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Industrial Union Department publications

 Collection 0017-LBR-RG41-001

The Industrial Union Department, under the umbrella of the AFL-CIO, represented the common problems of industrial workers and unions. This collection consists of serials and pamphlets produced by the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Department. Document types include meeting agendas and proceedings, and publications on industrial labor unions.


  • 1956-1992

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.


3.375 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

This record group contains materials published by the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO from 1956-1992. Major subjects include labor legislation, fact sheets, and surveys of collective bargaining agreements. Materials include pamphlets, proceedings, and surveys.

Biographical / Historical

Growing out of the AFL and CIO 1955 merger agreement, the Industrial Union Department (IUD) was formed to coordinate efforts to address industrial unions' common problems and is one of several constitutionally recognized departments representing groups of unions. The IUD was established by the AFL-CIO founding convention on December 7, 1955.

During the first year of existence, the IUD focused interest in two major areas: influencing and supporting legislative action and functioning as a clearing house for collective bargaining problems.

As described in 1957, the IUD is organized with a biennial convention which establishes department policy and elects the executive officers and vice-presidents of the department. An Executive Board, made up of a union-designated member from each affiliate, serves as the governing body of the department between conventions. The president serves as chief executive officer; the secretary-treasurer supervises the department's financial affairs; and a director, selected by the Executive Board, serves as chief administrative officer. Walter Reuther, James Carey, and Albert Whitehouse occupied these offices respectively during the early years.


This collection is organized into two series:

Series 1
Serials, 1956-1992
Series 2
Pamphlets, 1957-1986

Custodial History

The Industrial Union Department transferred these records to the George Meany Memorial Archives in 1997. 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.

Processing Information

Lee Sayrs at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records in 1999. The University of Maryland Libraries received the records and the finding aid in 2013. In 2017, Bria Parker migrated the information contained in this finding aid from the George Meany Memorial Archives' Eloquent system. All migrated finding aids have been cleaned using OpenRefine software and ingested into ArchivesSpace using programmatic scripts created in Python. Upon ingest, Rebecca Thayer reviewed and minor revisions to this finding aid. Revisions include changes to biographical/historical notes, scope and content notes, and the creation of new collection numbers. Rebecca Thayer also enhanced custodial histories and re-wrote collection titles to better conform to archival standards.

Guide to the Industrial Union Department publications
Processed by Lee Sayrs 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