A. Philip Randolph Memorial Archives

A. Philip Randolph Memorial Archives The AFL-CIO established the George Meany Memorial Archives in 1980 to provide a program to preserve its historical records. We rename the archives after A.

Philip Randolph, a pivotal labor leader and co-organizer of the 1963 March of Washington. The A. Philip Randolph Memorial AFL-CIO Archive at the University of Maryland is the largest single donation to the University Libraries and complements other labor-related collections in our libraries. The AFL-CIO Archive consists of approximately 40 million documents and other archival material that help re

Philip Randolph, a pivotal labor leader and co-organizer of the 1963 March of Washington. The A. Philip Randolph Memorial AFL-CIO Archive at the University of Maryland is the largest single donation to the University Libraries and complements other labor-related collections in our libraries. The AFL-CIO Archive consists of approximately 40 million documents and other archival material that help re

Operating as usual

“So that leaves one obvious, if tricky, option: abolishing police unions as part of the broader fight to defund, demilit...
06/06/2020
No More Cop Unions

“So that leaves one obvious, if tricky, option: abolishing police unions as part of the broader fight to defund, demilitarize, and ultimately dismantle the U.S. police force as it currently exists. Labor leaders should seize upon this crucial moment to fully embrace this aim—and some already have.”

Abolishing police unions should be part of the broader fight to defund, demilitarize, and ultimately dismantle the U.S. police force.

“Police associations are a dangerous group that need to be defunded.”
06/06/2020
The Labor Movement Faces A Reckoning Over Police Unions

“Police associations are a dangerous group that need to be defunded.”

Law enforcement unions make up a small slice of the AFL-CIO, but progressive members are increasingly uncomfortable associating with them.

06/06/2020

Today, the country is rising up as part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement to demand an end to police brutality and racist systems of white supremacy.

Labor activists are calling on the labor movement to confront its role in oppression and the murder of black lives. In Seattle, the executive board of MLK Labor approved a resolution giving an ultimatum to the Seattle Police Officers Guild to address Seattle Police Department’s systemic racism or face potential expulsion. The Minnesota AFL-CIO has called on Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, to resign.

But the AFL-CIO continues to represent police unions through IUPA, AFGE and AFSCME.

In 1963, labor leader A. Philip Randolph, founder of the Negro American Labor Council, and Bayard Rustin planned the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. But George Meany's AFL-CIO rebuffed Randolph’s request for support and failed to endorse the March.

It's time for the AFL-CIO to rise up and root out racism within our movement.

"But the act has raised important questions about where the AFL-CIO and other unions stand when it comes to police bruta...
06/06/2020
Why Protesters Would Burn a Union Office

"But the act has raised important questions about where the AFL-CIO and other unions stand when it comes to police brutality....certain unions play an important role in perpetuating police brutality and can be directly linked to the killing of Floyd.

"The AFL-CIO, for one, is affiliated with the International Union of Police Associations (IUAP), which represents and protects more than 100,000 law enforcement officers in the United States."

The motivations for the burning of the AFL-CIO office in Washington DC are unclear, but raise questions about how unions associate with police and address their brutality.

A. Philip Randolph Memorial Archives's cover photo
06/06/2020

A. Philip Randolph Memorial Archives's cover photo

This photograph from our collections shows AFL-CIO Vice President A. Philip Randolph addressing the 1961 AFL-CIO convent...
06/06/2020

This photograph from our collections shows AFL-CIO Vice President A. Philip Randolph addressing the 1961 AFL-CIO convention.

National Labor College
10/01/2013

National Labor College

On behalf of UMD, President Loh accepts donation of AFl-CIO memorial archives to create the largest labor collection on the East Coast.

From left to right:
NLC President Paula Peinovich, MD Dept of Labor Secretary Leonard J. Howie III, UMD President Wallace D. Loh (at dais), AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, UMD Dean of Libraries Patricia Steele, and MD Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.

Happy birthday to the AFL-CIO! The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged on D...
12/05/2012

Happy birthday to the AFL-CIO! The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged on December 5, 1955, to become the AFL-CIO. Today, the federation is comprised of 56 unions representing 12 million workers.

Photograph of AFL president George Meany and CIO president Walter Reuther, at the AFL-CIO merger, 1955. From the GMMA collections.

GMMA Archivist Lynda DeLoach leading a workshop on labor history for National Labor College staff.
11/29/2012

GMMA Archivist Lynda DeLoach leading a workshop on labor history for National Labor College staff.

Congratulations to the National Labor College's Class of 2012!
06/25/2012
Congratulations Class of 2012!

Congratulations to the National Labor College's Class of 2012!

On Saturday, June 23, 2012, AFL-CIO President Emeritus John Sweeney, who serves on National Labor College’s (NLC) Board of Trustees, …Continue reading »

June 25, 7:00pm, Bethesda, MD:  "Love Songs from the Liberation Wars."  Hear 5 love stories -- of organizers, and worker...
06/21/2012
Calendar

June 25, 7:00pm, Bethesda, MD: "Love Songs from the Liberation Wars." Hear 5 love stories -- of organizers, and workers at the RJ Reynolds To***co factory in Winston Salem North Carolina -- that intertwine together in the story of a dramatic strike from which we get the song "We Shall Overcome."

Congratulations to the National Labor College Class of 2012!!!
06/21/2012
Graduation Day Nears for Class of 2012

Congratulations to the National Labor College Class of 2012!!!

With a graduating class of 78, the National Labor College Class of 2012 is set to receive their diplomas at …Continue reading »

Sharing from the Labor Archives of Washington State:  "A student intern just finished creating an interpretive exhibit L...
06/08/2012
Home - Industrial Workers of the World Photograph Collection - Subject and Class Guides at Universit

Sharing from the Labor Archives of Washington State: "A student intern just finished creating an interpretive exhibit LibGuide to our Industrial Workers of the World Photograph Collection. We have processed the whole collection, created an online finding aid, and uploaded the images to Flickr for broader use by researchers." Awesome!

Interpretive exhibit examining the historical and cultural context of the the Industrial Workers of the World Photograph Collection at the Labor Archives of Washington State, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

The Mary Harris Jones Commemorative Committee will be hosting events to celebrate the 175th birthday of Mother Jones in ...
05/29/2012
Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Cork

The Mary Harris Jones Commemorative Committee will be hosting events to celebrate the 175th birthday of Mother Jones in Cork, Ireland this fall.

"Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living" - Celebrating the life and struggles of Mary Harris (Mother Jones), Cork's rebel daughter.

05/18/2012
Exhibits in Special Collections - University of Arkansas Libraries

An exhibit from the Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Libraries showcases images of the people of Arkansas working in the early years of the twentieth century.

Arkansas Heritage Month 2012 celebrates Arkansans at Work. Through the years, the way people make their living has changed dramatically, from farming and agriculture, to technology. This exhibit showcases images of the people of Arkansas working in the early years of the twentieth century. All im...

If you like labor history, you'll love this page. Be sure to check out the YouTube channel -- this is an amazing resourc...
05/10/2012
Historic Workplace & Environmental Health and Safety Films

If you like labor history, you'll love this page. Be sure to check out the YouTube channel -- this is an amazing resource!

This Page highlights historic films and film clips on topics of workplace and environmental health and safety. Click on the "Like" button to the right to join and see one film daily from my YouTube channel.

This month, we're showcasing the oldest item in our collection:  Samuel Gompers was the first president of the American ...
04/18/2012

This month, we're showcasing the oldest item in our collection: Samuel Gompers was the first president of the American Federation of Labor, elected in 1886. Gompers was born in 1850 in London, England. This was one of his baby shoes.

The child labour photos that shamed America
04/13/2012
The child labour photos that shamed America

The child labour photos that shamed America

Lewis Hine's photographs of young children working in cotton mills and coal mines helped convince US lawmakers in the early 20th century to introduce new regulations.

Today is National Library Workers Day!  Recognizing our colleagues throughout the profession, and two fantastic libraria...
04/10/2012
We will not be shushed!

Today is National Library Workers Day! Recognizing our colleagues throughout the profession, and two fantastic librarians in particular: Jannie and Julia, who work at the George Meany Memorial Archives Library.

Celebrate National Library Workers Day with us as we demand full funding for our libraries and insist that their integrity be maintained by keeping public libraries in the hands of the people, not private corporations.

"I Am A Man" is the Walter Reuther Library's fantastic new online exhibit documenting the 1968 sanitation workers strike...
04/02/2012
I Am A Man | I Am A Man

"I Am A Man" is the Walter Reuther Library's fantastic new online exhibit documenting the 1968 sanitation workers strike in Memphis, TN.

Wayne State University Reuther Library's "I Am A Man" Exhibition detailing Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Worker's Strike.

Today in Labor History, April 2, 1909:  The Union Label Trades Department is chartered by the American Federation of Lab...
04/02/2012

Today in Labor History, April 2, 1909: The Union Label Trades Department is chartered by the American Federation of Labor. It was founded to promote the products and services produced in America by union members, especially those products identified by a union label, shop card, store card, and service button.

Working Class Heroes is a blog dedicated to helping to "preserve the lessons of the struggles, the pains and even deaths...
03/28/2012
Working Class Heroes » What I Learned from Pa Sheats

Working Class Heroes is a blog dedicated to helping to "preserve the lessons of the struggles, the pains and even deaths of those who earned us things as simple as collective bargaining, child labor laws, workplace safety, paid holidays and vacations, insurance, and seniority." If you love labor history, this a fantastic place to visit.

My maternal grandfather was a big man. A lifelong coal miner, spare time butcher, he and his strong and bold bride raised twelve kids. I guess times were different then. By the time I was big enough to visit and stay with Pa Sheats, my grandparents lived in a small coal town in southwestern Pennsy...

03/23/2012

Thank you to all the folks out there who recently "liked" our page. Welcome to our site and hope you have a wonderful weekend. :-) -Sarah

From our friends at the Walter P. Reuther Library:  Their new blog post for Women's History Month on women in the labor ...
03/20/2012
Walter P. Reuther Library

From our friends at the Walter P. Reuther Library: Their new blog post for Women's History Month on women in the labor movement.

“We didn’t come here to swap recipes!” Those words, uttered by Myra Wolfgang during the first Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) convention in 1974 set the tone for an agenda aimed at increasing women’s involvement and influence in labor unions. Coming on the heels of landmark legislation such as...

Today in labor history, March 8, 1908:  15,000 women workers in the needle trades take to the streets of New York City o...
03/08/2012

Today in labor history, March 8, 1908: 15,000 women workers in the needle trades take to the streets of New York City on the 51st anniversary of the 1857 protest by women garment workers. They demanded better working conditions, suffrage, and an end to child labor. March 8 has been celebrated as International Women’s Day since 1910.

03/06/2012
Labor Merger. AFL and CIO Join Forces 1955 Newsreel

Labor Merger. AFL and CIO Join Forces 1955 Newsreel

(1) NY meeting of CIO and AFL for merger, Walter Reuther and George Meany, and Ike from his office speaks (Ike's voice over pictures of the convention) (2) l...

George Meany Memorial Archives's cover photo
03/04/2012

George Meany Memorial Archives's cover photo

We're starting something new on our FB page:  each month we'll be selecting and sharing something from the GMMA collecti...
02/09/2012

We're starting something new on our FB page: each month we'll be selecting and sharing something from the GMMA collections. This month's featured record is the May 1912 Union Label Bulletin, a broadside produced by the American Federation of Labor. It features the union labels of the federation and 66 of the federation's affiliated unions.

Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, Hon'ble Union Minister for Labour & Employment for India, recently visited the campus of the Nat...
02/08/2012

Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, Hon'ble Union Minister for Labour & Employment for India, recently visited the campus of the National Labor College. While here, he visited the archives -- in this picture, archivist Lynda DeLoach shows him an archival image of labor leader Walter Reuther's 1956 visit to India. With Dean Daniel Katz.

I Found It In The Archives! | Working together, we’ll build awareness of the people we serve, the hi
02/02/2012
I Found It In The Archives! | Working together, we’ll build awareness of the people we serve, the hi

I Found It In The Archives! | Working together, we’ll build awareness of the people we serve, the hi

When we receive a letter of thanks from an archives user who is grateful for our help, we’re reminded of the “humanness” of our profession. Since 2006, American Archives Month has given SAA members an opportunity to tell (or remind) people that items that are important to them are being preserved, c...

02/02/2012
Blair Community Center and Museum | Blair Mountain, WV – Largest labor uprising in US history

From the folks at the Blair Community Center and Museum: "Help preserve an important part of labor history, the Battle of Blair Mountain. We have started a museum to tell the story of coalminers and their struggle to unionize in the central Appalachian coalfields, located in Blair, WV. Stop by, and keep in touch as we grow."

Welcome to the Blair Community Center and Museum, located in Historic Blair, WV, at the foot of Blair Mountain – site of the largest labor insurrection in US history. Our museum features exhibits about general coalmining, life in Appalachia (with a concentration locally), and a whole section on the ...

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Hornbake Library, 4130 Campus Drive
College Park, MD
20742-7011

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Our Story

The A. Philip Randolph AFL-CIO Archive at the University of Maryland is the largest single donation to the University Libraries and complements other labor-related collections in our libraries. The AFL-CIO Archive consists of approximately 40 million documents and other archival material that help researchers better understand pivotal social movements in this country, including those to gain rights for women, children and minorities. The AFL-CIO established the archives in 1980 to honor the memory of its first president, and to provide a program to preserve its historical records and make them available for research. -------------- From “How Black Unionists Organized the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom,” William P. Jones, published in Labor Notes, August 22, 2013. Black unionists organized through the 1950s against discrimination in hiring, on the job, and in unions. After a 1959 convention vote reaffirmed that the AFL-CIO would tolerate segregated locals, A. Philip Randolph (the “dean” of black unionists and leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) and others founded the Negro American Labor Council to organize black workers.... In January 1963 Randolph asked his old friend Bayard Rustin, who was working for the left-wing War Resisters League, to prepare a proposal that could win support from civil rights and labor leaders for a “mass descent” on the nation’s capital.

Rustin delivered a three-page memorandum outlining an ambitious campaign to draw attention to “the economic subordination of the Negro,” create “more jobs for all Americans,” and advance a “broad and fundamental program for economic justice.”

Their plan centered on a massive lobbying campaign, in which 100,000 people would shut down Congress for one day while presenting legislators and the president with their legislative demands, followed the next day by a “mass protest rally”.... The one major liberal body that rebuffed Randolph’s request for support was George Meany’s AFL-CIO, but by that point the March was clearly prepared to move forward without it.

Randolph and UAW President Walter Reuther pushed for the endorsement at a meeting of the executive council just two weeks before the March, but met resistance from union leaders who feared “that there would be disorder, that people would get hurt, and that it would build up resentment in Congress.”

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