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AFL Secretary-Treasurer's Office, Frank Morrison letterbooks

 Collection 0063-LBR-RG2-002

Frank Morrison was secretary of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) from 1897-1935 and secretary-treasurer of the AFL from 1936-1939. These letterbooks consist of his outgoing correspondence as AFL secretary during the AFL Presidency of Samuel Gompers. There are 440 unbound volumes of correspondence.


  • 1904-1925


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.

The volumes consist of stacks of onion skin paper within a book/volume cover, which ARE NOT bound. Researchers should take care when handling the loose pages.

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 research find sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


440 Items (Each volume is boxed individually.)

Scope and Content of the Collection

As secretary of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) beginning in 1897, Frank Morrison's outgoing correspondence captures many labor activities in the early time period of the AFL. The correspondence dates from March 30, 1904 to November 27, 1925 covering the majority of Samuel Gompers presidency of the AFL. Each of the 440 unbound volumes is housed individually in boxes.

Names of individual correspondents are indexed alphabetically in a set of index card boxes. The index lists the name and the volume number where the name can be found. Please contact the collection curator directly for more information about to the index.


The letterbooks are arranged chronologically with an alphabetical index to last names of correspondents in the beginning of each volume.

Custodial History

The Office of the Secretary-Treasurer transferred these records to the George Meany Memorial Archives in 1993. The volume set begins with number 118 and ends with number 558. There is no information about volumes 1-117. 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 chronological continuation of outgoing correspondence (1925-1968) from the AFL and AFL-CIO Office of the Secretary-Treasurer is in Microfilm Collection #17 (RG2-004).

Processing Information

Archives staff at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially created a brief descriptive inventory for these materials, in addition to boxing each volume and alphabetically indexing the names that appear in the correspondence. The University of Maryland Libraries received the records and the inventory in 2013. In 2017, Bria Parker exported and cleaned the inventory contents from the Eloquent Systems database using OpenRefine, and finally transformed the inventory into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) using a series of programmatic scripts. The inventory was ingested into ArchivesSpace in 2018, at which point Rebecca Thayer created the 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. Maya Reid and Allison Riehl recorded the date and collection number on the outside of each volume's box and updated the finding aid with the date as well to facilitate improved access and retrieval of the volumes.

Guide to the AFL Secretary-Treasurer's Office, Frank Morrison's Letterbooks
Rebecca Thayer
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