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Patricia Cooper papers

 Collection 0119-LBR

The collection consists of materials used by Cooper in preparing two books. Some materials relate to Cooper's book on the Cigar Makers International Union, Once a Cigar Maker: Men, Women, and Work Culture in American Cigar Factories, 1900-1919 (1987), including audiotapes of oral history interviews, transcripts of oral history interviews, working papers, photographs, and manuscript drafts. Other materials relate to Cooper's unpublished manuscript about the Sun Shipbuilding Company, 1916-1942, including audiotapes of oral history interviews, book manuscript drafts, and reasearch files.


  • 1875-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1977-1989

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is minimally processed. This means that materials were reviewed for content and condition, and have minimal description and arrangement.

Materials of a sensitive nature, such as those containing personally identifiable information, are restricted for 75 years or the life of the individual and will be removed by special collections staff. Please speak with a staff member if you believe that materials have been unnecessarily removed.

This collection also contains audiovisual materials. Items that cannot be used in the Special Collections reading room or are too fragile for researchers require that a digital copy be made prior to use because the original audio tapes are not reformatted for public access. Interview content is restricted without release forms.

Please contact us before visiting the Special Collections reading room to view this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


6.00 Linear Feet (4 Paige boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Patricia Cooper received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland in 1981. She taught in the History and Politics Department at Drexel University and in the Department of History and the Gender and Women's Studies Program at the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include gender, race, and labor.


This collection is organized into two series:

Series 1
Cigar Makers
Series 2
Sun Shipbuilding

Custodial History

This collection was donated to University of Maryland Libraries by Patricia Cooper on June 25, 1993 and September 20, 2018.

Processing Information

In the spring of 2020, the processing archivist reviewed the control file for the 1993 accession and updated the preliminary inventory and accession records. She created an accession record and preliminary inventory for the 2019 accession and revised the resource record to include the new accession. Revisions to the resource record include editing the abstract, dates, and extents. The processing note, biographical/historical note, scope and contents, collection arrangement and archival objects were added to the resource record. Two series were designated based on the research for the donor's two books. Copied materials that are readily available elsewhere were removed from the collection and discarded.

Material was arranged into informal groups within the two series: oral history tapes, transcripts, manuscripts, and research files. The audio tapes were arranged alphabetically and then chronologically. The transcript files were also arranged alphabetically.

Some tapes may be duplicates or could be long interviews over multiple tapes. In the case of multiple tapes for the same interviewee, it is unclear which tape matches the transcript file, if there is one.

Guide to the Patricia Cooper papers
Allison Riehl
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2010-05-12: EAD markup checked and verified using Oxygen software by Jennie Levine Knies.
  • 2017-11-15: EAD checked and revised following ArchivesSpace migration by Emily Flint.
  • 2017-12-13: Finding aid reviewed and minor edits made by Liz Caringola.
  • 2019-02-04: Scope and content added, as well as notes regarding limited access to oral history interviews and transcripts by Jen Eidson.
  • 2020-05-08: Update to dates, extent, scope and content by Allison Riehl. See Processing note for further details.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742