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Labor Posters, Broadsides, and Art collection

 Collection 0095-LBR-RG99-001
This artifically created collection consists primarily of posters and broadsides created by the AFL, CIO, AFL-CIO, and affiliated unions. There are also other labor related posters and broadsides created by other organizations. The bulk of the collection focuses largely on events, issues, and themes of importance or interest to organized labor. Some topics include voting and voter registration, campaigns, women in labor, civil rights, labor history, international workers, minimum wage, the eight hour day, as well as the goals and purposes of unions, and legislation pertaining to a variety of issues.

Dates

  • 1892, 1900-1995

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 research find sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff. The posters in this collection are stored in oversize folders. Posters in the oversize folders are often a variety of sizes stored together and they often slide around. Special care should be taken when retrieving and serving to patrons so that items are not damaged or lost.

Extent

916 Items : Posters are located in map case drawers FD1/A/1-FD2/D/1, and in two oversize boxes located on shelf WH16:22.

Scope and Content of the Collection

This poster collection is a good visual representation of the labor movement's events, activities, campaigns and initiatives in the 20th Century. The materials are primarily from the AFL, CIO, AFL-CIO, and AFL-CIO affiliates and their affiliated organizations. Additional materials are from private and public agencies not affiliated with the federation, and from unsolicited donations.

The collection's subject matter focuses largely on events, issues, and themes of importance or interest to organized labor. Some topics include voting and voter registration, campaigns, women in labor, civil rights, labor history, international workers, minimum wage, the eight hour day, as well as the goals and purposes of unions, and legislation pertaining to a variety of issues.

Included in the collection are some materials of historical and artistic importance. Series 1 contains eleven items related to the Tom Mooney case, providing information on the twenty-year struggle to gain his release from prison. The illustrations on some of the CIO posters in Series 2 were drawn by artist Ben Shahn. The paintings of labor artist Ralph Fasanella have been issued as a series of posters by the organization Public Domain. Five of these, autographed by the artist, are in Series 10. Items related to disputes between the AFL and CIO before their merger are in the files pertaining to those individual organizations that include material prior to 1955.

The collection includes posters as small as letter size (8 1/2 x 11) up to dimensions over 22" x 30". Formats other than posters include: artwork, cartoons, broadsides, newspapers and clippings, and placards.

Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into 19 series:
Series 1
AFL Posters and Broadsides
Series 2
CIO Posters and Broadsides
Series 3
AFL; CIO; AFL-CIO Posters and Broadsides
Series 4
International and National Unions
Series 5
Trade and Industrial Departments
Series 6
Fraternal Organizations, International Affiliations and Institutes
Series 7
Other Affiliated Organizations
Series 8
State Federations and Local Labor Councils
Series 9
Staff Departments
Series 10
Private Organizations and Individuals
Series 11
United States Government
Series 12
Foreign Countries
Series 13
Art
Series 14
Miscellaneous
Series 15
Cartoons
Series 16
News Clippings and Off-Prints
Series 17
Newsletters
Series 18
Placards
Series 19
International Affairs Department, Paris office

Custodial History

This is an artificial collection created from multiple accessions from the AFL, CIO, AFL-CIO, affiliated and unaffiliated unions, public and private groups, and unsoliticited donations. The bulk of the material was issued by the AFL-CIO, its predecessors, and affiliates. Specific related accessions are not indicated in the legacy finding aid. 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

Marla Hughes, Jonathan Rees, and Lynda DeLoach at the George Meany Memorial Archives initially processed these records in 1989. The University of Maryland Libraries received the records and the finding aid in 2013.

Between 2015 and 2016, Ben Bradley completed a title inventory of the entire collection with guidance from Jennifer Eidson. Previously the finding aid provided a series description with alphabetic ranges by folder, for example "Folder 3: A through E". The series were maintained and the poster titles enable better access to the collection. Copies and duplicates were also identified. Duplicates were already separated (see Repository Note), while some limited copies, normally a large and small size of the same poster, remain together in the collection folders.

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 data from the Eloquent, as well as Bradley's updated metadata, was ingested into ArchivesSpace in 2018, at which point Rebecca Thayer and Jennifer Eidson 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 and Jennifer Eidson also enhanced custodial histories and re-wrote collection titles to better conform to archival standards.
Title
Guide to the Labor Posters, Broadsides, and Art collection
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Marla Hughes, Jonathan Rees, and Lynda DeLoach
Date
1989-12
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