Scope and Content of Collection
The Archives of the International Association of Siderographers consist of correspondence, convention reports, membership and financial records, minutes of business meetings, audio-visual materials, and memorabilia that span the entire history of the union and its precursor organizations. Also included are booklets containing the constitution and by-laws of the association, files and scrapbooks of historical notes and newspaper clippings, records generated by the AFL that contain information relevant to the Siderographers, and blank forms, certificates, and stationery used for a variety of purposes by the union. Materials in the collection date between 1899 and 1991.
The records of the International Association comprise the largest component of the collection, which also include the records of the National Association before the group achieved international status. The remainder of the collection consists of the records of the New York and Washington, D.C. locals.
The International Association of Siderographers was primarily concerned with job security for its members and maintenance of parity in wages between the public and private sectors where siderographers were employed. These topics are discussed at length in the correspondence in the collection. Other records document the day-to-day operation of the union, particularly the various procedures governing membership, business meetings, and other events held at the biennial conventions. The collection also documents the relations between the union and management at the institutions where siderographers were employed, as well as several disputes between the union and individual members.
Perhaps due to its small size, the Siderographers Association appears to have functioned as something of a social club for the membership. Many of the records in the collection, particularly correspondence, record significant events in members' personal lives. The procedures for obligating members conventions and other siderographer's events reflect the dual nature of the association as well.