Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

Guide to the Frank Herbst Papers and Photographs WAG.201

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 Maggie Schreiner

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 28, 2018
Finding aid is written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Herbst, Frank, 1917-1979
Title: Frank Herbst Papers and Photographs
Dates [inclusive]: 1937-1993
Dates [bulk]: 1941-1957
Abstract: Frank Herbst was a union leader who worked for the State, County and Municipal Workers Union Local 1 as a manager and business agent in the 1940's and 1950's. Under Herbst the Local achieved gains in wages, working conditions, staff promotions and grievance procedures. Herbst was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee as Local 1 came under McCarthyite criticism. In 1952 Herbst had to leave Local 1 in order for the union to maintain official recognition and continue its representation of the workers. The local eventually merged with Teamsters Local 237. The collection contains Herbst's HUAC testimony, as well as statements and fliers from Teamsters Local 237. Photocopies of three scrapbooks Herbst kept though the 1940s and 1950s contain information on Herbst, Local 1 and anticommunism. Materials pertaining the "Pillar of Labor" tribute to Herbst include biographical information and a compilation of Herbst's columns for Local 1's newsletter, the Welfare Reporter. Approxmiately fifteen black and white photographs document Herbst's student organizing, wartime service and United Public Workers conventions and meetings.
Quantity: 0.5 Linear Feet in 10 folders in 2 shared boxes.
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: WAG.201

Return to Top »


Historical/Biographical Note

Frank Herbst was born in 1917 in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn and attended New York City public schools. He graduated from City College in 1938 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. While a student, he became active in campus politics. He was elected president of the Student Council as well as president of the City College Chapter of the American Student Union. After graduation, he found work as a case worker with the New York City Department of Welfare (later the Human Resources Administration). He joined the State, County and Municipal Workers Union, Local 1 and became the manager of the Local.

The outbreak of World War II interrupted Herbst's union work. He enlisted in the Navy and spent three years as a Quartermaster First Class and Assistant Navigator on a destroyer escort. After discharge in 1946, he returned to the union and accepted the position of Local 1 Representative (business agent), which through merger became part of the United Public Workers of America. Under his leadership, the Local achieved significant gains in wages, working conditions, staff promotions and grievance procedures, as well as in services to the Welfare clients. Herbst was a regular columnist in Welfare Reporter, the newsletter of Local 1.

In 1950, the CIO forced out the United Public Workers of America and other national unions as "communist-dominated". Herbst himself was called in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee. He left the local in 1952 in order to enable the union maintain official recognition and continue to represent the workers. The remnants of the Local merged with Teamsters Local 237. In the early 1970s Herbst became a key figure in the planning and construction of the 1199 Plaza housing development. He died in 1979.

Return to Top »


Scope and Contents

The collection contains Herbst's HUAC testimony, as well as statements and fliers from Teamsters Local 237. Photocopies of three scrapbooks Herbst kept though the 1940s and 1950s contain information on Herbst, Local 1 and anticommunism. Materials pertaining the "Pillar of Labor" tribute to Herbst include biographical information and a compilation of Herbst's columns for Local 1's newsletter, the Welfare Reporter. Approxmiately fifteen black and white photographs document Herbst's student organizing and wartime service as well as United Public Workers conventions and meetings.

Arrangement

Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Return to Top »


Access Points

Document Type

  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Testimonies.
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Reports.

Subject Organizations

  • American Student Union
  • United States. Congress. House. |b Committee on Un-American Activities
  • Rapp-Coudert Committee
  • United Public Workers of America
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers of America. Local 237 (New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.). Human Resources Administration
  • City University of New York. City College
  • 1199, National Health and Human Service Employees Union

Subject Topics

  • Municipal officials and employees -x Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • College students -x Political activity -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Anti-fascist movements -- United States.
  • Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York -- Organizing.
  • Anti-communist movements -- New York (State) -- New York.

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.)

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in 1937-1993, are expected to enter the public domain in 2050.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Frank Herbst Papers and Photographs; WAG 201; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Related Archival Materials

WAG 199 United Public Workers of America: Reserach Files

TAM 533 Investigation Files of the Rapp-Coudert Committee

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in repository; provenance is unknown. The accession numbers associated with this collection are 1993.003 and 1993.008.

Processing Information

No original order was apparent in the collection; materials were grouped into folders and described by the archivist.

Photographs separated from this collection were established as a separate collection, the Frank Herbst Photographs (PHOTOS 064). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Frank Herbst Papers collection and renamed the Frank Herbst Papers and Photographs (WAG 201).

Return to Top »


Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: A005 Folder : 1 "Pillar of Labor" Memorial
1993
Box: A005 Folder : 2 International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237
undated
Box: MSOS005 Folder : 1 Oversize Portraits (Photographs)
circa 1954-1955
Box: A005 Folder : 3 Portraits (Photographs)
1937-1953, undated
Box: MSOS005 Folder : 2 Scrapbook I
1937-1948
Box: MSOS005 Folder : 3 Scrapbook II
1949-1957
Box: MSOS005 Folder : 4 Scrapbook III
1947-1948, undated
Box: A005 Folder : 4 Testimony regarding Communist Activity (Rapp-Coudert Committee, House Un-American Activities Committee)
1941-1948, undated
Box: A005 Folder : 5 United Public Workers: Conventions and Meetings (Photographs)
1946-1949, undated
Box: A005 Folder : 6 Wartime Service (Photographs)
1943

Return to Top »