The Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) was the governing body for the AFL, and continues have the same role for AFL-CIO now. This collection contains early records of the AFL including correspondence, vote books, and minutes of the Executive Council during the years 1896 to 1954.
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.
Due to the fragile nature of the minutes and vote books, researchers should use the microfilm collection (#15). Access to the original documents may be granted by the collection curator.
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 research find sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.
25.5 Linear Feet (17 Paige boxes)
The Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor is the governing body for the AFL. This collection contains early records of the AFL including correspondence, vote books, and minutes of the Executive Council during the years 1896 to 1954. The records are primarily bound scrapbooks with extreemly brittle pages.
The vote books have particular value in tracing the council's communications and decisions between its meetings, and in this respect they complement the minutes of the Executive Council. The vote books contain correspondence from Gompers [and John McBride, president 1894-1895] to members of the council, addressing specific issues upon which the council members then returned their votes.
This collection is organized into three series:
The AFL-CIO transferred these records to the George Meany Memorial Archives some time before 1985; additional information about the transfer or accession is unknown. 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.
All material through 1924 has been reproduced in Microfilm Collection 15 which is accompanied by the publication The American Federation of Labor Records: The Samuel Gompers Era, Guide to a Joint Microfilm Edition by Peter J. Albert and Harold L. Miller with the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1981.
Archives staff at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records in August 1985. 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 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.