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United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA), Local 132 archives

 Collection 0117-LBR
Local Union 132 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA) is the predominant local carpenters union in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The consolidation of four local unions located in Washington, D.C.,--884, 190, 1651, and 1103--formed Local 132. The new union received its charter on October 25, 1905. Originally, Local 132 had its headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., and met every Friday at the Typographical Temple. Members of Local 132 broke ground on a Carpenter's Hall in 1926. This building served as a home for the local union until 1981, when Local 132 moved its headquarters from downtown Washington, D.C., to Suitland, Maryland. Shortly thereafter, Local 132 moved to Forestville, Maryland. In 2008, the union again moved its offices to its present location in Upper Marlboro where it shares the building with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters (MARCC), the regional council associated with the UBCJA. Local 132 is one of 27 local unions affiliated with MARCC. The archives of Local 132 primarily consist of general administrative files, including meeting minutes and correspondence, as well as membership files that mainly consist of applications. Other items in the collection include financial records, publications, contractor files, memorabilia, and photographs. Among the topics addressed are building projects, equality for all unionized workers, and the national union.

Dates

  • 1900-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1925-2004

Use and Access to Collection

Some files are restricted. Refer to individual folder headings for more information. Union officers and members may be granted access to restricted materials with official approval from Local 132.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Extent

27.67 Linear Feet

5 Items

Scope and Content of Collection

The archives of Local 132 range in date from 1900 to 2007, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1925 and 2004. Materials primarily consist of general administrative files, including meeting minutes that date from 1905 to 2004. The membership files mainly consist of applications and range in date from 1910 to 2002; many are restricted for privacy. Other items in the collection include financial records, publications, contractor files, memorabilia, and photographs. Among the topics addressed are building projects, equality for all unionized workers, and the national union.

Administrative History

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America is one of the oldest organized labor unions in the United States. Formed in 1881 in Washington, D.C., it was first called the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and later took on its current name in 1916. Local 132 received its charter on October 25, 1905, after a consolidation of four local unions: 884, 190, 1651, and 1103. One of these unions, Local 190, was the first local union of the national organization. Consolidation of the unions took place on October 27, 1905, at Pythian Temple in Washington, D.C.

The first officers of Local 132 were installed in office on January 5, 1906. Jacob Nussbaum was the first president of the newly consolidated union and had been the president of Local 884 before the consolidation. John Chift held the position of vice president, while E.B. Burns was the first recording secretary. M. J. Deery was the financial secretary, and G. Francis Davis served as treasurer. B.C. Stine was the first conductor, and J. J. Deery held the position of warden. W. G. Phillips and Frank Gardener were trustee and auditor, respectively, for an eighteen-month period.

Meetings were held every Friday at the Typographical Temple in Washington, D.C. In 1926, the union members broke ground on the Carpenter’s Hall, an eight-story building that they would call home until moving to Maryland in 1981. The district council for the Washington, D.C., area shared this building with Local 132.

During 105 years as a local carpenters union of the UBCJA, Local 132 has shaped the early careers of several important general executive board members of the national union. Gabriel Edmonston, the first president of the UBCJA, was a member of Local 190. To honor him, members of Local 132 erected a bronze tablet in the lobby of the General Headquarters in 1920. Edmonston then joined Local 132 when the four unions consolidated. Santiago Iglesias Pantin, the leading organizer of labor unions and worker relief in Puerto Rico, was a member of Local 132 at his death in 1939. Anthony Gianquanta, a delegate to the district council in the 1970s, was instrumental in the continued growth of Local 132. He became president in 1985, a position he held until 2003 when H. Pierre Desperes, was elected to the position.

With the consolidation, Local 132 became the major carpenters union located in the Washington, D.C. area, and has continued to be a prominent labor union in the region. There was another consolidation on October 27, 1925, when Local 1103 became part of Local 132. Local 132 is part of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters (MARCC), the regional council that serves Maryland, D.C., and Virginia local unions of the UBCJA. Today, Local 132 has over 1,400 trained and qualified carpenters, both male and female. In 2011, the president was H. Pierre Desperes, and the General Executive Board included vice president Belmont Thompson and recording secretary Benjamin G. Glenn, among others.

Over the years, members of Local 132 have contributed to several major construction projects, including projects that have had a major impact on the D.C./Maryland area. For example, they helped to build the region's public transportation system, the Metro, in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1986, members of Local 132 helped create an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. They constructed an area in the museum to show The Treasure Houses of Britain: Five Hundred Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting. At the time, the members worked to create an exhibit that imitated English country houses from the fifteenth through twentieth centuries.

According to the Local 132 website in 2011, this local union of the UBCJA continues to work toward bettering social and intellectual conditions of all working men and women. Members of Local 132 frequently assist MARCC in rallies to improve working conditions for union members in the region. Apprenticeship training is very important to the UBCJA, and MARCC provides members of all local unions under its jurisdiction, including Local 132, with free training so they can become proficient in all aspects of the profession.

Arrangement

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA), Local 132 archives is organized into six series.
Series 1
Administrative Files
Subseries 1.1
Minutes
Subseries 1.2
Correspondence
Subseries 1.3
General Administrative Files
Subseries 1.4
Financial Records
Series 2
Membership Files
Series 3
Publications
Series 4
Contractor Files
Series 5
Photographs
Series 6
Memorabilia

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The archives of UBCJA Local 132 were donated to the University of Maryland, College Park Libraries on July 1, 2011, by Financial Secretary/Treasurer and Delegate Henrick E. Sorenson and the members of Local 132.

Related Material

The University of Maryland, College Park Libraries Special Collections also holds the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA) archives. While the UBJCA archives primarily consists of documents and other materials related to the functioning of the national union, this collection also has information about Local 132 as well as many other local unions.

Processing Information

When received, the records were in twelve large file boxes. The files inside individual boxes had some discernable groupings. Thus, the overall order of the processed collection was established by the processor to highlight what was perceived to be important to the union and also to reflect these original groupings.

During the processing of the collection, it was discovered that Local 132 had instituted two different filing systems over the years. Before 1998, the files were arranged by subject. Thus, the administrative, financial, and membership files were separated from each other. This system is reflected in the overall series structure of the collection. However, in 1998, the union changed this filing system and combined administrative, financial, and membership files into a chronological arrangement. This system exists in the collection in Series 1, Subseries 3: General Administrative Files. These files were housed in hanging file folders. The hanging file folders were discarded and the records have been re-foldered into acid-free folders. The contractor files in Series 4 were not part of the new filing system and were separate from other files. Thus, they were given their own series during the processing of the collection.

The meeting minutes of Local 132 dating from 1904 to 1928 were in bound volumes, while the minutes from 1928 to 1994 were bound with metal clasps. These clasps were removed, and the records were placed in acid-free folders. All meeting minutes were then filed together chronologically in Series 1, Subseries 1: Minutes.

Some of the large file boxes contained several smaller rectangular boxes which held membership applications. These membership applications were ordered chronologically, and this order has been maintained in Series II: Membership Files. All applications contain personal information, and those applications from 1936 to the present have been restricted due to privacy concerns.

All files in the collection have been placed in acid-free boxes. Oversize materials were separated from the collection and housed in a map case. Photographs and memorabilia were separated and placed in acid-free photo boxes.

While processing the collection, the processor discovered that several of the folders contained personal and confidential information about Local 132 members, the union itself, and the institutions with which the local had contact. Thus, many folders remain restricted indefinitely due to privacy and confidentiality concerns.
Title
Guide to United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA), Local 132 archives
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Kate Aras
Date
2011-11-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Sponsor
Sponsored by a gift from Local 132

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212