19th and 20th Century Labor Prints
The 19th and 20th Century Labor Prints Collection provides a window on both the issues and the style of commentary in the United States over a century ago. The images, which include cartoons, realistic illustrations, and photographic reproductions, depict workers, unions, strikes, and labor leaders, and address politics, economics, and other topics in American culture. A few of the images depict Atlanta at the time of the Piedmont Exposition (1887) and the Cotton States Exposition (1895). Most of the prints are from such publications as Harper's Weekly, Puck, and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, and include works by important cartoonists including Thomas Nast, Joseph Ferdinand Keppler, and Frederick Burr Opper.
Eastern Air Lines Collections
The Eastern Air Lines Digital Collection brings together content that represents different aspects of Eastern’s legendary history: labor, management, public relations, mediation, corporate culture, marketing, media coverage, and operations.
The Digital Collection includes documentation from the following collections; in some cases only selected items from the collection were digitized, in others, the entire collection.
IAM Archives (multiple collections)
The brothers at Local Lodge 1, Atlanta, Georgia, transferred the first collection of IAM records to the Southern Labor Archives at Georgia State University in 1972. Since then, headquarters, regions, districts and locals have continued to place their records in care of the Southern Labor Archives which now houses over 40 Machinists collections.
In 1992, the IAM made the Southern Labor Archives the official repository for its records, based upon the Southern Labor Archives’ proven stewardship over the years. Additionally, Atlanta is the birthplace of the IAM - in 1888, Thomas Talbot formed the Order of the United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers in a railroad pit only a few miles away from the present day site of Georgia State University and the Southern Labor Archives.
The IAM collections contain a wide variety of material documenting the history of the union and the American Labor movement.
National Domestic Workers Union (U.S.) Records, 1965-1979 (L1979-24)
The collection consists of records of the United Domestic Workers Union (U.S) from 1965-1979. The correspondence (1965-1979) reflects Bolden's efforts in organizing the Union and includes such correspondents as Julian Bond, Senator Sam Nunn, Senator Herman Talmadge, Allen Williams, Andrew Young, and other Georgia and national political figures. The subject files (1967-1979) cover a myriad of topics illustrating the Union's involvement in the Black community, the Manpower Program, the Career Learning Center, the Homemaking Skills Training Program, Maids Honor Day, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), and various federal agencies. The collection contains minutes of the Union (1968-1971, 1978), the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Transportation (1970-1972), the Citizens Neighborhood Advisory Council (1972-1978), and MARTA (1973-1975). The collection also contains financial documents (1968-1979) including budgets, membership records, and files relating to Equal Opportunity Atlanta, which funded many of the Union's projects; and legal documents including agreements and contracts with Economic Opportunity Atlanta.
Professional Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) (multiple collections)
The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) was formed in 1968 to represent the interests of federally employed air traffic controllers. Their objectives were to promote the profession; to improve working conditions for air traffic controllers within the United States, its territories, and possessions; and to represent members in dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concerning grievances, personnel policies, and practices. In 1981, though as federal employees it was illegal for them to do so, PATCO members went on strike. Over 11,000 controllers were subsequently dismissed.
The records of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, 1968-1985, include minutes, resolutions, subject and chronological files, correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, legal files, contracts, press releases, grievances, arbitration, and printed materials. The records reflect the organization's efforts to improve the working conditions of air traffic controllers, their wages and pension plans, and to obtain shorter work hours.
M.H. Ross Papers, 1916-1987 (L2001-05)
Attending the Southern School for Workers at the age of 19 sparked Myron Howard "Mike" Ross's (1919-1987) interest in and involvement with the labor movement. Throughout his career, Ross worked with unions, including the United Mine Workers, the Mine, Mill, and Smelter workers, and the United Furniture Workers, as an organizer or arbitrator. Interested in politics, he ran for public office twice: once in 1940 for a seat on city council on the People's Platform in Charlotte, North Carolina, and again in 1948, for United States Congress on the Progressive Party ticket in North Carolina.
After the failed congressional campaign, Ross attended the University of North Carolina law school, graduating with honors, but was denied the bar on the grounds of “character” – he was suspected of being a communist. Later he attended the Columbia University School of Public Health which led to founding the Fairmont Clinic, a prepaid group practice in Fairmont, West Virginia, which had the mission of providing high quality medical care for coal miners and their families. Ross served as administrator of the Fairmont Clinic from 1958-1978. As a result of this work, Ross began researching coal mining, especially coal miners lifestyle, heritage, and the history of coal mining and disasters. He interviewed over one hundred coal miners and eventually began a manuscript (unfinished) about the history of coal mining. Working for the Rural Practice Program of the University of North Carolina from 1980 until 1987, Ross taught in the medical school until his retirement.
The M. H. Ross papers consists of campaign materials from congressional races held in 1940 and 1948, labor union activities, social and political research, coal mining research, including a large collection of coal miner oral histories, manuscripts and those related research files, office files, photographs, audio/visual materials, and personal and family oral histories.
Southern Labor Archives Digital Collection
Georgia State University's Southern Labor Archives, established in 1971, is dedicated to collecting, preserving and making available the documentary heritage of Southern workers and their unions, as well as that of workers and unions having a historic relationship to the region. The largest accumulation of labor records in the Southeast, the Archives holdings include organizational records, pamphlets, periodicals, photographs, personal papers of labor leaders, oral histories, collective bargaining agreements, constitutions and bylaws, and convention proceedings from 1888 to the present.
The Southern Labor Archives is the official repository for hundreds of local and regional union offices, as well as the national offices of the IAM, National Federation of Federal Employees, United Garment Workers of America, United Furniture Workers of America, PATCO, and the United Textile Workers of America as well as many other union offices and state federations of labor, including the Georgia AFL-CIO.
Our holdings are particularly strong in the areas of the textile and clothing industry, furniture and wood products, machinery and aerospace, nursing, airline industry, communications industry and union activities in the Southeast. Overall, the Archives has over 8,000 feet of materials. From building and construction workers, to service and government employees, from Washington, DC to New Orleans, Louisiana, laborers and mill hands, the Southern Labor Archives holds their history.
United Garment Workers of America, 1893-1994 (L1992-17)
This collection consists of the records of the United Garment Workers of America from 1893-1994. The Time and Motion Studies series (Series I) is made up of time study/ time and motion research files for the garment industry, as well as files relating to industry research and information from the first half of the twentieth century. Series II, Contracts, consists of union labor contracts, working contracts, and related correspondence. Office files relating to the functioning of the UGWA's central headquarters are found in Series III. Also included in this series are label ledgers dating mainly from the first half of the twentieth century, and minutes of the General Executive Board's meetings, which cover much of the period of the union's activity. Series IV contains local union files, including financial files, grievances, correspondence, agreements and minutes. Publications, photographs, an audio tape, oversize materials, and index card files are found in Series V through VIII.
W.J. Usery Papers, 1940; 1952-2004 (L1985-12)
W. J. “Bill” Usery’s interests in labor-management relations began when he defiantly joined the International Association of Machinists (IAM) when management strongly discouraged from organizing his workplace. He moved up through the ranks of the IAM and into the U.S. government, serving as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Labor-Management Relations under U.S. President Richard Nixon (1969); Director, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (1973-1976); and United States Secretary of Labor under U.S. President Gerald Ford (1976).
After his work with the federal government, he founded Bill Usery Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm providing consulting services in all areas of employer-employee relations. In the mid-1990s, Usery's vision of labor-management cooperation found a home in the W. J. Usery, Jr., Center for the Workplace at Georgia State University, an entity with wide programmatic aims in collective bargaining, workplace productivity, and dispute resolution serving company and union leaders.
Known for his mediation skills, Usery was instrumental in settling disputes involving the Brotherhood of Airline and Railway and Airline Clerks, the United Transportation Union, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Pittston Coal Workers, and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Records, 1916-2016 (Bulk 1987-2016) (W151)
The Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL) is a nonprofit corporation serving to support the diverse interests and needs of women lawyers in Georgia. The collection consists of administrative files, programs, scrapbooks, and audio/visual materials ranging from 1916-2016.
ORAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS
IAM Oral Histories
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Oral History Project records and preserves the life histories of officers, staff, members, and retirees. Often holistic in nature, the interviewee is asked not only about their union membership and job, but also about education, family, community, and activities outside of work. These interviews have been conducted throughout the years by archivists, historians, fellow union members, and students.
Through individual interviews, members have an opportunity to tell their stories using their own voices and the interviews provide a richer, more nuanced, and more thorough view of work, union membership, and personal and union history than office records can convey.
Uprising of '34
The General Textile Strike of 1934 was one of the largest labor strikes in the history of the United States. Half a million workers walked off their jobs in cotton mills across the South and up the Eastern seaboard, leading some company bosses to respond with violence. Some strikers were killed, others were imprisoned, and nearly all strikers were blacklisted and prevented from returning to work in the textile industry. The effects of the strikes and their consequences lingered in some communities for generations.
The Uprising of '34 is a documentary film, released in 1995, that tells the story of the General Textile Strike from the perspective of those who experienced it firsthand. During the film's production, over 300 hours of interviews were conducted with former mill workers, their children and grandchildren, labor organizers, mill owners, and others who experienced or were affected by the strikes.
Voices of Labor
In the fall of 1994 the Southern Labor Archives initiated an oral history project to gather the stories of key figures in the local, state, and regional labor movement. Despite a rich labor heritage, most accounts of Georgia's past have overlooked its workers and their unions. This project seeks to correct this omission and fill in gaps through interviews, autobiographical in nature, covering the subject's personal background, work history, participation in the labor movement, and in key events and developments in local labor history.
Working Women in Atlanta Oral History Project, 1987 (L1898-24)
Rebecca Sharpless interviewed ten women from Atlanta, Georgia, mostly from Spelman College, for a paper on "Atlanta Working Women." Records of the project consist of transcripts and audio tapes.
Faye Knight, Louise Warren, and Betty Bendimire oral history interview, 2010-03-31
Faye Knight with Louise Warren and Betty Bendimire (interviewed by Philip LaPorte) discuss their work at the Manhattan Shirt Company and their participation in the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, Local 226, in Americus, Georgia. The women detail their early years, education, and pre-union work history. They also talk about being union members: benefits, supporting their union, the difficulties of working in an anti-union town, the pressures of being union officers, and labor politics in the state of Georgia.
Ruth Stanley oral history interview, 1995-07-07
In this interview, Stanley discusses her family and upbringing, including her family's union affiliation. She then thoroughly discusses her time working at the sheet metal workers' apprenticeship office. She discusses her work with labor unions, including holding offices, Local 21 OPEIU, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women. She also discusses her husband and family and how work affected her family life.
Mary Lynn Walker oral history interview, 2005-01-27
Walker discusses her background growing up in a large family at the end of the Depression, living on a farm and the responsibilities handed to the her as the eldest daughter, and her educational opportunities as a woman. On gender barriers that she had to break in order to become a key player within different unions, Walker explains how she proved a woman was capable of doing the job. She also talks about her work for AFGE during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s with particular attention given to some of the executive orders and contracts negotiated under Kennedy, Nixon, and Carter. Walker addresses the changing regional attitude towards labor unions as well as outsourcing and other challenges facing the labor movement today.
Sarah Butler, October 23, 2004 (W008)
Sarah Butler was born in Atlanta, Georgia. The fourth of six children, her mother was a homemaker and her father was a barber. She graduated from the Girl's High School of Atlanta in 1939, and later attended Georgia Evening College, leaving in 1949 to marry Bob Butler. Butler had two children, and quit her work at Sears Roebuck to take care of them. Once the children were grown, Butler began her 18-year association with the labor movement, and in particular, the AFL-CIO. A member of the Office and Professional Employees Union, Butler was also involved with ERA Georgia, Inc., NOW, AARP, Southwest Atlantans for Progress, her PTA, and the Democratic Party. While her husband was president of the Atlanta Labor Council, she served as the secretary of the council. Soon after she retired, Butler was inducted into the Labor Hall of Fame. She was also honored as Woman of the Year in the Labor Movement. She now lives in Gainesville, Georgia. [CONTACT ARCHIVIST FOR TRANSCRIPT OR AUDIO FILE]
Jean Davis, January 22, 2005 (W008)
Born in the segregated South to politically active parents, Jean Davis became politically aware as a young girl in Newnan, Georgia. Her early aspiration was to work as a missionary in Africa but instead, she attended Morris Brown College and taught public school in Atlanta. As a student at Morris Brown, Davis was involved in the Civil Rights Movement and participated in boycotts of Rich’s Department Store and sit-ins at Woolworth’s. Davis also worked with the A. Philip Randolph Institute as well as the Georgia AFL-CIO and the National AFL-CIO. Through her work with different union organizations and her activism in civil rights, Davis became interested in the Equal Rights Amendment. She felt strongly that the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) was necessary in order to bring union women on board with the ERA and also to establish an organization that would place women in leadership positions. In addition to her work with the ERA, Davis worked on a number of campaigns from local school boards to notable politicians and continues the struggle for human rights. [CONTACT ARCHIVIST FOR TRANSCRIPT OR AUDIO FILE]
Lynn Hesse, September 23, 2010 (W071)
Lynn Hesse is a former policewoman of Dekalb County, Georgia, as well as a playwright, dancer, and short story author. Born in 1951 in Chanute, Kansas, she moved with her parents to the Buckhead area of Atlanta when she was a pre-teenager. After reading The Feminist Mystique by Betty Friedan at the approximate age of 15, she self-identified as a feminist. Hesse graduated through Clayton County Academy and went to work for Georgia State University as a police officer (post-certified) in circa 1977, and subsequently became a DeKalb County police officer, rising through the ranks of Master Officer and Field Training Officer to Sergeant. During her tenure as a Dekalb County Police Officer, she was denied her application for promotional testing and her compensation for arrests was diverted to other male officers. She and several other female officers were equally discriminated against. When a class action suit could not be organized, policewoman Marsha Cofield filed an individual law suit, in which Lynne Hesse was actively involved. Cofield won her case. Following her law enforcement career, Hesse has focused on her artistic pursuits which include dance and writing. In 1996, she was graduated (cum laude) in Dance from Georgia State University. She has created an "oral history performed in dance," and play she wrote, based on her own short story, was staged at Emory's Schwartz Center. [CONTACT ARCHIVIST FOR TRANSCRIPT OR AUDIO FILE]
Lynn Hesse, February 2, 2012 (W071) [AVAILABLE VIA DIGITAL COLLECTIONS]
Maria Getzinger was born in 1919 into a German-American family in Woodcliff, South Georgia, where her father owned a cotton farm. In 1936, after graduating from high school, she spent two years in Germany with her father's family, then returned to the United States where she lived for a year on the family farm. In 1939, she took her first job at the Curtis Printing Company in Atlanta, Georgia, where she met her future husband Charles Jones, and where she joined the International Typographical Union -- the first non-discriminatory union that paid men and women the same salaries. In the late 1940's Jones and her husband transferred to the printing department of Park & Baird law firm in Los Angeles. Until her retirement in 1985, Maria Getzinger Jones worked in leading print shops such as Curtis, Stein, and Darby printing companies. Raised a Roman Catholic, Jones joined the Unitarian Universalist Church. Her political activism and interest in equal rights originated in her work experiences, as well as from the inspiration of local and national feminists and activists. In the late 1960's Jones became an early member of Atlanta NOW and was a founding member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). In the 1970's she served in various capacities and actively participated in conferences and events held by both NOW and CLUW, and in 1974 she represented the International Typographical Union on the CLUW National Coordinating Committee. Maria Getzinger Jones continued to be active as a member of NOW and other feminist organizations, attending the 1998 and 2000 NOW conferences and taking part in the events surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Declaration. Jones passed away in August 2005. [CONTACT ARCHIVIST FOR TRANSCRIPT OR AUDIO FILE]
Maria Getzinger Jones, November 16, 1998 (W008) [CONTACT ARCHIVIST FOR TRANSCRIPT OR AUDIO FILE]
Susan A. Millen, July 7 & 9, 1999 (W008)
Susan Ann Millen, activist, journalist, and producer, was born in Aurora, Illinois in 1951. She attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (journalism; BS, 1972), and Columbia College in Chicago (photography; BFA, 1978), after which she moved to Atlanta. Millen has been an editor (Journal of Labor, 1979-1985), journalist, photographer, public relations specialist and communications consultant as well as a special education teacher and has been very active in organizations involving women's politics. She was president of the Georgia chapter and a board member of the National Woman's Party (1981-1984), an organizing member and first vice-president of the Atlanta chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (1983-1985), and an officer of the Georgia Women's Political Caucus (1986-1990). In addition, she coordinated a Political Skills Workshop (1987) and the Georgia Women and the Law Conference (1987) for the GWPC; she produced a GWPC television series on prime cable that began in 1987; was a National Women's Political Caucus officer (1989); and was a board member of ERA Georgia, Inc. as well as editor of its Newsletter. Millen continues to be a community activist and teaches at Tucker High School in Dekalb County, Georgia. In 2004, she and her class were selected as an AT&T CARES Youth Service Action Award. [CONTACT ARCHIVIST FOR TRANSCRIPT OR AUDIO FILE]
Georgia Government Documentation Project Oral Histories, 1971-2002
The Georgia Government Documentation Project (GGDP) documents the state's political heritage through oral history interviews and collections of associated papers. The GGDP collection includes more than 200 interviews with former governors, legislators, women in politics, African-American political activists and civil rights leaders, journalists, and numerous other public figures. In addition to the interviews generated by the project, the GGDP actively collects interviews conducted by other scholars of Georgia politics.
Great Speckled Bird
The Great Speckled Bird was one of several underground newspapers that appeared in the United States in the 1960s. Published in Atlanta from 1968 to 1976, The Bird, as it was commonly known, stood out among the alternative press for the quality of its writing, its cover art and its fearless opinions and reporting on a range of topics—national and local politics, the counterculture, women’s issues, gay liberation, reproductive choice, music, art…The Bird was a new, radical voice from the South.
IAM Publications, District and Local Lodges
This collection includes newspapers, newsletters, and other periodicals produced by District and Local Lodges of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
IAM Publications, Grand Lodge
This collection includes the Machinists Monthly Journal (1889-1956) and the Machinists Newspaper (1946-2004), both of which are organs of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Digital Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America's libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.
Digital Library of Georgia
The Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative based at the University of Georgia Libraries that collaborates with Georgia's Libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life.
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the IRLE Library, University of California
The IRLE Library received funding from the University of California Labor and Employment Research Fund (LERF) to digitize abor-related collections.
Labor Archives of Washington at the University of Washington
This project has made hundreds of primary textual and visual resources relating to Pacific Northwest labor history more accessible to the public.
Library of Congress Digital Collections
Library of Congress Digital Collections provides access to digitized American historical materials, and includes images, maps, manuscripts, prints, photographs, film, sound files, and legal materials.
Living Atlanta Oral History Recordings at the Atlanta History Center
The interviews in this collection cover a broad array of topics relevant to the history of Atlanta between World War I and World War II. Prominent subjects include race relations, segregation, popular music, baseball, neighborhoods, the Jewish community, police, healthcare, and education. Major events that are covered include the Great Fire of 1917, the 1906 Race Riot, and the 1916 Streetcar Strike. The Atlantans interviewed represent a broad cross section of society, including streetcar workers, musicians, professors, politicians, police chiefs, school teachers, railroad executives, and sports figures.
Walter P. Reuther Library Image Galleries: The Labor Movement and Organizations
The Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs holds the largest labor archives in North America and is the official repository for twelve national labor unions. Images from these organizations date back to their birth and continue on into the 21st Century.
Phone: (404) 413-2880
Fax: (404) 413-2881
Special Collections & Archives
Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur Street, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3202
Library South, 8th floor