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CIO and AFL-CIO Research Department, Nathaniel Goldfinger records

 Collection 0046-RG13-003-LBR

Nathaniel (Nat) Goldfinger worked on economic research and education at the CIO prior to the merger with AFL, and eventually became the second director of the AFL-CIO Research Department. His work with both organizations mainly concerned economics, for example, inflation, monetary policy, and unemployment. This collection is comprised of his correspondence and subject files for his work with the CIO, the AFL-CIO, and other labor committees and organizations.


  • 1947-1966


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.


10.5 Linear Feet (7 Paige boxes)

Scope and Contents

As an employee in the CIO Department of Education and Research, and later during his years with the AFL-CIO, Nathaniel (Nat) Goldfinger specialized in automation, unemployment, monetary policy, right-to-work laws, productivity, inflation, East-West trade, and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The collection contains Goldfinger's correspondence and subject files. Document types include correspondence, memos, telegrams, reports, newspaper clippings, articles, press releases, statements, and newsletters.

Biographical / Historical

Nathaniel (Nat) Goldfinger was the second director of the AFL-CIO Department of Research. Born in New York City on 20 August 1916, he received a B.S.S. from the College of the City of New York in 1938 and worked as the Director of Research and Education for the United Paperworkers of America from 1944 to 1950. In late 1950, he began working for the CIO as the Executive Secretary of the Committee on Economic Policy to 1953 and as an Associate Director in the Department of Research and Education to 1955. After the merger of the CIO and AFL, he was appointed Economist in the new Department of Research, a position he served in until 1958 when he became Assistant Director of the department. Goldfinger succeeded Stanley Ruttenberg (director from 1955-1962) as director on 1 January 1963: he served in this position until his death on 22 July 1976. During his years as director, Goldfinger was a member of the advisory committee of the Export-Import Bank (1964-1969), of President Johnson's Special Committee on East-West Trade (1965), of the executive committee of the Joint Council on Economic Education (1963-1976), and of the National Bureau of Economic Research (1963-1976). He also served as president of the Industrial Relations Research Association (1974). Throughout his career, he belonged to the American Economics Association.

Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into two series:

Series 1
Correspondence, 1951-1966
Series 2
Subject Files, 1947-1962

Custodial History

The Economic Research 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.

Processing Information

Maria Hughes and Todd J. Kosmerick at the George Meany Memorial Archive initially processed these records in 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 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.

Guide to the CIO and AFL-CIO Research Department, Nathaniel Goldfinger records
Finding aid created by Marla Hughes and 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