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AFL and AFL-CIO International Affairs Department, AFL Advisors to the United Nations Economic and Social Council records

 Collection 0014-LBR-RG18-008

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) maintained an interest in international trade unionism for many years. During World War II, David Dubinsky and Matthew Woll headed the AFL's international efforts. These papers are the correspondence of the AFL advisors to the United Nations Economic and Social Council from 1945 to 1952. Primary correspondents are Matthew Woll, David Dubinsky, and Toni Sender.


  • 1944-1952

Conditions Governing Access

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.

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.


1.125 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of the Collection

These papers are the correspondence of the AFL advisors to the United Nations Economic and Social Council from 1945 to 1952. Technically, these advisors were Matthew Woll and David Dubinsky; however, they hired Toni Sender to represent them at the Council meetings. Therefore, most of these materials are Sender's. The AFL was first allowed representation on the Council in 1946; in 1950, its representation was transferred to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), and some of the documents here cover this later representation.

The collection contains correspondence, memos, and near-print materials, with the majority of the documents covering the period 1947 to 1951. Correspondents include are listed in the agent links above. Most of these letters concern expenses, requests for information and office routines, although occasional accounts of Sender's activities appear. Correspondence between Sender and her staff contains information on the daily activities of the office for certain periods.


Arrangement is alphabetical by correspondent's name, then chronological under correspondent. It should be noted that the filing is inconsistent, with documents filed both under a person's name and under the name of the organization to which that person belonged. Also, correspondence with AFL officials are filed in three different locations: under the files titled AFL, under those with the correspondent's name, and under those titled Memos.

Custodial History

The AFL-CIO International Affairs Department transferred these records to the George Meany Memorial Archives in 1982. 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.

Related Materials

The Toni Sender Papers at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin contain an additional three boxes of reports, speeches, broadcasts, and correspondence of her U.N. activities from 1947 to 1956.

Processing Information

Todd J. Kosmerick at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records in May 1990. 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 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.

Guide to the AFL and AFL-CIO International Affairs Department, AFL Advisors to the United Nations Economic and Social Council records
Processed by Todd J. Kosmerick at the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archives.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

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