On January 8, 1916 historically significant papers and memorabilia of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) were placed into a cornerstone of the AFL Headquarters building by labor leaders of that time period. This multi-media collection consists of AFL reports and proceedings, laws and hearings, photographs, an AFL badge, pennies, and a granite chip of the cornerstone.
This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
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.
2.025 Linear Feet (1 Oversize box)
On January 8, 1916 significant papers and memorabilia of the AFL were placed into a cornerstone of the AFL Headquarters building. This multi-media collection consists of AFL reports and proceedings, laws and hearings, photographs, an AFL badge, pennies, and a granite chip of the cornerstone. The photographs include four generations of Samuel Gompers' family, the AFL Executive Council, and President Woodrow Wilson.
American Federation of Labor (AFL) memorabilia was placed in the cornerstone of the AFL headquarters building located at, 901 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., on January 8, 1916. They were placed in a copper box made by P.G. Hugo, a sheetmetal worker from Kansas City, Missouri, then placed in a cornerstone carved by Samuel Gompers' son, Henry.
In 1955, the building was sold to the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada. They removed the contents of the cornerstone on September 21, 1987, and returned them to the AFL-CIO; they retained and restored the box.
The George Meany Memorial Archives received these records sometime after 1987 when the cornerstone was opened. The George Meany Memorial Archives transferred these records as part of a major transfer of their archive and library holdings to the University of Maryland Libraries in 2013.
Archives staff at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records sometime between 1987 and 2013. Some folders in the finding aid are repeated because they actually represent items within that folder.
The University of Maryland Libraries received the records and the finding aid in 2013. In 2017, Bria Parker exported and cleaned the finding aid contents from the Eloquent Systems database using OpenRefine, and finally transformed the finding aids into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) using a series of programmatic scripts. The finding aid was ingested into ArchivesSpace in 2017, at which point Jennifer Eidson updated the descriptive content for accuracy. Revisions include changes to biographical/historical notes, scope and content notes, and the creation of new collection numbers. Jennifer Eidson also enhanced custodial histories and re-wrote collection titles to better conform to archival standards.