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Guide to the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Printed Ephemera Collection on the Industrial Workers of the World PE.044

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 Mei Tuggle, Adrien Hilton

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 30, 2018
Description is in English

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Tamiment Library
Source - dnr: Sherwood, Susan Parker
Title: Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Printed Ephemera Collection on the Industrial Workers of the World
Dates: 1905-2005
Abstract: The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives Printed Ephemera Collection on the Industrial Workers of the World is an articial collection, collected and assembled by the Tamiment Library over the course of several decades. It features the publications, pamphlets, news articles, and convention reports of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a labor organization founded in 1905 in Chicago. The IWW fought for increased wages, better working conditions, and fewer hours by attempting to organize workers from all industry lines around the country.
Quantity: 2 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: PE.044

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Historical/Biographical Note

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was founded on June 27, 1905 in Chicago by representatives from 43 groups. The organization was established in response to the wage system of capitalism as well as the organizing methods of the American Federation of Labor. At its founding, the IWW sought to include all industrial workers in order to create One Big Union that would effectively gain better workers' rights, such as increased wages, fewer hours, and improved working conditions. Some of the founding leaders included Daniel De Leon of the Socialist Labor Party, William D. Haywood of the Western Federation of Miners, and Eugene V. Debs of the Socialist Party, who later withdrew his membership as the IWW became more radical. Although often employing militant tactics, the IWW also utilized protest methods that espoused the philosophy of "folded arms." In which they would withhold their labor from employers. Some methods of this included slow downs and massive sickouts. The IWW preferred "striking on the job" over traditional striking and picket lines as workers would often lose their jobs during strikes to scabs. In addition, many IWW members engaged in free speech fights. The IWW encouraged its members to openly recruit new members and voice grievances. They would consequently get arrested and put in jail—costing cities a lot of money. These methods proved effective as free speech bans were often lifted, such as in Spokane, WA in 1909. In 1912, the IWW had an estimated 50,000 members from various industries. In 1923, the IWW saw the height of its membership with roughly 100,000 members. In 1924, the IWW suffered a split due to two differing organizing visions, that of the centralists and the decentralists. The centralists called for the universalization of the IWW, eventually resulting in the IWW taking over the functions of the federal government. Meanwhile, the decentralists envisioned a free industrial society, in which independent local groups would organize and establish laws as they saw fit. After the 1924 split, the IWW saw a decline in membership, but continues to be active today.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection is organized into two series. Series I contains the general files of the IWW. Series II was acquired from the IWW's New York City Branch.

Series I: General Files, 1905-2005, consists of pamphlets, fliers/leaflets, articles, circular letters, songbooks, and other material from various branches and committees, including the Starbucks Workers Union, Chicago Branch, New York General Membership Branch, Metal and Machinery Workers Union No. 440, and Coal Mine Workers Industrial Union No. 220.

Series II: New York City Branch, 1905-1976, consists of material acquired from the IWW's New York General Membership Branch, which includes various pamphlets, publications, news articles, fliers/leaflets, convention reports, and general records from the General Defense Committee, Centralia Publicity Committee, and One Big Union Workers' Bulletin.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into two series: Series I: General Files, 1905-2005; Series II: New York City Branch, 1905-1976. Folders are arranged alphabetically within series.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Sherwood, Susan Parker

Subject Organizations

  • Industrial Workers of the World. New York City Branch
  • Industrial Workers of the World. General Defense Committee
  • Industrial Workers of the World

Subject Topics

  • Centralia Massacre, Centralia, Wash., 1919.
  • Syndicalism -- United States.
  • Political prisoners -- United States.

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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. The accession number associated with this collection is 1950.261.

Some materials were donated by Susan Parker Sherwood at an unknown date. The accession number associated with this gift is NPA.2003.058.

Processing Information

Material in the general files originated from several different sources. However, the material from the New York Branch came in as a separate collection.

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Container List

Series I: General Files, 1905-2005, 1905-2005

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Application for Membership
undated
Box: 1 Articles and Newspaper Clippings
1928-2005, undated
Box: 1 Bibliographies
1969-2005, undated
Box: 1 Boston Area Local Branch
undated
Box: 1 Canada
1924
Box: 1 Cartoons
1925-1987, undated
Box: 1 Chicago Branch
1975
Box: 1 Chicago General Membership Branch
1976, undated
Box: 1 Circular Letters
1964-1996, undated
Box: 1 Coal Mine Workers Industrial Union, No. 220
1929
Box: 1 Collective Bargaining
1978
Box: 1 Conferences
2005
Box: 1 Fliers and Leaflets
1971-1990, undated
Box: 1 Foodstuff Workers' Industrial Union, No. 460
undated
Box: 1 General Defense Committee
1973-1976, undated
Box: 1 General Organization Bulletin
1987-1994
Box: 1 General Organizing Committee
1974
Box: 1 General Recruiting Union
1935
Box: 1 General Referendum Ballot
1994
Box: 1 Great Britain
1980-1981
Box: 1 Hawaii
1976-1978
Box: 1 Health Service Workers, No. 610
undated
Box: 1 History/Structure
1905-1919, undated
Box: Shared Tamiment 006 Folder : 13 Industrial Union Manifesto
undated
Box: 1 Industrial Transportation Project
1990-2002
Box: 1 Labor History Calendar
1995-2000
Box: 1 Labor History Calendar (100th Anniversary of the Struggle for the 8-Hour Day)
1986
Box: 1 LeHigh Valley
1991
Box: 1 Madison (WI)
2011
Box: 2 Membership books
1906-1949
Box: 1 Metal and Machinery Workers Union, No. 440
1933, undated
Box: 1 New York Branch I
1971-1976, undated
Box: 1 New York Branch II
1971-1972, undated
Box: 1 New York General Membership Branch I
1973, undated
Box: 1 New York General Membership Branch II
1975
Box: 1 No. 450
undated
Box: 1 NY Organizing Committee
1981-1982, undated
Box: 1 One Big Union Job Committee
undated
Box: 1 Organizing Manual
1978
Box: 1 Pamphlets I
1905-1999, undated
Box: 1 Pamphlets II
1979-1989, undated
Box: 1 Pamphlets III
undated
Box: 1 Preamble and Constitution
1968-1993, undated
Box: 1 Publications Relating To
1918, undated
Box: 1 Publishing Bureau
1918, undated
Box: 1 Railroad Workers Industrial Union, No 520
undated
Box: 1 Rank-and-File Organizing Committee
undated
Box: 1 San Fernando Valley State College Job Branch of 620
1970, undated
Box: 1 Shoe Workers Industrial Union Local 168 - Buccafori Defense Committee
1911
Box: 1 Songbooks
1953-1984, undated
Box: 1 Starbucks Workers Union
undated
Box: 1 Strike Support
1972, undated
Box: 1 Tacoma-Olympia Branch
1977

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Series II: New York City Branch, 1905-1976, 1905-1976

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 Agricultural Workers Industrial Union, 110
1966
Box: 1 Articles and Newspaper Clippings I
1918-1971
Box: 1 Articles and Newspaper Clippings II
1918
Box: 1 Australia and New Zealand General Organizing Committee Bulletin
1976
Box: 1 Ballot Committee
1966
Box: 1 Bibliographies
1923-1970, undated
Box: 1 Brot-Backer Der West Side: Branch 3, Local 46
1908
Box: 1 Cartoons and Stickers
1932-1971, undated
Box: 1 Centralia Publicity Committee
1919-1928, undated
Box: 1 Circular Letters
1959-1963, undated
Box: 1 Conventions
1934-1936
Box: 2 Correspondence
1915-1959, undated
Box: 2 Fliers/Leaflets I
1905-1945, undated
Box: 2 Fliers/Leaflets II
1906-1962, undated
Box: 2 General Construction Workers Industrial Union No. 310
1924
Box: 2 General Defense Committee
1919-1948, undated
Box: 2 General Defense Committee: Defense Bulletin
1924-1938
Box: 2 General Defense Committee: Defense News Service I
1922
Box: 2 General Defense Committee: Defense News Service II
1922-1925
Box: 2 General Defense Committee: General Defense Bulletin
1941
Box: 2 General Defense Committee: Workers Defense
1932
Box: 2 General Executive Board
1922
Box: 2 General Labor Union
1932
Box: 2 General Office Bulletin
1923
Box: 2 General Organization Bulletin
1967
Box: 2 General Recruiting Union
1966-1967, undated
Box: 2 Los Angeles General Membership
undated
Box: 2 Marine Transport Workers Industrial Union No. 510
1936
Box: 2 New York Defense Committee
1919
Box: 2 Notes
undated
Box: 2 One Big Union (Canada)
undated
Box: 2 One Big Union: Workers' Bulletin
undated
Box: 2 Pamphlets I
1957, undated
Box: 2 Pamphlets II
undated
Box: 2 Pamphlets III
1918, undated
Box: 2 Paterson Silk Workers Strike
1913, undated
Box: 2 Postcards
1919
Box: 2 Preamble and Constitution
1905-1965, undated
Box: 2 Publications Bureau
1918, undated
Box: 2 Publications Relating To
1906-1921, undated
Box: 2 Seattle Joint Branches
undated
Box: 2 Statement of J.B. Phelan (Political Prisoner)
1919
Box: 2 Ticket (Social and Dance)
1936
Box: 2 Trial Bulletin
1918
Box: 2 Workers' Defense Union
1919-1920

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