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AFL and AFL-CIO International Affairs Department, George Delaney papers

 Collection 0075-LBR-RG18-005
George Delaney was an international representative in the International Affairs Departments of the AFL and AFL-CIO from 1948 to 1970. This collection consists of Delaney's staff files he created and collected during his tenure. Of note are near print and printed materials that documents the conference and governing body activities of the International Labor Organization, 1949-1956. The collection also provides insight into the formation of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and AFL, and later AFL-CIO, involvement in the international labor movement during the Cold War period.

Dates

  • 1921-1957

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.

Extent

27.56 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of the Collection

This collection documents George Delaney's work during his tenure as international representative in the International Affairs Departments of the AFL and AFL-CIO from 1948 to 1958. The date range for the collection is 1921-1957, with a bulk date range of 1949-1956. Descriptions of each series and the types of materials they contain may be found in the series notes.

This collection is especially rich in documenting, primarily through near print and printed material, the conference and governing body meeting activities of the International Labor Organization (ILO) during the years 1949 to 1956. It also provides insight into the formation of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the AFL's, and later the AFL-CIO's, involvement in the international labor movement during the Cold War period through its participation in organizations such as the ILO, ICFTU, and United Nations.

Biographical / Historical

George Philip (Phil) Delaney (1909-1972) was appointed international representative of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) by AFL president William Green in 1948. He served in this capacity in the International Affairs Department of the AFL and later of the merged American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

In 1948, Delaney was also named the United States workers' delegate to the International Labor Organization (ILO) and served as a member of the ILO's governing body. He helped to bring about passage of the ILO conventions on the reduction of hours of work and on the abolition of forced labor as an instrument of political oppression. In 1949, Delaney was active in the formation of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).

Delaney was appointed special assistant for international labor affairs at the United States Department of Labor in 1959 and in 1964 became the first director of the Office of Labor Affairs at the Agency for International Development. Delaney retired in 1970 and died in 1972.

Bibliography

"Death Claims International Labor Figure," AIFLD Report, February 1972; AFL Press Release, October 25, 1948.

John Herling, "Delaney," Washington Daily News, April 13, 1971; Gary M. Fink, ed., Biographical Dictionary of American Labor (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1974), p. 180.

Fink, Biographical Dictionary, p. 180.

Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into eight series:
Series 1
ILO International Labor Conferences
Series 2
ILO Governing Body Sessions
Series 3
ILO Committee Conferences and Meetings
Series 4
ILO Regional Conferences
Series 5
ICFTU, ORIT, and WFTU
Series 6
International Federations
Series 7
United Nations
Series 8
Non-Manuscript Materials

Custodial History

These records were transferred to the George Meany Memorial Archives from the AFL-CIO's Department of International Affairs and accessioned in August 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.

Some of the files in series 5, 6, and 7 appear to have been established by Frank P. Fenton, who was named international representative of the AFL to the ILO in 1947, and continued by Delaney in 1948 upon his appointment.

Processing Information

Sarah Springer at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records in March 2000. 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 2018, at which point Rebecca Thayer updated the descriptive content for accuracy. 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.
Title
Guide to the AFL and AFL-CIO International Affairs Department, George Delaney papers
Status
Completed
Author
Sarah Springer processed this collection at the George Meany Memorial Archives.
Date
2000-03
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
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

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212