership began to grow as the benefits of amalgamation became evident. The AFL organized workers more traditionally along craft lines, consequently, due to a division in strategy of organizing all workers in an industry, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) was formed. The two merged in 1955 forming the AFL-CIO.

Return to Top »


Scope and Content Note

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Printed Ephemera Collection on the American Federation of Labor consists of constitutions, rosters, manuals and reports, as well as printed ephemera such as fliers, brochures, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and other publications.

Series I: General Files, 1892-1981, consists of the pamphlets and printed ephemera generated by the AFL at the national level, along with several of its departments and committees. The Workers Education Bureau of America, a national project devoted to the education of workers, was supported and heavily influenced by the AFL. Eventually, in 1951, the Bureau was officially transferred to the AFL. The collection contains material from the Bureau following its absorption by the AFL, including bibliographies, conference schedules and programs, and pamphlets on a variety of topics. Similar material from the Department of Education is represented in the collection, including steward's manuals, publications relating to building local education programs, as well as conference programs and bibliographies. The collection contains printed ephemera pertaining to consumer cooperatives, the AFL's union label campaign, the planning of the Samuel Gompers Centennial celebration that took place in 1950, as well as more general fliers and brochures on the history of the AFL and trade union organizing.

Series II: City, State and Regional Federations of Labor, 1916-1992, consists of the printed ephemera generated by the city, state and regional Federations of Labor. The material in this series comes from cities all around the United States, including Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland and Los Angeles, as well as from states such as Kentucky, Texas, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A sizable portion of this series is from the New York State Federation of Labor. There are annual reports, convention and conference materials, constitutions, as well as a number of circular letters, press releases and pamphlets following labor legislation. Included is the merger agreement signed with the New York State Industrial Union Council in 1958, following the merger nationally of the AFL with the CIO.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into two series: Series I: General Files, 1892-1955; Series II: City, State and Regional Federations of Labor, 1916-1961. Folders are arranged alphabetically within series.

Return to Top »


Access Points

Document Type

  • Printed ephemera.
  • Fliers (printed matter)
  • Constitutions.
  • Circular letters.
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Publications (documents)
  • Press releases.
  • Pamphlets.

Subject Organizations

  • American Federation of Labor
  • Workers Education Bureau of America

Subject Topics

  • Labor unions -- United States.
  • Labor unions
  • Labor unions -- New York (State)
  • Labor unions -- Organizing -- United States.

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Custodial History

The provenance of the materials is varied. Items were obtained through purchases, donations, standing orders with publishers, arrangements with labor unions and other organizations, exchanges with other libraries, and through ongoing collecting by Tamiment staff.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Because of the assembled nature of this collection, copyright status varies across the collection. Copyright is assumed to be held by the original creator of individual items in the collection; these items are expected to pass into the public domain 120 years after their creation. Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from this collection.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials in this collection have been compiled by the Tamiment Library. There is no accession record associated with this collection.

Return to Top »


Container List

Series I: General Files, 1892-1981

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 American Federation of Women's Auxiliaries of Labor
1942-1944, undated
Box: 1 Argentina
1946-1947
Box: 1 Building and Construction Trades Department
1944
Box: 1 Central Trades and Labor Council of Greater New York and Vicinity
1930-1949, 1954
Box: 1 Circular Letters and Open Letters
1924-1954
Box: 1 Committee for Unemployment Insurance and Relief
1935
Box: 1 Committee on Education/Committee on Industrial Education
1912, 1923
Box: 1 Constitutional Conventions
1888, 1935-1946
Box: 1 Constitutional Conventions: Committee on International Labor Relations: Reports
1947-1954
Box: 1 Constitutional Conventions: Executive Council: Reports
1912, 1923, 1943-1954
Box: 1 Constitutional Conventions: Speeches
1934-1942
Box: 1 Constitutions
1918, 1929, 1936-1954
Box: 1 Consumer Cooperatives
1937-1948, undated
Box: 1 Department of Education
1954-1955, undated
Box: 1 Department of Education
1955
Box: 1 Department of Research
1955
Box: 1 Directories and Rosters (of Affiliates)
1942-1952, undated
Box: 1 Fliers and Ephemera
1935, 1950, 1952, undated
Box: 1 Free Trade Union Committee
1951-1955, undated
Box: 1 Food and Service Trades Council
undated
Box: 1 Information Division
undated
Box: 1 Information and Publicity Service
1952-1954
Box: 1 International Labor Relations Committee
1946-1949
Box: 1 International Labor Relations Department
1947
Box: 1 Labor's League for Political Education I
1949-1954, undated
Box: 1 Labor's League for Political Education II
1949-1954, undated
Box: 1 Manuals
1951, undated
Box: 1 Meany, George: Testimonial Dinner
1953
Box: 1 National Committee for the Extension of Labor Education
1949
Box: 1 National Legislative Committee
1954
Box: 1 National Organizing Committee of Western Union Employees
undated
Box: 1 Non-Partisan Committee
1941
Box: 1 Office of the General Counsel
undated
Box: 1 Organizations Affiliated
1936
Box: 1 Pamphlets and Publications
1892-1899, undated
Box: 2 Pamphlets and Publications
1911-1918
Box: 2 Pamphlets and Publications
1920-1925
Box: 2 Pamphlets and Publications
1926-1929
Box: 2 Pamphlets and Publications
1930-1934
Box: 2 Pamphlets and Publications
1935-1939
Box: 2 Pamphlets and Publications
1940-1949
Box: 2 Pamphlets and Publications
1950-1955, 1980-1981
Box: 2 Post War Planning Committee
1944, undated
Box: 2 Press Releases
1938, 1951
Box: 2 Provisional AFL-CIO Trade Union Committee: Greek American Council
circa 1945
Box: 2 Publications Relating to
1928-1958, undated
Box: 2 Railway Employees Department
1927-1952, undated
Box: 2 Retirement Plan
1950
Box: 2 Sam Gompers Centennial Committee
1950
Box: 2 Sam Gompers Federal Labor Union Council
1949
Box: 2 Social Security Committee
1954
Box: 2 Southern Policy Committee
undated
Box: 2 Trade Union Committee for Unemployment Insurance and Relief
1932-1934, undated
Box: 2 Trade Union Education League
1926
Box: 2 Union Label Trades Department
1935-1941, 1952, undated
Box: 2 Union Label Trades Department: Central Union Label Council of Greater New York
1926-1941, undated
Box: 2 Union Label Trades Department: Holcomb, Desma, "The Effectiveness of Union Label Campaigns by the Allied Printing Trades Council of New York from 1898 to 1916"
1993
Box: 2 Union Label Trades Department: Union Label League of Pennsylvania
1946
Box: 2 Veterans Committee
1946, undated
Box: 2 Western Union Telegraph Company: Agreement
1946
Box: 2 Workers Education Bureau
1950-1952
Box: 2 Workers Education Bureau
1953-1954
Box: 2 World Trade Union Conference
1945

Return to Top »


Series II: City, State and Regional Federations of Labor, 1916-1992

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 3 Buffalo Federation of Labor (Buffalo, NY)
1954
Box: 3 California State Federation of Labor
1935-1957, undated
Box: 3 California State Federation of Labor: Summer Labor Institute
1948
Box: 3 Central Labor Union of Philadelphia and Vicinity
1939
Box: 3 Chicago Federation of Labor
1918, undated
Box: 3 Chicago Federation of Labor: Radio Broadcasting Association
1926
Box: 3 Cleveland Federation of Labor (Cleveland, OH)
1934
Box: 3 Connecticut American Federation of Labor Committee for the Promotion of a Labor Party
undated
Box: 3 Connecticut Federation of Labor
1950
Box: 3 Detroit and Wayne County Federation of Labor (Detroit, MI)
1951
Box: 3 Florida Federation of Labor
1951
Box: 3 Illinois State Federation of Labor
1954, 1960-1961, undated
Box: 3 Illinois Federation of Labor: Committee on Unemployment
1916
Box: 3 Indiana State Federation of Labor
1957
Box: 3 Kansas State Federation of Labor
1953, 1958-1959
Box: 3 Kentucky State Federation of Labor
1950-1952, undated
Box: 3 Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
undated
Box: 3 Massachusetts State Federation of Labor
1930-1935, 1952
Box: 3 Mercer County Central Labor Union
1952
Box: 3 Milwaukee Federated Trades Council
1955, undated
Box: 3 Minnesota State Federation of Labor
1955, undated
Box: 3 New Jersey State Federation of Labor
1922
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Annual Reports
1930-1941
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Circular Letters and Memoranda
1926-1952
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Committee on Education/Education Department
1923-1955
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Committee on Health
1918-1919
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Conferences
1944-1956
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Constitutions
1921, 1934-1954
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Conventions
1936-1955
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Conventions
1957, 1967
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: History
1933-1939
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Labor Legislation
1922-1929, 1946-1955
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Labor's League for Political Education
1948
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Lyons, Thomas
1943
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Merger Agreement (with New York State Industrial Union Council)
1958
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Non-Partisan Committee of New York State Federation of Labor
1922
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Pamphlets and Publications
circa 1932, 1992, undated
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Press Releases
1952-1958
Box: 3 New York State Federation of Labor: Reconstruction Program
1919, undated
Box: 3 Ohio State Federation of Labor
1953
Box: 3 Oregon State Federation of Labor
1945-1952
Box: 3 Oswego Federation of Labor
1950
Box: 3 Pennsylvania Federation of Labor
1924-1958, undated
Box: 3 San Francisco Labor Council
1951, undated
Box: 3 Texas State Federation of Labor
1953
Box: 3 Toledo Central Labor Union (Toledo, OH)
undated
Box: 3 Virginia State Federation of Labor
1952, 1953
Box: 3 West Virginia State Federation of Labor
1952-1956
Box: 3 Wisconsin State Federation of Labor
1939, undated

Return to Top »


Return to Top »