Welcome to the Reuther Library's blog archive. This is a convenient blog roll where all our blog posts are stored and made accessible to visitors. Reuther blogs are authored by various staff and guests. They are arranged by publication date with the most recent on top and the oldest at the bottom. To break-out the blog archive by year and month, please use this alternate view.

Guest Post: Alexandrea Penn on Raven Award Experience

(36033) American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, circa 1980s.

What do Casey Kasem, Lily Tomlin, and Jeffrey Tambor all have in common? They are all Wayne State alumni, and their portraits are part of the Wayne State University Photograph Collection. The University's Public Relations Department (formerly Media Services) is responsible for capturing images of staff members, faculty, and students in order to record the members of their campus. The photographs in the collection span over fifty years, up to the early 2000s.  read more »

Archives in Media: The Cars that Made America

(3890) Fisher Body Plant no. 1, crowds, Flint, Michigan

After working with Magilla Entertainment since May, the Reuther’s AV Department was excited to view the August 13th premier of the History Channel’s docuseries, “The Cars That Made America.” The three-night, six-hour special event will kick off the network’s Car Week this Sunday.  read more »

Reading Room Closure - August 10

Please note: the Reuther Library Reading Room will be closed this Thursday, August 10, 2017, from 12-4. Researchers will be able to access materials between 10-12.

Please contact Reference Archivist Kristen Chinery (kristen.chinery@wayne.edu) to make research arrangements.

Brown Bag Talk - Women in the Age of Mass Incarceration: Gender, Rights, and Punishment in Michigan

Please join Bonnie Ernst, 2017 Fishman Grant recipient, in a discussion of the research leading to her dissertation, “Women in the Age of Mass Incarceration: Gender, Rights, and Punishment in Michigan," Thursday, July 13th, 12pm at the Reuther Library.

In the final third of the twentieth century, women were the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population, and women of color were disproportionately sent to prison. Nearly all scholarship on the history of the criminal justice system focuses on the imprisonment of men. Ernst's dissertation, “Women in the Age of Mass Incarceration: Gender, Rights, and Punishment in Michigan,” reframes historical narratives on imprisonment by focusing on women and gender.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: The Wayne State University: Office of Educational Resources for Students with Disabilities Records

(35991) Braille Campus Map, 1969

For more than 87 years, Wayne State University has granted admission and provided services to the physically disabled. The 1960s saw the beginning of the Disability Rights Movement in the United States and with the steadily increasing number of disabled  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Harper Hospital

(11186) Nurses, Base Hospital #17, Dijon, France, 1917

The Harper Hospital collection contains records from the nurses and doctors of Harper Hospital during World War I. Included is information about their location in France, dates of when they left the United States and when they returned, and an extensive list of those men and women who served Base Hospital Number 17. Hospital staff, if large enough, were assigned to their own base hospital, but could be combined with staff from other hospitals.  read more »

HistoryPin Tour: Detroit's Chinese Community

HistoryPin Tour: Detroit's Chinese Community

Many people are surprised to learn that Detroit once had two Chinatowns, both built by a resilient community that thrived in the city for nearly 100 years. As Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month draws to a close, we invite you to visit our latest HistoryPin tour: a look back on Detroit's Chinese Community.  read more »

12th Street, Detroit, 1967: Web Exhibit

(35782) Riots, Rebellions, Military Patrols, 1967

The Walter P. Reuther Library is proud to share a new web-based exhibit to accompany our current atrium display, 12th Street, Detroit, 1967: Employment, Housing, Policing, and Race Relations in Evidence. The web exhibit includes digitized archival documents from our physical exhibit as well as additional items from our archival collections for users to explore.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Gay Liberator

(35943) Clipping from the Gay Liberator, 1970

This blog post was contributed by Autumn Diaz, a student in Wayne State University's archives program in Winter 2017.

The Reuther Library holds many important historical collections, and as history inevitably repeats itself, many are more relevant than ever to current events. The Gay Liberator collection, in the space of just two compact boxes, offers a history unique to Detroit and its LGBT community. Published from 1970-1976, the Gay Liberator also reflects growing political awareness  read more »

Collection Spotlight: SEIU Photographs

(35299) SEIU Photographs boxes

The Walter P. Reuther Library is proud to announce the opening of the SEIU Photographs, a collection of images that spans the union’s proud history from 1915 to 2012. The majority of the collection originated from the Communications Department at SEIU’s international offices in Washington D.C. Most of the photos have been taken for SEIU’s various publications and informational literature (posters, pamphlets). Many of these photos capture pivotal moments in the union’s history, ranging from  read more »

Exhibit Announcement: Tony Spina Photographs from the 1967 Civil Unrest

(35794) Riots, Rebellions, National Guard, Media, Detroit, 1967

Visit the Reuther Library's Woodcock Wing gallery now through winter 2017 for an exhibition of previously unpublished photographs of Detroit's 1967 Civil Unrest by preeminent photojournalist, Tony Spina.  read more »

Labor Unions, Earth Day, and Environmentalism

Letter from Walter P. Reuther to Senator Gaylord Nelson

This Earth Day, we’d like to highlight archival collections that demonstrate organized labor’s role in environmentalism and the understanding of Earth Day as advantageous to the interests of business and workers alike. Though one may not expect it, numerous collections highlight unions’ historical efforts to fight pollution and champion conservation.  read more »

Exhibit Opening: "12th Street, Detroit, 1967"

(318) Riots, Rebellions, 12th Street, 1967

Please join the Reuther Library, 5:30-7:30PM, April 27 for an opening reception as we open our exhibit "12th Street, Detroit, 1967: Employment, Housing, Policing, and Race Relations in Evidence." Speakers include Dr. Melba Boyd, Distinguished Professor of Africana Studies at Wayne State University, and Dr. Cynthia Fleming, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Visitors will get a first look at the Reuther's exhibit and the archival documents that serve as evidence to understand the events surrounding Detroit's Civil Unrest.  read more »

Amy Zanoni discusses — Poor Health: Retrenchment and Resistance in Chicago’s Public Hospital

(32015) March for Equality, Chicago, Illinois

Please join the Reuther Library for a presentation from our latest Fishman grant recipient Wednesday April 5, 2017, at noon.

Amy Zanoni, a doctoral candidate from Rutgers University, will discuss her research into disinvestment, austerity measures, and privatization efforts beginning in the 1970s at the Cook County Hospital.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Rose Pesotta

(3993) Rose Pesotta, Roy Reuther, Flint, Michigan

This Women’s History Month, we bring you the story of an activist and labor leader whose fascinating life needs to be remembered and re-appreciated. For several decades, Rose Pesotta organized across the country for garment workers in New York, rubber and auto workers in the Midwest, and immigrant laborers in California. She also worked for victims of government persecution, war and prejudice. Pesotta was a pioneer in labor organizing, an unstoppable force for the common worker, for the immigrant and for justice.  read more »

Fishman Grantees: 2017

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University is pleased to announce the awards from the Sam Fishman Travel Grant program for 2017. These annual grants provide up to $1,000 to support travel to the Reuther Library to access archival records related to the American labor movement. The award is named in honor of Sam Fishman, a former UAW and Michigan AFL-CIO leader.  read more »

Oral History Heroes: William V. Banks

 (vmc3323) Television; Stations; WGPR-TV; New All Black Station.

William V. Banks seemingly did it all: he was a lawyer, minister, Freemason, businessman, and civic leader. He is perhaps best known as the founder of the United States’ first Black-owned and operated television station, WGPR-TV 62, and its sister radio station, WGPR-FM. In addition to all of these accomplishments, he was also known as an advocate for labor. In the 1930s, as the head of the Detroit arm of the International Labor Defense, he defended imprisoned striking workers in a business and social climate that was often hostile to organized labor and strikers.  read more »

Chicana Fotos on Display at the Reuther Library

(35634) Chicana Fotos Exhibit

Born and raised in Chicago by Mexican-­American parents, Nancy De Los Santos is an accomplished filmmaker and proud “Chicana from Chicago” who has dedicated her life and career to rewriting and redefining the image of Latina/os in the mainstream media.  read more »

Oral History Heroes: Dave Miller

(5098) Child Labor, Miners, 1910s

Since his early days as a child laborer in a textile mill, Dave Miller (1891-1979) devoted himself to the labor movement. Miller shared his life and times—and thoughts on the present and the future—in a circa-1972 interview available in the Reuther Library’s holdings.

Working on cataloging this interview, I came away impressed with Miller’s witness to a broad range of developments and events that shaped the twentieth century, not to mention his direct involvement in some them, including his advocacy for women’s suffrage and against the death penalty and his fight for universal health care. Miller deserves recognition for his pioneering work in the UAW alone, but he did that and more.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Michigan Commission on Displaced Persons

DP's Arriving in Detroit...Detroit Times November 1, 1948

We’ve gathered hundreds of collections in our nearly 50 years, so sometimes even we forget what amazing things that are in our stacks. The Michigan Commission on Displaced Persons Records is certainly not our most popular collection, but it is particularly relevant given the current climate in our country.  read more »

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — Holiday Closure

(25498) Dr. Martin Luther King, Portrait,1960s

Please note that Wayne State University and the Reuther Library will be closed Monday January 16th in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Academic Calendar 2017 We'll reopen on Tuesday, January 17th at our regular time.

The Creation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

(24784) Remembering King

The Reuther Library will be closed in observation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this January 16th. While we’re out, we wanted to tell you a bit more about the way this became a national holiday and the people who worked to make sure it happened.

Dr. King was assassinated April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was visiting striking sanitation workers in their fight for union recognition with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). It was an audience of strikers and supporters who heard his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” However, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day does not commemorate a great leader’s death – it commemorates his life.  read more »

Year in Review: Collection Archivists

2016 was an active year at the Walter P. Reuther Library, especially for its collection archivists. Unique among archival repositories, the Reuther Library has six archivist positions directly supported by labor and cultural institutions, making us their official archives and giving the collection archivists the exclusive honor to preserve and provide access to their organization’s histories. Please enjoy the following highlights from each of our collection archivists on their work with the donor organizations and updates on their collections.  read more »

Reuther Library receives Michigan Humanities Council Grant

(354) Riots, Rebellions, Civil Unrest, Detroit, July 1967

The Reuther Library is proud to announce that it has been awarded a Humanities Grant from the Michigan Humanities Council. The grant will support an exhibit of selected materials related to Detroit’s 1967 Civil Unrest, taken from the Reuther's over 40 archival collections on the topic. The exhibit will be installed in the Reuther Library’s atrium in April 2017 and will be accompanied by a web exhibit and document sets for use in K-12 classrooms. Visitors will learn about analyzing archival material and begin to understand the archive as a place that belongs to the community it serves.  read more »

Oral History Heroes: Millie Jeffrey

Portraits, Mildred Jeffrey, Undated

As the Oral History Project Archivist at the Reuther Library, my job is to arrange and describe our oral history collections so researchers can find them -- work that has been made possible by a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Documenting Democracy grant awarded to the library in 2014. I’ve come to greatly admire many of the interviewees, and to be fascinated by their life stories and accomplishments. In a series of blog posts, I’ll tell about some of my “oral history heroes” and what makes them special to me.  read more »

Exhibit Announcement: Bruce Harkness Poletown Photographs

(31832) Poletown, Land Clearances, Children, Detroit, 1981

Visit the Reuther Library's Woodcock Wing gallery now through spring 2017 for an exhibition of photographs of Detroit's Poletown by photographer Bruce Harkness.  read more »

Winter Break—University Closure

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs will close at 4pm, December 23rd, 2016 for Winter Break. We'll return to our regular business hours on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. Please contact us if you have any questions. Ask An Archivist

Collection Spotlight: UAW Local 174 Mural

(35325) Local 174 Mural, "Untitled," 1937

In 1937, United Auto Workers Local 174 sponsored the creation of a series of murals to enliven their Union Hall and celebrate their rich, if relatively young, history. The resulting work proved to be one of the most memorable pieces of Detroit’s New Deal-era artwork.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Leonard Woodcock Papers

(11528) Kennedy, Woodcock, Convention, Atlanic City, New Jersey, 1959

The Walter P. Reuther Library is honored to announce the opening of the The Leonard Woodcock Papers. Leonard Woodcock orchestrated profound accomplishments in a variety of fields, notably as head of the UAW and later as Ambassador to China, making these historical records a valuable resource to a wide range of researchers.  read more »

Tech Talk -- Web Content Management System

(35262) Google Analytics, 2009-2016

On January 30th, 2009 the Reuther switched off its old 1.0 website for good. For those that recall, its retirement was long overdue. By the time of its retirement, the site had endured over a decade of development that had led to a patchwork of static HTML pages with a great deal of problems. The problems spanned from broken links to grossly out-of-date collection descriptions. The later issues provided the impetus to find a quick fix. This lead to the implementation of the Reuther’s 2.0 website.  read more »

AFSCME and September 11, 2001

(35057) Gerald McEntee, Lee Saunders, World Trade Center Site, 2001

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) are drawn from a diverse range of professions and fields, including medical, sanitation, transportation, social work, clerical, and many others in the public service sector. Nothing in the union and the country’s history brought all of them together like the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and aftermath.  read more »

Exhibit Announcement: Belle Isle State Park Photos on Display

(19457) Parks, Belle Isle, Recreation, Detroit, 1910s

Belle Isle became Michigan’s 102nd State Park in 2014 through a lease agreement made with the City of Detroit. In honor of this occasion, the Reuther Library presents an exhibition of images that show the important role the park has played in the lives of Detroit’s residents. The exhibition will run from August 2016 to December 2016.  read more »

NFPF Grant Project: Wayne State University Historic Films

(33929) Irene Day, Wayne State University, Alumni, Broadway and radio performer, Detroit, 1932

The Walter P. Reuther Library is pleased to announce the restoration, duplication, and digitization of two 16mm historic Wayne State University films. The Reuther’s Audiovisual department received a National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) grant that made all of the work possible. The historic films document the years 1925 and 1932 in Wayne’s history (before it was actually named Wayne State University) and are a part of a newly discovered series of silent films that span the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

The films give the viewer a glance into what college life was like for students nearly one hundred years ago.  read more »

Digitizing Series 10 of the Industrial Workers of the World Records

(5451) IWW Beaded Banner, 1910s

This May, at the start of my last semester at Wayne State’s School of Library and Information Science, I began a Practicum in Digital Content Management here at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs. Over the last three months I have spent many hours with Series 10 of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Collection. This series, which is mostly pamphlets and handouts, needed digitization to keep it alive. Access to the series was restricted, not for inflammatory content, but because of the fragile condition of the early 20th century documents. This made me a kind of digital life support for this information rich material.  read more »

AWOC Audio Recordings Now Digitized

(256) Pickets, AWOC, Grape Strike, California, 1966

The Reuther Library is pleased to announce the digitization of over 100 reel-to-reel audio recordings related to the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC). AWOC was chartered by the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) to organize farm workers in California. AWOC called many strikes against growers and farm labor contractors and achieved some success in raising wages of farm laborers. They merged with the National Farm Workers Association to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO in 1966.

These recordings, mostly from California, range from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. They include talks with farm workers, organizing meetings, documentary sound, and interviews with movement leaders.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: LGBT Materials at the Reuther Library

(34291) The Red Party, flyer

The Reuther Library is pleased to announce the opening of several new collections related to LGBT History in Southeast Michigan.

Though collecting material related to civil rights and social movements in Southeast Detroit has always been a mission for the Walter P. Reuther Library, we aim to grow the LGBT collection to include a broader range of voices. To this end, the Reuther will have a table at Detroit’s Hotter Than July! picnic on July 30th at Palmer Park to bring greater awareness to our archival collections. This event is part of a week-long celebration of Black LGBT pride and is sponsored by LGBT Detroit.

In conjunction with this festival the Reuther is pleased to announce that the LGBT Detroit Records are open for research.  read more »

Wayne State University Photograph Collection - Photo Identification Tips and Tricks

State Hall, classroom, Detroit, Michigan

This article was written by Audrey Swartz, a recipient of the Ronald Raven award and a student in Wayne State University's SLIS program, during the spring of 2016.

As Wayne State celebrates its sesquicentennial in 2018, there is an effort to increase access to photographs located in the University Archives. With the help of a student intern and the Audio Visual archivists at the Reuther, we have been able to begin this process. Wayne State University’s photography collection, housed in the AV Department at the Reuther Library, ranges from roughly 1945 to 2003. These photographs cover everything from sporting events (did you know WSU once had a rowing team?) to campus ceremonies, life and construction.  read more »

Holiday Closure

(2439) Buildings, J.L. Hudson's Department Store, Detroit, 1960

The Reuther Library will be closed this July 4 in honor of Independence Day. We will be back to our normal hours beginning Tuesday, July 5.

In the meantime, feel free to ask your questions at Ask an Archivist and we will assist you when we return.

Have a happy and safe holiday!

Exhibit: "25 Years, 25 Treasures" from the Jewish Community Archives

in
(33760) DeRoy Memorial, Groundbreaking, Jewish Community Center, Detroit, 1939

The Reuther Library is proud to host “25 Years, 25 Treasures,” a new exhibit celebrating the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archive’s 25th anniversary!

25 Years, 25 Treasures will showcase 25 significant photographs, documents, and objects from its collection. These key pieces tell the remarkable story of Detroit’s Jewish community.

Since 1991, the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives has collected over 2 million documents, 25,000 photographs, and recorded over 100 oral histories chronicling the rich and varied history of Detroit’s Jewish community. The Reuther Library has served as a partner in this effort, housing the majority of the collection and hosting researchers in our reading room.  read more »

Event - GM Never Surrendered: The Paragraph 19E Controversy at UAW Local 653 during the 1960s

(34279) "Sit Down" sheet music

Please join us this July 21st for a lunchtime presentation of the work of Dr. Greg Wood as he explores the relationship between the UAW and General Motors in the generation after initial struggles for union recognition.

Utilizing records found in the UAW Region 1B Collection at the Walter P. Reuther Library, this talk examines anti-union practices on auto industry shop floors during the 1960s. Throughout the decade, UAW committeemen at General Motors in Pontiac, for example, confronted extensive management efforts to roll back the power and presence of organized labor in what was supposed to be a closed shop.  read more »

In Memoriam: Marjorie S. Fisher

(34381) Max and Marjorie Fisher, Palm Beach, Florida, 1982

The Reuther Library notes with sadness the death of Marjorie S. Fisher on June 12. The wife of Max M. Fisher, Marjorie Fisher was the founder with her husband of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation. She became the Founding Chair of this family-run foundation after the death of Max Fisher in 2005.  read more »

SEIU's International Convention in Detroit

in
(34369) Our Unstoppable History exhibit

Few archives actively collect and collaborate with active donor organizations like the Walter P. Reuther Library. This special relationship was on full display at the 2016 International Convention of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Detroit. The union made a special point to incorporate historical resources from the Reuther Library, its official archives, into the proceedings this May.  read more »

Memorial Day Closure

(32212) First World War, Civilian Support, Liberty Loans Rally, Detroit, 1918

Please be advised that the Reuther Library will be closed this May 30th for Memorial Day. We'll be open based on our regular schedule the following day, May 31st.

To learn more about service during the war, visit our image galleries related to World War I and World War II.

100 Years of the American Federation of Teachers

(11854) Detroit Federation of Teachers, Local 231

On May 9, 1916 the American Federation of Labor issued a charter to the American Federation of Teachers. For 100 years the AFT has shaped the conversation on public education, the American labor movement, civil and human rights as well as the true value of democracy in our society. The AFT started with 8 locals that represented fewer than 5,000 teachers across the country and now represents 1.6 million teachers, paraprofessionals, public employees and health care workers.  read more »

Event: "Putting Class on the Map: Towards a Labor Cartography"

in
(34343) McFarland Map of UAW Local 174 Connections

Please join us June 1 at noon for a brown bag research discussion in the Reuther Conference Room.

From hand-sketched diagrams of plant layouts drawn up in hasty preparation for strikes, to diagrams of syndicalist visions of One Big Union, mapping has long been an important but overlooked part of labor organizing. Steve McFarland, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Tampa, will be at the Reuther Library in May and June doing research into maps created by workers organizations.  read more »

Meet Brandon Carter, Facilities Coordinator

(34341) Portrait of Brandon Carter, 2016

The Walter P. Reuther Library is pleased to introduce Brandon Carter as its new Facilities Coordinator. One of the Reuther Library’s most essential employees the past two years, he has played a role in many of the archives’ core functions. This experience and a Swiss Army knife-like skill set makes Brandon uniquely qualified in his new role, where he will do everything from oversee student employees to liaison with other departments on campus.  read more »

Tech Talk -- Social Media Outreach

The Reuther Library’s Facebook presence has been alive and well since our first posts were submitted back in 2009. Over the course of our nearly seven years of use  read more »

Event: Sacramento Knoxx and Storytelling as History

Sacramento Knoxx and Storytelling Event

The 5th event in our series “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” will take place at 6pm this Friday, April 22, as part of the Wayne State University Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies’ Academia del Pueblo!

Join us in General Lectures room 150 for an exploration of storytelling and narrative evidence. We’ll feature a performance from Sacramento Knoxx, who will share his new piece on Southwest Detroit.

We will also discuss the future of the Detroit area's archival records in a panel:

"What Do We Need to Document Our Community's History Into the Archives?"  read more »

The Southern Airways strike of 1960: ALPA’s epic battle over fair wages for pilots

(34249) Southern Airways Strike, 1960s

By the late 1950s, it was becoming increasingly clear that the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) would have to strike against Southern Airways (SOU). The main issue was wages. The union maintained that all of their aviators should receive the same salary regardless of the size of the airline, but SOU, a smaller, regional carrier, claimed they could only afford to pay a lower rate. ALPA knew this was a battle they had to take on, though it would not be easy. Frank Hulse, the founder and president of SOU, was staunchly anti-union, and had recently succeeded in breaking up the mechanic’s union at Southern Airways. ALPA was the last union standing at SOU.  read more »

Guest Post: More than a Lawyer - Maurice Sugar

(34280) Maurice Sugar

“Music hath charms to sooth a savage heart, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” –William Congreve 1670-1729

This quote, among others, was scribbled on notes belonging to the famous and first Labor Lawyer –Maurice Sugar, and can be found in the Reuther Library’s Maurice Sugar Papers.  read more »

Event: Joel Suarez discusses “Work and the American Moral Imagination, 1940-1996”

(29186) Clerical Workers, 1950

Please join the Reuther Library for a presentation from our latest Fishman grant recipient this April 8, 2016, at noon.

Joel Suarez, a doctoral student from Princeton University, considers the values ascribed to work in the wake of its transformation in the latter half of the twentieth century. He explores how contending visions of the good life— among intellectuals and policymakers, but most importantly workers—were challenged and reconstituted amid changes wrought by industrialization, deindustrialization, and the ascent of low-wage service sector work.  read more »

Exhibit Opening and Panel Discussion - "From the Margins to the Core: Latino Workers in the Nation’s Auto Industry"

(8743) Ford, Plants, Rouge, Dearborn, Michigan

This March 29th, please join the Walter P. Reuther Library for a panel discussion to celebrate the opening of a new exhibit on loan from Michigan State University. The exhibit spotlights the voices of Latin@ workers to explore their impact on the auto industry in Michigan, drawing from photographs, oral histories, and other archival records. Panelists will discuss the contributions of Latin@ auto workers from a variety of perspectives.  read more »

Commemorating Rabbi Morris Adler

(DN_17101) UAW Public Review Board, Reuther, Adler, McRae, Oxnam, 1957

The Jewish community of the Detroit area recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of a prominent leader, Rabbi Morris Adler. Born in Russia in 1906, Rabbi Adler was the spiritual leader of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Detroit (later in Southfield, MI) from 1938 until 1966. On February 12, 1966, while presiding at religious services he was shot by a mentally disturbed congregant; he died 27 days later at the age of 59. The Reuther Library marks this sad anniversary and notes that Rabbi Adler’s legacy remains in several collections in the archives.  read more »

Recently Opened Collections from the American Federation of Teachers

(31532) CCW Early Childhood Demonstration

The American Federation of Teachers is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration, the Reuther has opened or added to several collections – the culmination of an 18 month collections backlog-processing project. The records are from the AFT National headquarters, regional, and local offices. These 13 collections represent the breadth of AFT activities from the local to the national level.  read more »

Meet Stefanie Caloia, AFSCME Archivist

in
(34071) Stefanie Caloia, AFSCME Archivist, Reuther Library Staff, 2016

The Reuther Library is pleased to announce Stefanie Caloia as our new AFSCME archivist. Caloia recently completed an 18-month position as the Reuther's AFT project archivist, during which she processed and opened for research 13 collections totaling over 1335 linear feet of records. Her earlier experience includes working at a private archive and processing records for the National Parks Service in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns. She completed her graduate work at Wayne State, and first came to the Reuther as a practicum student in the spring of 2011.  read more »

Event: Marcus Cederström discusses "The Life and Times of a Swedish Immigrant: Signe Aurell’s Working Words"

(393) Everett Memorial, Violence, May Day, Washington, 1917

The Reuther Library is pleased to host Marcus Cederström as he shares his research on Signe Aurell on March 17th at noon. The event is open to the public.

Cederström's research considers the significant role Swedish women immigrants took in socially engaged action in the United States, particularly in support of temperance and labor movements.  read more »

2016 Sam Fishman Travel Grant Recipients

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University is pleased to announce the awards from the Sam Fishman Travel Grant program for 2016. These annual grants provide up to $1,000 to support travel to the Reuther Library to access archival records related to the American labor movement. The award is named in honor of Sam Fishman, a former UAW and Michigan AFL-CIO leader.  read more »

SEIU's Justice for Janitors MOPSCAR Awards

(32780) Justice for Janitors demonstration

SEIU has a knack for creative protest imagery. In 1993, SEIU members parodied the Oscars to raise awareness of Los Angeles-area janitors demonstrating for improved working conditions. In recognition of this year’s approaching Academy Awards, we will take a look back at this portion of the Justice for Janitors campaign.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: The Edward Stanton Photographs

(33827) Street Scenes, Children, Black Bottom, Detroit

The Reuther Library is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Edward Stanton Photographs. The collection features the earliest surviving work of the Detroit-born photographer, Edward Stanton (1914-2006), and includes images taken in Detroit’s Paradise Valley and Black Bottom neighborhoods in the years surrounding the end of the Great Depression.  read more »

How Mary Ellen Riordan Lead the Detroit Federation of Teachers' Fight for Collective Bargaining

(34033) Mary Ellen Riordan, Detroit Federation of Teachers, Detroit, Michigan, 1960s

The Detroit Federation of Teachers has seen a number of challenges and triumphs since its founding in 1931 – a significant number of which occurred during the 21-year tenure of president Mary Ellen Riordan. Riordan guided the union through many transformative events, including the introduction of collective bargaining for teachers and the first teacher strike in Detroit, and was involved with various court cases that transformed education policy and public employee unions.  read more »

The Michigan Black History Bibliography Index: An Invaluable Resource

(304) African Americans; UAW organizing, Detroit, Michigan

In the mid 1970s, the Walter Reuther Library produced an invaluable source of information for numerous researchers that have walked through its doors - the Michigan Black History Bibliography Index. The index contains a wealth of information that does not exist anywhere else, providing researchers with connections to unique and often obscure sources. With this blog, a wider audience will become aware of its existence and value. The index is a four-drawer card file identifying sources that are key to understanding Black history in Michigan, and its hundreds of bibliographic references span from the 19th Century until the mid 1970s.  read more »

NHPRC Oral History Project: An Update from the (Wave) Field

(33937) David Wildman, National Farm Worker Ministry, NFWM/UFW Darigold protest march, Seattle, Washington, 2011

In 2014 the National Historical Publications and Records Commission awarded the Walter P. Reuther Library its two-year Documenting Democracy grant to enhance access to the library's oral history collections, thus enabling my hiring. As Oral History Project Archivist, I’m lucky enough to get to “unearth” some of the great treasures of our collections. Thanks to the grant, I am arranging and describing more than 1,600 previously undescribed or “under-described” oral histories in our collections.  read more »

Collections Spotlight: Mel Ravitz Papers

(33936) Dr. Mel Ravitz

The Reuther Library is proud to announce the opening of an addition to our Mel Ravitz Papers. The new materials include documents related to Ravitz’s work and research in urban planning and its impact on communities, ranging from 1945-2009. Notably, the collection includes some of Mr. Ravitz’s personal journals from the early 1960s. The addition to this collection may prove particularly valuable to researchers with an interest in the causes and effects of Detroit’s 1967 civil unrest.  read more »

Hidden Gems: Holidays in the Folklore Archive

Winter is the time for the celebration of holidays and festivals in many ethnic and religious groups around the world, from the Winter Solstice to Kwanzaa. Though the Reuther Library lacks any Druid collections that shed light on prehistoric winter rites, it is the home of a relevant “hidden gem” collection: the Folklore Archive. The holiday information in this collection is wide-ranging, enlightening and sometimes amusing.

The Folklore Archive, established in 1939, contains the oldest and largest record of urban folk traditions in the United States. At its core are thousands of student field research projects from Wayne University (later Wayne State) classes.  read more »

HistoryPin: Tour Detroit during the Second World War

(33928) HistoryPin Tour Map: Detroit in World War II

The Reuther Library is pleased to announce the launch of a new HistoryPin tour: Detroit and World War II

The interactive tour features images that highlight the role of everyday citizens in the war effort between the years 1940-1945. Topics featured include military draft and recruitment, mobilization, salvage drives, rationing, community events, and defense work. Of particular interest are photographs of industrial training, the daily life of prisoners of war held at Fort Wayne, U.S.O. recreation activities, and community involvement in the war effort.  read more »

Subject Focus: The Windsor-Detroit Funnel: Prohibition in Detroit

(27833) Prohibition, Smuggling, Detroit River, Detroit, 1929

December 5th is Repeal Day, celebrating the end of Prohibition in the United States in 1933.

The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed in 1919, prohibiting the sale, consumption, and manufacturing of alcoholic beverages. The National Prohibition Act (also known as the Volstead Act), defined what constituted an illegal alcoholic beverage  read more »

Call for Applications: 2016 Sam Fishman Travel Grant Program

The Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs invites applications for travel grants of up to $1,000 as part of the 2016 Sam Fishman Travel Grant Program. The program provides research grants to support faculty, students, independent researchers, and union members  read more »

University Closure - Winter Break

The Reuther Library and Wayne State University will close for winter break beginning at noon on December 24th. We will reopen with our regular hours starting January 4, 2016.
Thank you for a wonderful 2015, and we look forward to supporting your research in the new year. Read more about Wayne State University's Winter Break closure.

Personal and Family Archiving - Latino Americans: 500 Years of History

(28275) Ethnic Communities, Latin American, Schools, Children, Detroit, 1981

Please join the staff of the Reuther Library for a workshop on preserving your family's history - the third event in our "Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" series!

Many families have a box of photos in the attic, an envelope of paperwork in the closet, or an assortment of files on a computer. Without care, these items might be lost to future generations and historians who want to tell the story of the people of Detroit. This workshop will cover some easy and cost-effective ways to care for your family's history, whether it is currently on your phone or on a shelf.

The event will take place December 12, 2015
1-4 pm
Detroit Public Library - Campbell Branch
8733 W. Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

Participants are encouraged to bring photographs or paper materials to scan and will receive a digital copy to share with friends and family.  read more »

Gallery Announcement: Stills from the World at War - The Home Front (1939-1945)

(33608) Recruitment, Navy, Volunteers,1942

In honor of Veteran's Day, the Walter P. Reuther Library is pleased to share a new image gallery: Stills from the World at War: The Home Front (1939-1945). The new gallery serves as a celebration of the extraordinary service of individuals, both military personnel and civilian, during the Second World War, a commemoration of the sacrifices made, and a glimpse back to Detroit as it developed into the industrial heart of the war effort.  read more »

The Jewish Community Archives at the Reuther Library: Additions and Revisions

(33760) DeRoy Memorial, Groundbreaking, Jewish Community Center, Detroit, 1939

The Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives document the rich and varied history of the Detroit Jewish community. In 1991, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit placed the bulk of its archival holdings in the Reuther Library. The collection dates back to the beginning of the United Jewish Charities in 1899. Through the years, the Jewish Community Archives (JCA) at the Reuther Library has expanded to include more than two million documents chronicling the growth and development of the Federation and its member agencies and Jewish communal agencies.

Recently, some new collections have been added and some revisions have been made to finding aids.  read more »

Event - Latino Americans: 500 Years of History Episode 6

(31963) Ethnic Communities, Mexican, Celebrations, 1990

This November 7th from 3-5 PM, please join the Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs for a screening of “Latino Americans, 500 Years of History,” Documentary Episode 6: Peril and Promise (1980-2000) at the Bowen Branch of the Detroit Public Library. A group discussion will follow.

PBS's Episode Guide asks on Episode 6: "Is a new Latino world being created here as the Latino population and influence continues to grow? Alternatively, will Latinos in America eventually assimilate into invisibility, as other groups have done so many times?" Representatives from Wayne State University's Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies will join attendees in a dialogue on the episode’s themes of community and identity.  read more »

Event Announcement: “Shifting Terrain: Work, Deindustrialization and Labor Relations in the Earthmoving Equipment Industry, 1967-2000”

Jason Kozlowski, assistant professor at West Virginia University, will present an overview of his current research at a brown-bag lecture at noon on Thursday, December 3, in the Reuther Conference Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library.

The event will detail research on his book project, tentatively titled “Shifting Terrain: Work, Deindustrialization and Labor Relations in the Earthmoving Equipment Industry, 1967-2000.”  read more »

Myra Wolfgang: New inductee to the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame

(33749) Portrait of Myra Wolfgang

The Reuther Library salutes Myra Wolfgang as she is inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame this month.

Almost 40 years after her death, Myra Wolfgang stands among the giants in Detroit’s labor movement. Her involvement in labor organizing began not long after graduating from Northern High School in Detroit in 1931. By the age of 23, she was leading strikes and directed organizing drives in local businesses, through the local chapter of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union (today known as UNITE HERE!). She first received national publicity for organizing a “pink-collar” sit-down strike among women workers at the Woolworth’s department store in Detroit in 1937.  read more »

In Memoriam: Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015)

(32631) Grace Lee Boggs, Speaking, 1980s-1990s

The Reuther Library mourns the passing of our friend, the incomparable Grace Lee Boggs.

Boggs was a writer, philosopher, mentor, and an outspoken activist for many causes, including civil rights, workers’ rights, Black Power, environmental justice, feminism, and community empowerment. To many, she seemed a force of nature – always working, organizing, teaching, and inspiring others to think critically and improve the world around them. Her philosophies evolved constantly throughout her life, but one thing held true from the beginning to the end: her faith that positive social change was possible if people were willing to work together.  read more »

Event Announcement: Ben Zdencanovic, “The CIO and the World: Research in 1940s Labor Internationalism and Social Politics”

(11360) UAW, War Policy, War Bonds Drive

Ben Zdencanovic, a doctoral student in the history department at the Yale University, will present an overview of his current research at a brown-bag lecture at noon on Thursday, October 15, in the Reuther Conference Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library.

His presentation, “The CIO and the World: Research in 1940s Labor Internationalism and Social Politics at the Reuther Library,” explores changes in postwar politics in the United States and abroad.  read more »

Janitors, SEIU, and National Custodial Workers Recognition Day

October 2nd is National Custodial Workers Appreciation Day, and it’s a good time to look back at the profession that served as the foundation for the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest partners of the Walter P. Reuther Library. Originally named the Building Service Employees International Union, the union first received its charter as the union for flat janitors in America. Though SEIU has dramatically evolved over the past century, custodial workers continue to serve as one of the largest units within the union. Below are photos from Foundation of the Union: Janitors and Custodians in SEIU, a curated collection of images from the SEIU photograph collections.  read more »

Hidden Gem: A.G. and Marie Mezerik Papers

(33693) Street Scenes, Gratiot and Broadway, Downtown, Detroit, 1900s

It’s hard to explain to people just how extensive (over 2,500 collections) and varied the archival holdings of the Reuther Library are. When someone asks, we first respond with the “Big Ones, ” such as the UAW, the American Federation of Teachers, the Wayne State University Archives. There are important medium-sized collections too, among them Focus Hope, the United Farm Workers and the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). Then there are the very small collections that are sometimes overlooked, hidden like small pebbles in a jar filled with big stones. These often contain fascinating materials that complement the Reuther’s more prominent collections.

One of these is the A.G. and Marie Mezerik Papers.  read more »

Event: Latino Americans: 500 Years of History

(246) Union Birth Benefit program, Cesar Chavez

This September 26th, please join us for a screening of “Latino Americans, 500 Years of History,” Documentary Episode 5: Prejudice and Pride (1965-1980). Representatives from Wayne State University's Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies will join attendees in a dialogue on the episode’s themes of work and citizenship. The group will also address the role archives can play in a community’s history and the role of community in determining materials that are preserved. The event, hosted at the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (1211 Trumbull Avenue, Detroit, Michigan), will explore the connection between the film's use of archival materials and the importance of archives in documenting a movement for future research.  read more »

Event Announcement: Trish Kahle speaks about Union Democracy in the Appalachian Coalfields

Trish Kahle, a doctoral student in the history department at the University of Chicago, will present an overview of her current research at a brown-bag lecture at noon on Thursday, September 10, in the Reuther Conference Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library.

Her presentation, entitled, "Jobs, Lives, and Land: Energy, Environmentalism, and Union Democracy in the Appalachian Coalfields," examines the Miners for Democracy, arguably the most successful union democracy movement of the 1960s and 1970s.  read more »

Guest Post: A 40-Year-Old Mystery - The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa

(9944) Portrait, James Riddle "Jimmy" Hoffa, Lake Orion, Michigan, 1975

This article was originally written by Kris Kniffen, a student in the Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science, in early 2015.

Jimmy Hoffa was a prominent labor leader in the 1950s and 60s, serving as the General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters between 1958 and 1971. In spite of significant contributions to the union’s cause, however - such as the development of the first national agreement for teamsters’ rates in 1964 - it is not Hoffa’s history in the unions that earned him the widespread name recognition that he still possesses today. Instead, the Hoffa name is infamous for its connections to organized crime, and for Hoffa’s mysterious disappearance on July 30, 1975.  read more »

Guest Post: Looking at Poletown

(31832) Poletown, Land Clearances, Children, Detroit, 1981

This post was authored by Justine Tobiasz, a student in the Wayne State University Archives Certificate Program, during the 2014-2015 academic year.

In 1981, a portion of the Detroit neighborhood known as Poletown was destroyed as a result of a deal between Mayor Coleman Young and General Motors to make room for a new Cadillac assembly plant.  read more »

A Tribute to Dr. Philip P. Mason - August 27, 2015

(33424) Cèsar Chàvez and Dr. Philip P. Mason

Join the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs to celebrate the achievements of Professor Emeritus Dr. Philip P. Mason and commemorate the Reuther Library's 40th anniversary.

Dr. Philip P. Mason and his former students and colleagues Kathleen Roe, Warner Pflug and Dr. Frank Boles will offer remarks. The Reuther Library will also unveil a portrait of Dr. Mason to be hung on permanent display.  read more »

Event Announcement: Dr. Donna Kesselman Speaks on Employment Grey Zones in Automobile Production

Dr. Donna Kesselman, Professor, Université Paris-Est Créteil, will provide an update on her current research into the changing interrelationships between labor, management, and government in the automobile industry. This brown-bag presentation will take place at noon on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, in the Reuther Conference Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs. Transformations in employment norms are an integral component of today's globalizing world labor market. Exploring “employment grey zones” provides a critical thought approach to defining these constantly evolving labor-management structures.  read more »

Event Announcement: "Flora Hommel: A Labor of Love"

On Thursday, July 30, celebrate the life and works of Detroiter and Lamaze childbirth method pioneer Flora Hommel through her collection at the Reuther Library. Join us for an opportunity to learn more about the late Flora Hommel and her collection at the Reuther Library through a display and discussion featuring local historians, Hommel’s family, and others associated with the Lamaze childbirth method.  read more »

The Women of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.)

(31815) Paterson Strike, Paterson Pageant, New York, 1913

The Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) was one of the first industrial unions to adopt the concept of gender equality and extend its membership to women. From its very inception, as organizers, agitators, advocates, and active members, women played an important part in the union’s development.  read more »

The Reuther Library Awarded "Latino Americans: 500 Years of History" Grant

(31964) Ethnic Communities, Mexican, Murals,1980

The Walter P. Reuther Library was recently awarded a $10,000 Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support public programming aimed at celebrating and preserving the history of Latino/a Americans in the Detroit metropolitan area.  read more »

Reuther Library Hosts Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

On May 1, 2015, the Reuther Library hosted a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to increase online visibility of our collections related to the labor movement. Editors spent the afternoon developing new skills, collaborating on ways describe collections to the general public, and brainstorming ideas to expand the Wikipedia editing group for future events. The group edited over 20 articles during the May Day event and identified several more to create, such as entries for Mary Van Kleeck, Sam Fishman, and the Association for Union Democracy.

The Reuther joined labor archives across the country in this effort  read more »

Collections Spotlight: Max M. Fisher Papers

Max M. Fisher and Gerald R. Ford

The Reuther Library is pleased to announce that the Max M. Fisher Papers are now open to researchers. This large collection documents Fisher's life and career as a successful Detroit industrialist and investor, influential Republican Party fundraiser and power broker, Jewish community leader, and major philanthropist. It includes correspondence, documents, speeches, interviews, photographs and other media, and documents from his biographer.  read more »

Guest Post: The Ronald Raven Annual Award, Winter 2015

The Ronald Raven Annual Award provides a tuition stipend and semester-long internship in the Wayne State University Archives to Wayne State University graduate students in the fall and winter semester. The details of the award are located on the Reuther Library Scholarships page.

Kristin Kniffen was the sixth recipient of the Ronald Raven Annual Award, completing her University Archives internship in May 2015. The following is a summary of the internship in her own words.

From my very first day at Wayne State University as a master’s student in the joint History and Library Science degree programs, my professors have encouraged me to seek hands-on experience in the archival field. During earlier semesters I sought this experience through volunteer projects at the Charles H. Wright Museum, but by the time the Winter 2015 semester had rolled around I was still sadly without any formal processing experience. I finally gained that experience thanks to the Ronald Raven Annual Award. The work proved to be not only wonderfully educational, but deeply enjoyable as well.  read more »

In Memoriam: Flora Hommel, 1928-2015

Jack White, Flora Hommel, Coleman Young

The Reuther Library notes with sorrow the passing on May 15 of Flora Suhd Hommel.

Hommel was one of the pioneers who brought the Lamaze psychoprophylactic method of painless childbirth to the United States, establishing an important teaching organization in Detroit, the Childbirth Without Pain Education Association (CWPEA). She championed the rights of women to control childbirth, creating a grass-roots movement contemporaneous with the women’s movement of the 1960s-1970s. Hommel and the CWPEA were important catalysts in establishing similar childbirth and parenting organizations and teacher-monitrice accreditation programs across the United States.  read more »

Event Announcement: “This Is My Town: The Concert Poster Art of Detroit, 1970s-2000s”

On May 22nd, 2015, the Detroit Sound Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the musical sounds and stories of Detroit, will hold its second annual conference at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library. The Michigan Sound Conference will explore the ways that the Mitten State, and the Motor City in particular, have led the world in shaping the contemporary sonic landscape. As a part of the conference, the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs will host the one-day exhibit "This Is My Town: The Concert Poster Art of Detroit, 1970s-2000s." This exhibit presents a selection of posters advertising musical, dramatic, and visual arts events in Detroit from the 1970s to the 200s, drawn from the papers of David Clements.  read more »

Event Announcement: Sarah Stanford-McIntyre Speaks on Oil, Labor, and Environmental Change

Sarah Stanford-McIntyre

The Reuther Library is proud to announce an upcoming brown-bag lecture presented by Sarah Stanford-McIntyre, a doctoral candidate at the College of William and Mary. This event will take place at noon on Thursday, May 21, in the Reuther Conference Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library. Ms. Stanford-McIntyre will present on her current research in her talk “Working Landscapes: The Labor of West Texas Oil, 1920-1970,” a regional history of oil, labor, and environmental change during the Permian Basin oil boom, including corporate imagery of technology, the mythology of the oil prospector, and the vital role of wage workers across the industry. The presentation is free and open to the public.  read more »

Event Announcement: Archival Practice Brown Bag Talk "Free Money: Basic Skills of Grant Writing for Archives"

A brown bag presentation series highlighting archival practice continues on May 15 with Reuther Library director Erik Nordberg’s presentation "Free Money: Basic Skills of Grant Writing for Archives." The one-hour session will be held at 12:30 p.m. in the Woodcock Conference Room at the Walter P. Reuther Library. Nordberg has experience both awarding and managing grant-funded archives projects, having served as both executive director of the Michigan Humanities Council and director of the University Archives and Historical Collections at Michigan Technological University.

Open to students, alumni, and interested professionals and educators, future events in this series are scheduled on the last Fridays of the month. Contact Kim Schroeder for more information at 313-577-9783 / ag1797@wayne.edu or Erik Nordberg at 313-577-2013 /

HistoryPin: Tour Detroit's Eastern Market

(33276) HistoryPin, Map, Eastern Market

In honor of this weekend's annual Flower Day, we invite you to visit our tour on HistoryPin: “Detroit’s Eastern Market”

Since 1891, Detroit’s historic Eastern Market has been the go-to destination for fresh produce, meats, and supplies of local businesses and residents. The market spans 43 acres of land on Detroit’s east side and is presently the largest public market district in the United States. It is home to over 150 specialty businesses, a thriving wholesale food industry and is a hub in the local artisan community. An average of 30,000-40,000 visitors attend the Saturday market during the high months.  read more »

Meet Rebecca Bizonet, Oral History Project Archivist

(33271) Rebecca Bizonet, Oral History Project Archvist, 2015

The Reuther Library is pleased to welcome Rebecca Bizonet as project archivist for its oral history collections. Her arrival on staff last week marks the beginning of work on a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Documenting Democracy grant awarded to the library in 2014.  read more »

Collections Spotlight: “Out of the House: Detroit Women’s Organizations in the 20th Century”

Fresh Air Society, Camp Tamarack, Belle Isle, 1902

Two archivists from the Reuther presented talks at the Historical Society of Michigan's 57th annual Local History Conference in March. The joint session, entitled “Out of the House: Detroit Women’s Organizations in the 20th Century” was presented by Troy Eller English, the Society of Women Engineers Archivist, and Aimee Ergas, the Reuther's collections archivist for Jewish Detroit. Kathy Schmeling of the Reuther Library was the moderator.  read more »

Event Announcement: Dr. Michelle Rodino-Colocino Speaks on Photography and Worker Productivity

Dr. Michelle Rodino-Colocino, Associate Professor of Media Studies and Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University, will provide an overview of her research into the role that media has played in labor-management relations. This brown-bag presentation will take place at noon on Thursday, April 23, 2015, in the Reuther Conference Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs. Her book-length project, Making Media Work: A Cultural History of New Media and Labor Management, explores how new media from film to smart phones has figured in management’s promotion of, and workers' resistance to, so-called “speedup” practices that intensify work for less return. The presentation is free and open to the public.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Minoru Yamasaki's Campus Buildings

(25937) Buildings, McGregor Memorial, Gardens, 1958

On April 15, 2015, the National Park Service designated Wayne State University's McGregor Memorial Conference Center as a national historic landmark. The 1958 building is one of four on the Wayne State campus designed by the architect Minoru Yamasaki.

On May 1, 2013, the reflecting pool and sculpture garden of the McGregor Memorial Conference Center was re-opened to the public after months of restoration and repairs. Information on the reopening ceremony, and details about the renovation, can be found here.  read more »

By virtue of the time and place of its founding and development -- that is, a large industrial city in the 20th Century -- Wayne State University has always been a modern

Announcement: Change to Digital Imaging Policy

In response to patron feedback and a review of policies at similar institutions across the country, the Reuther Library made a change to its digital imaging policy for the reproduction of materials in the Reading Room. Patrons may now use a cell phone, tablet, or digital camera for their imaging needs. The Reuther will continue to provide digital cameras on a first come, first served basis.

The $0.25 per image fee has been replaced with a daily imaging fee of $10.00, plus tax. There is no charge to patrons taking fewer than ten images. Patrons are still responsible for recording information about the images they take on the Digital Image Request Sheet regardless of equipment used. Patrons may request publication-quality images of any material from the Reuther Library at its standard fees.

Reuther Library reference policies are listed on our Reading Room page. Please direct questions or comments about the change in policy to Kristen Chinery, Reference Archivist.

Kristen Chinery is the Reference Archivist for the Walter P. Reuther Library.

Wayne Alumna Viola Gregg Liuzzo Honored for Her Work as a Civil Rights Activist

(24853) Mrs. Viola Liuzzo, Civil Rights Activist, 1963

This spring 2015, Wayne State University will be honoring one of its own whose contribution to humanity exemplifies the best in humanity. In March 1965 Viola Gregg Liuzzo traveled to Selma, Alabama in response to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s request of support for a voter registration drive in that state. On March 25, after the last of three marches that month, Liuzzo was shot and murdered on Highway 80 outside of Selma, Alabama while assisting with the transportation of marchers on the way home from the protest.  read more »

Event Announcement: Dr. Philip Mason at the Walter P. Reuther Library

Join the staff of the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs for an informal gathering with founding director Dr. Philip Mason at 3:30pm on Tuesday, March 24. Dr. Mason will share personal reflections on the 40th anniversary of the Reuther Library building’s initial construction in 1975. Following Dr. Mason’s remarks, attendees will be invited to visit the Reuther Library’s reading room, which has recently received a significant renovation with the support of an anonymous donor. The event is free and open to the public.

Reuther Library Announces Fishman Travel Grants to Visiting Scholars

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University is pleased to announce the awards from the Sam Fishman Travel Grant program for 2015. These annual grants provide up to $1,000 to support travel to the Reuther Library to access archival records related to the American labor movement. The award is named in honor of Sam Fishman, a former UAW and Michigan AFL-CIO leader.  read more »

Video: Dr. Francis Shor, "Re:Collecting Past Radicals and Rebels: The Resonance of Resistance and the Persistence of Injustice"

(4901) Joe Hill, Portrait

On December 9, 2014, Dr. Fancis Shor of the Wayne State University Department of History delivered the presentation "Re:Collecting Past Radicals and Rebels: The Resonance of Resistance and the Persistence of Injustice" in the Reuther Conference Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: The Detroit Latino Records

(32810) Hispanos Unidos march, Detroit, Michigan, circa 1991

The Reuther Library recently had the privilege of opening the Detroit Latino Records to researchers. This collection consists of materials from numerous organizations gathered by Wayne State University professor José Cuello. Dr. Cuello has spent his career as an educator, researcher and activist for the Latino community and these records reflect his involvement in this community from 1969 to 1995.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Ramon S. Scruggs, Sr. Papers

(32413) Public relations seminar, 1954

Best known as the first African American member of management at both the Michigan Bell Telephone Company and AT&T, Ramon S. Scruggs, Sr. served as an influential civil rights figure in the American business community from the 1940s until his passing in 1984. What separated Scruggs from many other civil rights figures was his focus on improving racial equality through integrating African Americans into positions of management within large corporations. The Ramon S. Scruggs Sr. Papers, recently opened to the public at the Walter P. Reuther Library, chronicle the subject’s numerous accomplishments.  read more »

Ernest Dillard Passing

(32650) Ernest Dillard, Portrait, 1969

The Reuther notes with sadness the passing of Ernest C. Dillard, who passed away at 101 years of age this week.

Ernest C. Dillard, Sr. was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on January 24, 1915, though the bulk of his labor and civil rights activities were in Detroit, Michigan. Dillard was an active member of United Auto Workers Local 15 and was the first African-American elected to a succession of UAW leadership posts. He retired in 1980 as assistant director of the UAW Community Action Program.  read more »

HistoryPin: Tour the Detroit Sit-Down Strikes of 1937

(32646) HistoryPin Map

The Reuther Library is pleased to announce its partnership with HistoryPin. For the uninitiated, HistoryPin is a popular, interactive social media platform that uses geotagging to link historical photographs to modern mapping systems. Partnering institutions and individuals--currently thousands across the globe-- “pin” still images, audio resources, or moving images to their subject’s original location. These pins can be grouped together in a tour or collection, each allowing for the individual user to explore historical topics or locations. The platform is widely available through a website or via mobile device applications.  read more »

Announcement: Reuther Library Reading Room Renovation Completed

(32644) Walter P. Reuther Library Reading Room Panorama, 2015

In January 2014 the Reuther received a generous donation, which could be used for any purpose as it was not dedicated to a specific account or project. After careful consideration of how to use the funds, a decision was made to update the Reading Room, the first renovation to the room since the building’s construction in 1975. The donation allowed us to purchase new furniture, to install new carpeting, to repaint the room, and to refurbish the Reading Room's reference desk.  read more »

Guest Post: The Ronald Raven Annual Award, Fall 2014

The Ronald Raven Annual Award provides a tuition stipend and semester-long internship in the Wayne State University Archives to three Wayne State University graduate students each year. The details of the award are located on the Reuther Library Scholarships page. Applications for the Winter 2015 semester are due January 2, 2015.

Meghan McGowan was the fifth recipient of the Ronald Raven Annual Award, completing her University Archives internship in December 2014. The following is a summary of the internship in her own words.  read more »

The Reuther Welcomes Gavin Strassel, SEIU Archivist

in
(32414) Gavin Strassel, Service Employee International Union Archivist (SEIU), Reuther Library Staff, 2014

The Reuther Library is pleased to welcome Gavin Strassel as SEIU Archivist. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Information, and previously served in the University of Michigan’s Special Collections. He first joined the Reuther team as an Archives Technician in December 2013.  read more »

Event Announcement: "Re:Collecting Past Radicals and Rebels: The Resonance of Resistance and the Persistence of Injustice," December 9, 2014

(32404) Joe Hill, Memorial Poster, 1979

NOTE: The public event featuring Fran Shor has been rescheduled to 4:30pm on Tuesday, December 9.

Dr. Francis Shor, of the Wayne State University Department of History, will deliver the presentation "Re:Collecting Past Radicals and Rebels: The Resonance of Resistance and the Persistence of Injustice." This event will take place at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, December 2 in the Reuther Conference Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs.  read more »

Meet Stefanie Caloia, AFT Project Archivist

(32393) Stefanie Caloia, AFT Project Archivist, Reuther Library Staff, 2014

The Reuther Library is pleased to welcome Stefanie Caloia as our new AFT Project Archivist. Her recent experience ranges from work at a private archive to positions with History Associates, Inc. and the National Parks Service. She completed her graduate work at Wayne State, and first came to the Reuther as a practicum student in the spring of 2011.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: The Utah Phillips Papers

(32375) Utah Phillips Playing Guitar and Facing the Crowd During a Performance, Washington, circa 1980

Bruce Duncan “Utah” Phillips (1935-2008) was one of the most prominent members of the American folk community in the latter half of the 20th century. He became well known as a folk singer, storyteller, poet, radio host, and activist beginning in the late 1960s and continued to be a distinguished figure in the folk and labor communities for the following four decades. The Walter P. Reuther Library, the repository for the Utah Phillips Papers, is pleased to announce that the collection is now open for research.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: American Society of Women Engineers and Architects

(32368) ASWEA Logo Sketches, 1920

In 1919, University of Colorado engineering students Lou Alta Melton and Hilda Counts wanted to establish an American Society of Women Engineers and Architects—a women’s auxiliary that would run alongside professional engineering and architectural organizations.  read more »

Subject Focus: Merrill-Palmer Summer Camp

(32332) Group photograph, Merrill-Palmer Summer Camp, 1938

With the school year now upon us, the Reuther Library presents a look back at summers past as recorded in the Merrill-Palmer collections. As Edna Noble White, first director of the Merrill-Palmer Institute, once said, "The children of a nation are its greatest potential asset." This belief was reflected in the Institute's main role, which was the understanding and interpretation of the individual from birth to adulthood.  read more »

Subject Focus: Bernie Firestone

(32349) Labor Day, Parades, Firestone, Young, Detroit, 1989

Bernard “Bernie” J. Firestone was one of Detroit’s foremost social activists, a nationally recognized labor leader, and a champion of causes great and small. Influenced by everyday struggles, he was an advocate for anyone who faced oppression or injustice.  read more »

General Gordon Baker, Jr.: A Detroit Revolutionary to the Core

There is a select group of people who place the needs of others above their own, do so against formidable forces and at great risk to their own welfare and well-being. They take these risks never knowing exactly how they will fare, but recognizing that their convictions demand that they cannot do otherwise. General Gordon Baker, Jr., a Detroit revolutionary, was among this select group of people. On May 24, 2014, a packed audience at Dearborn, Michigan’s UAW Local 600 memorialized his life that ended six days before. It was there that attendees gave tribute to a man whose impact did not pass with his death.  read more »

The Ronald Raven Annual Award: Devin Erlandson

Devin Erlandson was the fourth recipient of the Ronald Raven Annual Award, a scholarship providing a tuition stipend and a semester-long internship in the Wayne State University Archives. At the end of her internship, Devin wrote this summary of her experience.

I first learned about the Ronald Raven Annual Award from Dr. Louis Jones in his archival administration class.  read more »

Gallery Announcement: World War I Centennial

(32129) Draft & Recruitment, Deployment, Detroit, 1917-1918

The World War I centennial is upon us. In honor of this occasion, the Walter P. Reuther Library is pleased to share a new image gallery: Stills from the World at War.  read more »

Farewell and Good Luck to Mike Smith, UAW/JCA Archivist

Michael O. Smith

The Walter P. Reuther Library announces the retirement of Mike Smith, Archivist. Mike’s duties at the time of his retirement focused on the archives of the United Automobile Workers and the Jewish Community Archives. However, he wore many hats during his tenure at the Reuther.  read more »

The Relocation of Japanese American Students to Wayne University during World War II

The following is a guest post by Devin Erlandson, recipient of the Ronald Raven Annual Award and the Summer 2014 intern for the Wayne State University Archives.

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which excluded all people of Japanese ancestry from living on the Pacific coast. Of the 127,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast, 112,000 were sent to internment camps. 2,000 Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans with American citizenship) were uprooted from colleges and universities—their academic future was suddenly very uncertain.

The National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, worked to relocate and resettle Nisei students at Midwestern and East Coast colleges and universities. One such institution was Wayne University.  read more »

Nelson Mandela, AFSCME, and Detroit in 1990

(11993) Mandela at AFSCME Convention

On June 28, 1990, AFSCME members welcomed Nelson Mandela to their biannual convention in Miami, Florida, chanting, “Mandela, yes! Apartheid, no!”  read more »

In Memoriam: Casey Kasem, 1932-2014

Casey Kasem speaking at Wayne State University, 1980s

Disc jockey, voice actor, and Wayne State University alumnus Casey Kasem passed away on June 15, 2014.

Born Kemal Amin Kasem to Lebanese immigrant parents, Kasem attended Northwestern High School in Detroit, and served in the Korean War before returning to enroll at Wayne State University. He graduated from Wayne State in 1958, and over the years he returned to Detroit to support his school.  read more »

Gallery Announcement: UFW Posters, 1960s-1980s

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Affairs is proud to showcase a selection of posters from the United Farm Workers collection. These posters represent important campaigns and events from the early history of the UFW.  read more »

Walter P. Reuther Library Wins NHPRC Grant to Process Oral History Collection

(3771) Cesar Chavez and Gloria Steinem

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs is proud to be chosen as the recipient of a grant of $109,152 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This grant will facilitate the discovery and promotion of 1,660 oral histories of individuals directly involved in the labor, civil rights, and social justice movements, among other important historical developments.  read more »

Meet Meghan Courtney, New AFSCME Archivist

Meghan Courtney, AFSCME Archivist

Researchers may note that there’s been a new addition at the Reuther Library recently. Meghan Courtney stepped into her new position as AFSCME archivist in March. “When I saw the posting for this job, I thought it could make use of my archival training and my long-time involvement in the labor movement at the same time,” Courtney said. “I'm excited to use all the different parts of my education and life experience in this position.”  read more »

Guest Post: Julia Teran, Recipient of the Winter 2014 Raven Award

This is a guest post by Julia Teran, Wayne State University graduate student and recipient of the Ronald Raven Annual Award, which provides a scholarship and internship three times each year to History and Library students with an interest in university archives and records management.

As a young professional entering the world of archival administration, I was very pleased to be accepted as the Winter 2014 recipient of the Ronald Raven Annual Award. I have been a graduate student in the Joint MLIS/MA in History program, with a concentration in archival administration, at Wayne State University for the past three years. With just one more year until graduation, I appreciate the importance of gaining practical experience in the archival field in order to be well prepared to enter the profession.  read more »

In Remembrance: Carrolyn Davis

Carrolyn Davis, Access Archivist

The staff of the Reuther Library mourns the loss of our beloved friend and colleague, Carrolyn Davis. Carrolyn died unexpectedly on April 8, 2014. Her passing leaves an immense void in the hearts of her colleagues at Wayne State, the archival community, and her friends throughout the library world.

She attended Detroit Public Schools and graduated from Northwestern High School. She received her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Wayne State University.  read more »

Archivist Spotlight: SEIU Archivist Alexandra Orchard

People and Divisions of SEIU

In 1992, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) selected the Walter P. Reuther Library as the official repository for its archives and records.  read more »

Archivist Spotlight: SWE Archivist Troy Eller English

in

The Walter P. Reuther Library has been the official archival repository for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) since 1993.  read more »

The Wayne State University Mace

Wayne State University Mace

The Wayne State University Mace, a ceremonial scepter used at certain official university occasions, will be present on Friday, April 4, when M. Roy Wilson is inaugurated as the 12th president of Wayne State University. The mace also appears at Commencement ceremonies and at each year's New Student Convocation. The Wayne State University Mace has been in use for thirty years; it was built for the university by Phillip Fike.  read more »

Cesar Chavez, Walter Reuther, and the United Farm Workers of America Collection

(363) Walter Reuther, Cesar Chavez, California, 1960s

Social movements that disrupt the status quo and go on to change the lives of participants most often coalesce around a powerful leader. In 1962, Cesar Chavez, a former migrant worker and community activist, began the long struggle for farm workers’ rights by organizing the National Farm Workers Association in Delano, California—the forerunner of the UFW. By 1965, after signing up about 1200 members, Chavez was asked to join a grape strike in Delano led by the predominant Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC).

The Walter P. Reuther Library commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike by recounting its near fifty-year relationship with the United Farm Workers to document and preserve its legacy.  read more »

Announcing the Recipients of the 2014 Sam Fishman Travel Grants

The Walter P. Reuther Library is very pleased to announce the Sam Fishman Travel Grant Awardees for 2014. Each year, the Fishman Travel Grants provide up to $1000 for travel to the Reuther Library for research into its vast collection of archival records related to American labor movement. The award is named in honor of Sam Fishman, one of Michigan’s great labor leaders.  read more »

The Eastern Airlines Strike of 1989

(31516) EAL Strike Cartoon, 1989

At 12:01 am on March 4th, 1989 the ALPA pilots of Eastern Airlines (EAL) walked out in a sympathy strike to support the International Association of Machinists (IAM) strike. The pilots held the line for 285 days, but when they finally voted to return to work at the end of November there were no jobs left to return to. In fact, in less than three years after the vote to strike, Eastern Airlines ceased operations permanently, never to fly again.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: African-American Labor Oral Histories

Horace Sheffield, Shelton Tappes, Robert "Buddy" Battle

In late 1967 Herbert Hill, labor director for the NAACP, traveled to the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit to conduct a series of oral histories with African American men and women that centered around their experiences in the labor movement.  read more »

In Memoriam: Pete Seeger, 1919-2014

(31453) Cesar Chavez, Pete Seeger in Washington DC, 1974

The folksinger and activist Pete Seeger died Monday, January 27, 2014 at the age of 94, bringing to an end a career that lasted from the Great Depression to the twenty-first century. His lifelong engagement with culture and politics, and his deep commitment to the labor movement, brought him into continual contact with the rank and file of unionized American workers. In 1939, when Seeger was 20 years old, he worked in the Library of Congress Archive of American Folk Song as an assistant to the musicologist Alan Lomax, and it seems fitting that this onetime archivist is so well represented in the archives and manuscripts of the Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs. No fewer than twelve collections in the Reuther Library collections include correspondence, recordings, or other first-hand evidence of his career.  read more »

Pay Equity and the Public Employee

(7501) Pay equity strike, San Jose, CA

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 required that women be paid the same amount as men when performing the same work. This milestone, however, did not go far enough in protecting women from wage discrimination. This 1963 law promoted equal pay for equal work, but beginning in the 1970s, advocates for women’s rights waged a series of legislative and collective bargaining battles to provide equal pay for comparable work as well.  read more »

2013: The Digital Year in Review

(11990) Mandela at AFSCME Convention

At the start of 2014, the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs would like to take a moment to remember the year that's just ended and revisit the content that was added to our website in 2013. It was a banner year for the Reuther's blog, with more visits, visitors, and pageviews than in any previous year.  read more »

Subject Focus: The 1913-1914 Copper Country Strike and the Italian Hall Disaster

(30891) Copper Country Strike, Western Federation of Miners, Union Headquarters, 1913

December 24th, 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of one of the great tragedies of the early twentieth-century: the Italian Hall disaster of the 1913-1914 Copper Country Strike.  read more »

The Ronald Raven Annual Award: Arranging and Describing a University's Progress

In the autumn of 2013, Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science student Lura Smith was chosen as the second recipient of the Ronald Raven Annual Award. This scholarship includes a stipend and a semester-long internship with the Wayne State University Archives; it is awarded to a student with an interest in university archives and records management. Upon completion of the intership, Lura recorded this impression of her experience.

I am interested in the archives profession because to me it represents the preservation of humanity.  read more »

Announcement: Now Accepting Applications for the The Ronald Raven Annual Award

The Wayne State University Archives is now accepting applications for the Ronald Raven Annual Award, to be awarded to a Wayne State University graduate student in History or Library Science in January 2014. The successful applicant will receive a $600 tuition credit and an internship in the University Archives for the Winter 2014 semester. Students who have completed the introductory archival administration course LIS 7710/ HIS 7840 are strongly encouraged to apply. The application deadline is December 24; application details are on our scholarships page.

Subject Focus: Detroit Adventure and the first Noel Night

Detroit Adventure, Calendar of Cultural Events, 1960

On December 7, 2013, the forty-first annual Noel Night will take place in Midtown Detroit. The first Noel Night, on December 19, 1973, was a production of Detroit Adventure, a coalition of organizations that formed in 1959 to promote cultural conversation and experience in the greater Detroit area. In its 21 years of operation, Detroit Adventure served many functions in the pursuit of its mission: to organize, coordinate, and promote the fine arts in the Metro Detroit region.  read more »

Archivist Louis Jones Receives Award

(28587) Louis Jones

On October 17 Reuther Library field archivist Dr. Louis Jones, CA, was recognized at the 16th Annual Wayne County Council for Arts, History and Humanities Recognition Awards. Jones received the WCCAHH Award for his excellent work in collecting the records of significant people and organizations within Wayne County, Michigan.  read more »

Subject Focus: Merrill-Palmer Institute

(30744) Merrill-Palmer Institute, Freer House, Detroit, Michigan, Circa 1920s

With the 2013-2014 school year in full swing, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the American educational system and, in particular, how it all begins – preschool. As the topic of high quality preschool becomes increasingly relevant in the 21st century, it is important to note that it is not a new concept. The Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute (MPSI), an active research center on Wayne State University's campus, was a pioneer in addressing these early formative years of a child's education.  read more »

Publication Announcement: 2013 Reuther Library Newsletter

The 2013 issue of the Walter P. Reuther Library Newsletter is now available. The new issue includes an announcement of the Reuther's acquisition of the Utah Phillips Papers, a letter from Reuther Director Beth Myers, and an overview of our accomplishments in the last year. Download or view the 2013 newsletter, or peruse the complete collection of Reuther newsletters from 1971 to the present day.

Exhibit Announcement: Dance Pioneers

(30649) Attendees at Dance Pioneers exhibit reception

On Friday, October 4, the Reuther Library hosted a reception for the opening of Dance Pioneers: Michigan’s 20th Century Movers, a new exhibit on display in the Woodcock Gallery. The opening reception was introduced by Harriet Berg, founder of the Michigan Dance Archives, and included remarks from Leslee O'Day Benyo, Reuther Library Director Beth Myers, and Reuther Library Field Archivist Louis Jones.  read more »

Collection Focus: Wayne University Illustrated Map, 1939 - Part 3

Wayne University Illustrated Map, 1939 (detail)

This is the third in a series of four blog posts annotating Jerry Peacock's 1939 cartoon map of the Wayne University campus. This entry discusses the block between Warren Avenue and Merrick Avenue. View the entire map here or read Part 1 or Part 2.

The 1939 campus of Wayne University bore little resemblance to the Wayne State University campus of today. Second, Putnam, Merrick, and Kirby Streets, which once criss-crossed the University, are now closed to traffic and have been replaced by pedestrian malls. Private residences, and houses repurposed as offices and classrooms, were demolished to make room for large purpose-built structures. In 1939 the University was thinly spread over land that it would later purchase and transform entirely.  read more »

Farewell and Good Luck to AFSCME Archivist Johanna Russ

The Walter P. Reuther Library bid a fond farewell last week to Johanna Russ, who served as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Archivist from June 30, 2008 until September 27, 2013. After five years at the Reuther, Johanna Russ leaves Michigan to become Senior Archival Specialist at the Chicago Public Library.  read more »

Collection Focus: Wayne University Illustrated Map, 1939 - Part 2

Wayne University Illustrated Map, 1939 (detail)

This is the second in a series of four blog posts annotating Jerry Peacock's 1939 cartoon map of the Wayne University campus. This entry discusses the block between Hancock Avenue and Warren Avenue, as well as the history of sororities at Wayne. View the entire map here or read Part 1.

10. Old Main, the flagship building of Wayne State University, was once the only high school in Detroit. It was built as Central High School (CHS) in 1896, replacing Capitol High School, which had burned down three years earlier.  read more »

The Ronald Raven Annual Award: An Intern's Experience

In the summer of 2013, Dallas Pillen was chosen as the first recipient of the Ronald Raven Annual Award. This scholarship includes a stipend and a semester internship with the Wayne State University Archives; it is awarded to a student with an interest in university archives and records management. Upon completion of the intership, Dallas wrote this summary of his experience.

As a student in the Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science, pursuing an MLIS and a Certificate in Archival Administration, and a graduate of Wayne State University’s undergraduate History program, I was intrigued to receive the call for applicants for the Ronald Raven Annual Award, which awards the successful applicant with an internship at the Reuther.  read more »

Collection Focus: Wayne University Illustrated Map, 1939 - Part 1

Wayne University Illustrated Map, 1939 (detail)

This is the first in a series of four blog posts annotating Jerry Peacock's 1939 cartoon map of the Wayne University campus. View the entire map here.

In 1939, Wayne University undergraduate and newspaper cartoonist Jerome R. Peacock drew ("with artistic license") a large-scale, heavily-detailed cartoon map of his school's campus. Peacock might have planned to include it in that year's yearbook, but the 1939 Wayne yearbook was cancelled before publication. By the time the map appeared in the 1942 yearbook, it was already somewhat out of date.  read more »

The 1972 Lordstown Strike

(30606) 1972 Lordstown Strike Cartoon

Work speed-ups on the line helped to initiate the 1972 strike at a General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. Although the strike’s impact was initially felt at GM, its influence quickly grew, informing the nation about the struggles of its young workforce, and influencing the content of congressional hearings and national studies.  read more »

Subject Focus: WDET in the UAW Years

(30590) WDET FM Radio Flyer

Metro Detroiters recognize radio station WDET 101.9 FM as Wayne State University’s local voice for National Public Radio. Prior to 1952, however, WDET served as the local voice for labor. Unhappy with the critical representation of the labor movement in newspapers and on the radio, in 1944 the United Automobile Workers filed applications with the Federal Communications Commission to run independent radio stations in six markets with strong labor ties: the UAW’s hometown of Detroit; Flint, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Los Angeles; Chicago; and Newark, New Jersey.  read more »

Trial of the Michigan Six

(30532) Communists, "Michigan Six," Smith Act, Trial, 1953

On October 14, 1949, 11 members of the National Board of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) were convicted of violating the Smith Act of 1940 by advocating the overthrow of the government of the United States with force and violence. The ten-month trial, which took place in New York City, captured the country’s attention with its sensational events both inside and outside of the courtroom. More importantly, it established a precedent for prosecuting other communists across the country.  read more »

Detroit's Corktown Neighborhood

(DN_36201) Ethnic Communities, Irish, Neighborhoods, Corktown, 1960

In the Winter 2013 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Caitlin Brennecke is a graduate student at Wayne State University in the Library and Information Science program with a focus on archival administration. Her interests include digitization of historical collections and the use of crowd sourcing in archives and libraries. For the past year she volunteered for the Detroit Historical Society at their Collection Resource Center and she recently began working in a private archive.  read more »

Exhibit Announcement: Bonstelle Theatre Posters, 1961-1965

(11471) Bonstelle Theatre, Exterior, Detroit, Michigan, 1950s

The Wayne State University Archives is proud to announce the opening of a new exhibit of posters from the Bonstelle Theatre. A selection of posters from the early 1960s is available for viewing in the Woodcock Gallery of the Walter P. Reuther Library, and online in the Reuther's digital photo gallery.  read more »

History of Children's Hospital of Michigan

(30454) Health Care, Children's Hospital, 1940

In the Winter 2013 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Steve Wejroch is an MLIS student at Wayne State University studying Archival Administration.

What would become the Children’s Hospital of Michigan was established in 1886 as the Children’s Free Hospital Association.  read more »

University City

(30457) Urban Renewal, Wayne State University, University City, 1961

In the Winter 2013 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Kelly Kietur is a student at Wayne State University working towards her Archival Administration Certificate.

The tightly packed Wayne State campus is a familiar sight to students, but at one point in time, Wayne State had ambitious expansion plans in mind. The controversial University City project, developed in the early 1960s, was a plan to build a university community with housing, shopping, and schools on 300 acres of land around Wayne State’s campus.  read more »

History of Grace Hospital

(30256) Grace Hospital, Newberry Hall, Detroit, 1930

In the Winter 2013 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Natasha Rogers is a student at Wayne State University working towards her Masters in Library and Information Science, specializing in Digital Content Management, as well as her Archival Administration Certificate.

Grace Hospital was named for Grace McMillan Jarvis, the daughter of one of the founders of the hospital, James McMillan. Grace Hospital opened its doors to patients in 1888, and was located on Willis and John R in Detroit.  read more »

The Wayne State University Fencing Program

Fencing Team, Detroit, Michgian

In the Winter 2013 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Maria Lourenço de Deus is an Archival Science undergraduate student from Federal University of Minas Gerais, in Brazil. She is taking classes at the School of Library and Information Science as an exchange student for the 2013 Winter semester.

“In succeeding so well in so demanding a sport, the Tartars have not only earned the respect and admiration of their school and their community, they have also become a source of pride for our entire state.” (The South End, May 1979)  read more »

Joe Hill, the Man Who Never Died

(30194) Industrial Workers of the World, Song Book, 1915

In the Winter 2013 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Robert Kett is a second-year SLIS student and amateur musicologist with a genuine interest in labor history and especially labor songs.

A pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over.
-Joseph Hillstrom, 1879-1915  read more »

United Farm Workers Agbayani Village: Retirement Living for Filipino Farm Workers

(245) Agbayani Village, Construction, Delano, California, 1972

In the Winter 2013 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Julia Teran is in the process of earning an MLIS, an MA in History, and an Archival Administration Certificate. A few of her research interests include digital preservation, historical interpretation, local history, and American women’s history.

In 1974, the United Farm Workers Union (UFW), led by Cesar Chavez, opened Agbayani Village, a retirement complex for Filipino farm workers who had immigrated from the Philippines to California during the 1920s and 1930s.  read more »

A Legacy Unspooled: Archival Research for Documentary Filmmakers

(30371) Reuther brothers

In April 2013, we begin a periodic guest blogging series where we invite frequent researchers to discuss their projects. Our first comes from Sasha Reuther.

Sasha Reuther is a Producer/Director of commercials, music videos, and historical programming for networks and clients including National Geographic, Sundance Channel, VIBE Magazine, Armani, Motorola, and The Starwood Hotel Group. His first documentary feature, Brothers On The Line, is an award-winning historical odyssey exploring the lives of labor organizers Walter, Roy, and Victor Reuther (his grandfather) and their extraordinary, though equally contentious, leadership of the United Auto Workers union. Aside from his film work, Sasha has written articles for Time Magazine, Huffington Post, and The IFP. Born in Detroit and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he lives in NYC with his wife, Sonya.  read more »

Harnessing Engineering Womanpower in the Cold War

(26124) Drawing, Percentage of Women Engineers in the United States and Russia, 1963

In 1955, in the midst of the Cold War, the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau hosted a Conference on the Effective Use of Womanpower. The Department of Labor was worried that the United States was producing too few engineers and scientists as compared to the number produced in the U.S.S.R., and found that the recruitment and training of women in science and engineering fields could help to alleviate the disparity.  read more »

Notable Women of SEIU

(29292) Women's Community, 17th International SEIU Convention, New York, New York, 1980

Women have been a part of SEIU since its inception, when Elizabeth A. Grady was elected Trustee at the founding convention in 1921. Grady often reminded her fellow executive board members, all of whom were men, “You men must know that you cannot get very far or make any real progress if you have women workers who compete with you, unorganized and working for less wages” (Union Sisters, p. 16). Indeed, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) was keenly aware of the importance of organizing women, demonstrated by correspondence found in the SEIU Historical Records. Amidst the correspondence are documents sent by AFL’s then president Sam Gompers, such as reports detailing labor’s organization of women in Europe during the 1920s, as well as questionnaires to AFL Internationals, generating data on women in industry. However, given SEIU’s initial gender integration, in part due to SEIU’s organization of flat (apartment) janitors whose wives were expected to share in the work, SEIU already recognized the importance of women in the labor movement. Indeed, while not always in the most visible of positions, women, both rank-and-file members, and those within SEIU’s leadership, have made great contributions to SEIU and the greater labor movement over the years. In honor of Women’s History Month, we take a look at some of SEIU’s more prominent female leaders.  read more »

Subject Focus: Black Revolutionaries

(27991) Nation of Islam, Malcolm X, Meetings, Wayne State, 1963

The Reuther Library celebrates African American History Month with a brief look at resources in our collections that deal with the topic of Black revolutionaries. We define Black revolutionaries as persons or groups whose goal was to create a positive change in the lives of African Americans through radical action. The means to this end varied from person to person, organization to organization - the action could be carried out with words or through armed conflict, the desired results could be equality for all or separation of races all together. The following resources chronicle the struggle for identity and equality and highlight the rich legacy of social and political activism and reform within the various revolutionary movements.  read more »

Flight Attendants and the Air Line Pilots Association

(8849) ALPA Steward and Stewardess Officer Groups

It was 1973, and the Air Line Pilots Association was rife with tension. Things hadn’t been working out for a while between the Steward and Stewardess and Pilot Divisions of ALPA. It was clear to both that “the Problem” (as the relationship between the Pilot and S&S Division was being referred to) needed to be fixed. But a solution, one which would work for both divisions, ensuring pilot control over ALPA and stewardess autonomy, proved elusive. While “the Problem” was first brought to the fore in 1970, it took one convention, four study groups, and countless meetings, proposals and counter proposals, for the two divisions to work out a solution and bring the Association of Flight Attendants into being.  read more »

Subject Focus: Poverty and Charity in Turn-of-the-Century Detroit

In the late 19th century Detroit’s industrial base and burgeoning prosperity quickly attracted immigrants from across the country and around the world, increasing the city’s population six-fold between 1860 and 1900. While the strong and industrious were able to find steady work, the city proved to be harsh to ill or injured laborers, the elderly and widowed, and others for whom life had not been kind. Numerous public and private social service organizations and charities formed to serve the needs of the growing number of Detroit residents living in poverty.  read more »

2012: The Reuther Year in Review

(28325) CLUW; celebrations

2012 was a big year for the Reuther. We’ve reported on most of the developments, achievements, and activities in our annual newsletter and on our blog. A few items have not enjoyed their deserved recognition, however:  read more »

Digital Project Announcement: Expanded Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Galleries

We’re pleased to announce the expanded Service Employees International Union (SEIU) image galleries. In recent weeks, over 500 photographs were digitized and are now accessible on the Reuther website. The images are organized into five galleries, two of which are legacy galleries, SEIU: The Organizing Union (a traveling exhibit created for the 2008 SEIU International Convention) and Service Employees International Union: 925 (focusing on images from SEIU District 925, whose records are housed at the Reuther). The remaining digitized photographs are organized by subject into three new image galleries: Conventions, Conferences, and Events; Demonstrating, Campaigning, and Organizing; and Service Employees at Work. Collectively, the images in these five galleries enhance the understanding of the various aspects, responsibilities, and activities of SEIU and provide a visualization of its diverse leader- and membership.  read more »

Meet Alexandra Orchard, New SEIU Archivist

This month Alexandra Orchard joined the staff of the Reuther Library as the new SEIU archivist. Being a long-time member of the Wayne State University community and having a family history in the labor movement, Orchard is looking forward to supporting the missions of the Reuther and SEIU.  read more »

Change to Reading Room — hours of business

Reading Room — Hours of Operation:

As of November 1st, 2012

Monday – Friday 10:00am–2:00pm (2pm–4pm by appointment only)
CLOSED Saturday & Sunday
To schedule an appointment, contact William Lefevre

Meet Beth Myers, New Reuther Director

This September the Reuther Library welcomed its new director, Beth Myers, PhD. Myers comes to the Reuther from Loyola University Chicago, where she served as the director of the Women and Leadership Archives for five years.  read more »

Digital Collection Announcement: Antecedents to Education Reform Historical Collection

Teachers strike, pickets, Detroit, Michigan

Students around the country will be heading back to school in the coming weeks, and with the upcoming presidential election, debate about public education in America is increasingly in the news. The Walter P. Reuther Library and the Wayne State University Library System are pleased to announce a recently launched digital collection to contribute documentary evidence to this debate: “The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Antecedents to Education Reform Historical Collection.”  read more »

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

(28853) Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

At the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) International Convention, held in St. Louis, Missouri, May 23-28, 2012, the CBTU membership voted in Terrance (Terry) Melvin as its new President. Terry Melvin is the second president in CBTU’s 40 year history. William (Bill) Lucy had been CBTU president since the organization’s founding in 1972. Lucy also served for 38 years as the Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME before retiring in 2010.  read more »

Subject Focus: The Purple Gang

(27858) Prohibition, Blind Pigs, Detroit, 1931

In the Winter 2012 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Camille Chidsey is a Library and Information Science graduate student at Wayne State University. Her concentrations are in Archival Administration and Digital Content Management.

"'These boys are not like other children of their age, they’re tainted off color.' 'Yes,' replied the other shopkeeper. 'They’re rotten, purple like the color of bad meat, they’re a Purple Gang.'"  read more »

Alan Reuther: the UAW's Voice in Washington

(29090) UAW, Alan and Walter Reuther, UFW meeting, Delano, California, 1965

The Walter Reuther Library is pleased to announce that an oral history with Alan Reuther is now open for research. Alan Reuther was the Legislative Director for the United Automobile Workers of America (UAW). He served in the UAW’s Washington Office from 1982 until his retirement in 2010. Over the course of his tenure as Legislative Director, Automotive News often cited Reuther as one of the 50 most influential people in the auto industry.  read more »

Fieldwork with the AFT archivist

(28917) File cabinet, Cleveland, Ohio 2012

Another city, another hotel, and another office with documents ready to be appraised and brought to the archive. Sounds mundane, but within these trips there is the element of surprise. What will the file cabinets and dusty boxes contain? Will those in charge of the files be willing to give full access to everything or just one room? What type of work environment will I be in? Are the files ordered or a jumbled mess? What has already been thrown away? Will there be coffee? You never really know what you will find even after speaking with your contact. This is the life of the field archivist.  read more »

The 1943 Detroit Race Riot

(28602) Race Riots, Violence, Detroit, 1943

On June 20, 1943, a fight broke out between African American and white Detroiters spending their Sunday on Belle Isle, the city’s large park in the middle of the Detroit River. Fighting spread to the mainland, and rumors crisscrossed the city, stoking racial tensions that had been running high and threatening to boil over into violence for months. Rioting spread, with little attempt from the police to stop it (in fact, much evidence points to many white police facilitating and even participating in violence against African Americans), and by the time President Franklin Roosevelt sent in federal troops on the evening of June 21, hundreds had been injured, and 34 people had died: 25 African American (17 of whom were shot by police), and 9 white. Of the arrests made later, 85% were African American.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Wayne State University Yearbooks

Detroit Junior College Yearbook Cover 1923

The first college yearbook produced by Wayne State University -- or, to be precise, by the Detroit College of Medicine (DCM) -- appeared in 1900: the Souvenir Annual, prepared by that year's junior class. The last, or latest, Wayne yearbook is 2005's The Warrior. In that 105-year span 131 yearbooks were published by the university, its predecessor institutions, and its departments and colleges. A complete collection of these annual volumes may be found in the Reading Room of the Walter P. Reuther Library.  read more »

Meet Louis Jones, Reuther Library Field Archivist

(28587) Louis Jones

The Walter P. Reuther Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Louis Jones as the new Field Archivist.

Originally from New York City, Louis received a Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College and a master’s degree in Afro-American studies from Cornell University. Never content to stop learning, he earned a Master of History from the University of Delaware, while at the same time pursuing studies in archival management. More recently, Louis received a doctorate in American history from Wayne State University where his dissertation concerned the development of public sector unionism in metropolitan Detroit in the immediate post-World War II era.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: UFW Montreal Boycott Office Records

(303) Supporters of the Grape Boycott march through Toronto

In the Winter 2012 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Timothy R. Borbely is a graduate student at Wayne State University. He is currently pursuing a joint MLIS/MA in History with a focus on Archival Administration and the French Revolution.

The United Farm Workers Grape Boycott in Montreal from 1969 to 1970 is one that involved a lot of important planning by activist Jessica Govea (pictured above, in glasses, marching in Toronto in 1968), who took charge of operations in Quebec during 1969 at the age of twenty-two.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: George C. Edwards, Jr. Papers

(28352) George Clifton Edwards, Speaking, 1950s

In the Winter 2012 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Timothy McRoberts is a student at Wayne State's School of Information and Library Science.

George C. Edwards, Jr., had a major influence on the post World War II city of Detroit.  read more »

Detroit's Black Bottom and Paradise Valley Neighborhoods

(1608) Depression, Hoovervilles, Detroit, 1930s

In the Winter 2012 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Cathy MacDonald is a student in the Archival Administration Program at Wayne State University. She is currently interning at the Arab American National Museum’s Library and Resource Center.

Detroit’s Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods provided both housing and entertainment for the city’s African American community from the 1920s through the 1940s.  read more »

Walter P. Reuther on National Healthcare

(28206) Health Care, Children's Hospital, Nurses, 1960s

In the Winter 2012 semester, the Reuther Library worked with students in the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration program at the Wayne State School of Library and Information Science to produce a series of student-written, guest blog posts.

Alexandra Orchard is an MLIS and Archival Administration Certificate candidate planning to graduate in August 2012. A few of her research interests include digital preservation, local history, technology, and pop culture.

Although current talk of national healthcare may seem new and revolutionary, it is far from the first time this issue has received national attention.  read more »

Reading Room: New Hours of Operation

(28509) Walter P. Reuther Library — Reading Room

For the first time in over a generation, the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs will change the normal business hours in its reading room. Long-time reference archivist William LeFevre confirmed the decision at a recent staff meeting. According to William, the decision to change is primarily based on two factors.  read more »

Subject Focus: Wayne State University's Seals, Logos, and Graphics

(28404) University seal, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 2000

Apart from Old Main, which has stood at the corner of Warren and Cass since 1896, the University Seal is the oldest surviving visual symbol of Wayne State University. Like Old Main, the seal predates Wayne by some years.  read more »

Web Exhibit Announcement: I AM a Man

(8885) I AM a Man

April 4, 2012 marks the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King had traveled to Memphis in the spring of 1968 to lend his support to striking sanitation workers, members of AFSCME Local 1733. We're pleased to announce the launch of a new web exhibit, created in conjunction with the Wayne State University Library System, explaining the events of that spring. Please visit the exhibit and share widely: (http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/iamaman/).

Johanna Russ was the Archivist for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) from 2008 until 2013.

Subject Focus: Women in Labor Unions

(28207) Myra Wolfgang; CLUW; Joyce Miller; Coalition of Labor Union Women conventions

“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 the Equal Pay Act (1963), the Civil Rights Act (1964), and the Equal Employment Opportunities Act (1972), the formation of CLUW institutionalized the long-held ambitions of individual female union members to participate more fully in the labor movement.  read more »

In Memoriam — Winnie Fraser

(28118) Doug and Winnie Fraser

Dr. Winifred Fraser passed away on February 29, 2012, at the age of 88. Fraser was a professor and dean at Wayne State University for 30 years, and was married to former United Automobile Workers President Doug Fraser for over 40 years.

A native Detroiter, Dr. Fraser rose from modest beginnings, working as a drill press operator and bookkeeper before earning a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit.  read more »

Subject Focus: Women's History at the Reuther Library

Edith Christenson, Soviet Union, 1925

The Reuther Library celebrates Women’s History Month with a look at some of the significant collections housed in the library that deal with the role of women in the urban landscape in Southeast Michigan.

Edith L. Christenson held positions in the Women’s Trade Union League, the Chorus Equity Association, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Public Affairs. The papers of Ms. Christenson document her work as a YMCA canteen worker during World War I and her involvement in the labor and cooperative movements and as an advocate for adult education. Of particular interest is a scrapbook documenting her travels around the world in 1925.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Dale Rich Collection

(28069) Demonstrations, Affirmative Action, University of Michigan, 2001

In honor of Black History Month, we highlight the Dale Rich Collection.

Over fifteen years ago, Mr. Dale Rich, professional photographer, longtime newspaperman, and historian, came to the Reuther Library to research African Americans and labor. As I, Access Archivist Carrolyn Davis, began working with him, he soon showed me hundreds of photographs he had taken over the years of the 2006 Detroit Public School Teachers Strike, of organizing groups supporting the teachers, of himself reenacting a black Civil War solider at the Elmwood Cemetery, and of the Detroit Labor Day Parade, especially the trucks driven by the Teamsters.  read more »

Photo Caption Contest: Romance Edition, February 8-15, 2012

It's time for another round of our photo caption contest! To enter the contest follow these simple steps:

1. Look at the photo.

2. Come up with a caption for it.

3. Post your caption and the URL for this blog post on our facebook page, either directly on our wall, or in the comments beneath the contest announcement, within one week.

We’ll pick the one we like best, and that person will get a free print of the image. After a week, we’ll reveal the true context of the photo. We hope you enjoy!  read more »

Tech Talk — Reuther Library's Facebook Page

The season of the Facebook

It has been two and a half years since a student at Wayne State University's School of Library and Information Science approached us here at the Walter P. Reuther Library about a school project. The assignment was to build a page on Facebook to help promote archives and libraries. This student contacted me, Paul Neirink, Digital Resources Specialist, by email. Soon after, construction was under way. In the three winters since its completion, this seemingly small school project has blossomed into a steady course of links and comments touching on numerous labor history related topics and events. In a very real sense, the Reuther's Facebook page has become an alternative source of information that is nearly as useful as our main site in terms of advancing aspects of our mission.  read more »

The Lawrence Textile Strike

(396) Lawrence Strike, Strikers, 1912

January 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of a watershed moment in American labor history: the Lawrence Textile Strike. Commonly referred to as the "Bread and Roses Strike," workers fought to not only earn enough to feed their families, but to also be afforded basic human dignity. For this reason, many consider the event’s significance as a social revolution to be equally as important as its impact on working conditions.  read more »

Subject Focus: D-Day for Wayne State Football

(27799) Sports, Football, Tartars, 1981

On Saturday, December 17, 2011, the Warriors, Wayne State University’s football team, were defeated by Pittsburg State 35 to 21 in their first national NCAA Division 2 final. It was Wayne State's first championship game in the program's 94-year history. This performance is all the more impressive when thinking back to the summer of 1981, when University President Thomas Bonner considered ending the football program and focusing instead on basketball and other sports.  read more »

Photo Caption Contest: December 7-14, 2011

It's time for another round of our photo caption contest! To enter the contest follow these simple steps:

1. Look at the photo below.
2. Come up with a caption for it.
3. Post your caption and the URL for this blog post on our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/reutherlib), either directly on our wall, or in the comments beneath the contest announcement, within one week.

We’ll pick the one we like best, and that person will get a free print of the image. After a week, we’ll reveal the true context of the photo. We hope you enjoy!  read more »

Subject Focus: Poet Laureate Philip Levine at Wayne State University

Philip Levine, a 1950 graduate of Wayne University, was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States in August of this year. Levine was born in Detroit in 1928, and his poetry is concerned with labor, industry and workers. In his short time as the nation's official poet he has not refrained from political activity: he made international news this month when an autographed book of his poetry he had donated to the "People's Library" of Occupy Wall Street was among those seized by the New York City Police Department.  read more »

Photo Caption Contest: November 16-23, 2011

Welcome to a new feature on the Reuther Library Blog: a photo caption contest. It’s easy to play. Here’s how:
1. Look at the photo below.
2. Come up with a caption for it.
3. Post your caption and the URL for this blog post on our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/reutherlib), either directly on our wall, or in the comments beneath the contest announcement, within one week.
We’ll pick the one we like best, and that person will get a free print of the image. After a week, we’ll reveal the true context of the photo. We hope you enjoy!  read more »

Subject Focus: Armistice Day and Veterans Day

World War II veterans registering for classes at Wayne University

Although the First World War did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, combat between the Allied nations and Germany ended on November 11, 1918, when an armistice was called for the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  read more »

Photo Caption Contest: October 19-26, 2011

Welcome to a new feature on the Reuther Library Blog: a photo caption contest. It’s easy to play. Here’s how:

1. Look at the photo below.
2. Come up with a caption for it.
3. Post your caption and the URL for this blog post on our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/reutherlib), either directly on our wall, or in the comments beneath the contest announcement, within one week.

We’ll pick the one we like best, and that person will get a free print of the image. After a week, we’ll reveal the true context of the photo. We hope you enjoy!  read more »

Employee Spotlight: Alberta Asmar

The staff of the Reuther Library would like to honor and extend grateful appreciation to an outstanding Wayne State University (WSU) employee, Ms. Alberta Asmar, who has retired after 46 years of dedicated service to various Departments and Colleges within WSU.

Alberta started her career at WSU on November 8, 1965 as an Office Clerk I in the Audio Visual Department Utilization Center. In 1978 she transferred to the Weekend College to work with Assistant Dean Carlton Maley in the Criminal Justice Building on the North Campus.  read more »

Farewell to Our Friend and Colleague

The staff of the Reuther Library is mourning the loss of a dear friend and colleague, Tom Featherstone. Tom died unexpectedly on September 15. His passing leaves a tremendous void at the Reuther Library, and in the archival world as a whole.

Tom joined the Reuther Library audiovisual staff in 1979. Having earned a B.A. in History from the University of New Mexico and a M.A. in History from Wayne State University, Tom specialized in Archival Administration, specifically in audiovisual preservation and conservation. He provided advice and assistance to literally thousands  read more »

Archivist of the United States Celebrates Wayne State University Archives Program

Dr. Philip P. Mason, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the History and Library Science Departments at Wayne State University and past president of the Society of American Archivists (SAA), has left quite a legacy. Last year, the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, which Dr. Mason founded, celebrated its 50th anniversary, while the institution housing this collection, the Reuther Library, celebrated its 35th anniversary.  read more »

Eleanor Josaitis — Hands Across the Racial Divide

As a symbol, it is exquisite in its simplicity. Two hands inside a circle, one black and one white, almost but never quite touching across the racial divide. This has been the logo of Focus: HOPE, an organization fighting for basic human rights in Detroit and Southeast Michigan for over forty years. And until her death last week, one of the leaders of the fight was Eleanor Josaitis.  read more »

The Civil Unrest of 1967

(318) Riots, Rebellions, 12th Street, 1967

Despite a century of progressive innovation in Detroit, it is a sad reality that the events of July 23-27, 1967 are among the city’s defining moments. The five-day period of civil unrest and extreme chaos caused physical damage to the city and emotional trauma to its people. Decades later, the aftereffects of the damage and trauma linger on.

The violence was not totally unexpected. Rumors of an uprising had been swirling throughout the city for the better part of the summer. Radicalism was on the rise, and talk of self-determination and separatism  read more »

One Giant Leap For Womankind

(1492) Dorothy Sneed, At Work

When Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon 42 years ago this month on July 20, 1969, he proclaimed that it was “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” Behind the scenes, the lunar landing reflected a giant leap for womankind, as well.

In 1957, Russia grabbed world headlines by successfully launching its first Sputnik satellite. The achievement shocked citizens, scientists, and politicians of the United States, who worried that the Soviets were gaining the upper hand  read more »

Detroit's Walk to Freedom

This Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we recall Detroit's Walk to Freedom, described by Dr. King as “one of the most wonderful things that has happened in America." Dr. King led the march and shed light on the status of African Americans in northern industrial cities. Organized by the Detroit Council on Human Rights (DCHR), the Walk to Freedom was the largest civil rights demonstration in the nation’s history. Its purpose was to speak out against segregation and the brutality that met civil rights activists in the South while at the same time addressing concerns of African Americans in the urban North: inequality in hiring practices, wages, education, and housing. The date of the march, June 23, 1963, was chosen to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1943 Detroit Riots in which 34 people, the majority of them African American, were killed.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Robert F. Kennedy and the UFW

(319) Sen. Robert Kennedy, Larry Itliong, Dolores Huerta, and Andy Imutan, Delano, California

U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy strongly supported the advance of human rights and in doing so he forged a relationship in the 1960s with the United Farm Workers, a union that sought to improve the lives and working conditions of migrant farm workers across the country. Kennedy supported the workers during a 1966 Senate Subcommittee on Migratory Labor hearing in Delano, California. In the spring of 1968,  read more »

Battle of the Overpass

(001) UAW Organizing, Reuther, Frankensteen, Battle of the Overpass, 1937

On May 26, 1937, nearly sixty UAW members from Local 174 arrived at Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge Plant to pass out leaflets, with city permit in hand, as part of a campaign to secure union representation for Rouge workers. Several neutral observers were also present, including clergy, reporters, and photographers. In order to access the greatest number of workers, participants met  read more »

Subject Focus: NAACP

(DN_1127_1) NAACP, Pickets, Housing Discrimination, Detroit, 1963

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed in early 1909. It held its first convention in May of that year. This May, 102 years later, we showcase collections related to the history of this vital civil rights organization.

The Reuther holds the papers of NAACP founding member Mary White Ovington. Her papers reflect the development of the organization and the civil rights movement generally. Also documenting the growth of the national organization are the papers of NAACP stenographer Carrie Burton Overton, civil rights leader Rosa Parks, and NAACP historian Charles F. Kellogg.  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Wayne State University Commencement Programs

On May 5 and 6, 2011, Wayne State University will hold its spring commencement ceremonies. The Reuther Library holds a collection of commencement programs for Wayne State, its predecessor institutions, and its colleges and divisions; these programs tell a story of the university's growth and development.  read more »

Subject focus: Jewish Detroit Experience

The Reuther Library celebrates the Jewish holiday of Passover with a look at some of the significant collections housed in the library that deal with the Jewish experience in Metropolitan Detroit.

As the repository for the Jewish Community Archives (JCA), the Reuther Library has a wealth of information on the Jewish community in Detroit and surrounding environs. The JCA holdings include, but are not limited to, the papers of:  read more »

Wayne State University Presidents' Collections at the Reuther Library

Allan Gilmour will be inaugurated as the eleventh president of Wayne State University this Friday, April 15, 2011. On this occasion the Reuther Library showcases its Presidential collections. The University Archives is the repository for the working papers of faculty members, academic departments, and administrators of Wayne State University, and our collections include records pertaining to the administrations of the first ten presidents of the University.  read more »

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

(24786) Mourning King

“It is a crime to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.

At the beginning of 1968, working conditions for sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, especially African Americans, were atrocious. Employees were given no benefits, no vacation pay, no pensions; forty percent qualified for welfare, and many worked second jobs. During bad weather, black workers were sent home without pay, while white workers collected a full day’s wages. The Memphis Sanitation Department refused to modernize the equipment used by black workers.  read more »

Ford Hunger March

(DN_76441) Ford Hunger March, Marchers en route, 1932

As the devastation of the Great Depression spread throughout Detroit, increased lay-offs and financial instability among Ford Motor Company workers led to an atmosphere of despair that reached an apex in 1932. These workers were among those who marched to Ford’s River Rouge Industrial Complex in Dearborn, Michigan on March 7, 1932. This event, famously known as the Hunger March, was orchestrated by members of Detroit’s Unemployed Councils, who had been helping unemployed workers fight evictions and seek relief from charitable agencies.  read more »

Pączki Day

(DN_8976) Ethnic Communities, Polish, Hamtramck, Businesses, 1951

In Metro Detroit everyone is Polish on Pączki Day, celebrated this year on February 28, 2017. A mystery to those who live outside of areas with large Polish populations, pączki (PUNCH-kee) are deep fried pieces of dough, filled with preserves, custards, or other sweet fillings. Since the Middle Ages  read more »

Subject focus: Women's organizations in the University Archives

In honor of Women's History Month, we present some collections from the University Archives demonstrating the parallel histories of two similarly-named organizations representing two different female communities of Wayne State University: the Faculty Women's Club and the Faculty Wives' Club.

Founded in 1925, the Faculty Wives' Club of the College of the City of Detroit actually predated Wayne University  read more »

Collection Spotlight: Wade McCree's contribution to Detroit and the nation

The Walter P. Reuther Library continues to celebrate Black History Month by highlighting the life of Wade McCree and his papers.

In his work as a judge, appointed official, and educator coupled with his sense of civic responsibility, Wade Hampton McCree, Jr. made a unique contribution to the Detroit metropolitan area and beyond. His success in these areas are noteworthy by themselves, but even more so given the barriers to success experienced by African Americans  read more »

Book Announcement: Punching Out

Paul Clemens, Assistant to the Dean of Wayne State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has just published a book, Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant. The book focuses on the Budd Company, which at different times in its 94-year history built steel train cars  read more »

Introducing new Wayne State University Archivist Casey Westerman

The Walter P. Reuther Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Casey Westerman as the new University Archivist. He will be in charge of the archival records of Wayne State University here at the Reuther. Casey is originally from Kankakee, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for his Bachelors in History and Philosophy of Science and his Masters in Library Science. He also recently achieved  read more »

North American International Auto Show

The North American International Auto Show, previously called the Detroit Auto Show, began in December 1907 when the Detroit Area Dealer Association (DADA) held the event in Detroit’s Riverview Park with 17 exhibitors. The Show grew from a regional event to one of the world’s most important automobile expositions.  read more »

Subject Focus: Remembering the Flint Sit-Down

Tired of reductions in pay and jobs, increased workloads, and harassment of United Automobile Workers organizers, on December 30, 1936 automotive workers in the General Motors Fisher Number One Plant in Flint, Michigan sat down on the job. For the next 44 days workers refused to work or leave the Fisher One and Two plants, and later Chevrolet Number 4. Michigan Governor Frank Murphy refused to order the strikers out, so GM attempted to expel them by shutting off the plants’ heat and electricity and by preventing food deliveries.  read more »

2010: The Reuther Year in Review

2010 was a big year for the Walter P. Reuther Library. The Reuther's major collection, the Archive of Labor and Urban Affairs (ALUA), turned 50, and the Reuther Library’s building, which houses ALUA and the Wayne State University Archives, was completed 35 years ago in 1975. While celebrating these two milestones, we accomplished many goals.  read more »

The Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit

This Thanksgiving marked the 85th anniversary of a Detroit favorite now known as America’s Thanksgiving Parade. The parade was started in 1924 by Charles Wendel, the display manager of the J.L. Hudson Company department store on Woodward Avenue. Along with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, which was founded the same year, Hudson’s Thanksgiving parade was one of the first of its kind in the United States.  read more »

Solidarność Exhibit — 2010

Thirty years ago, Poland captured the world’s attention when the workers of the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk went on strike and launched a national rebellion. Solidarność, the free trade union born during the strike, developed into a social movement that established a democratic government in Poland and eventually led to the end of the Cold War in Eastern Europe. The Reuther Library’s latest exhibit, "Solidarność: Poland’s Struggle for Freedom, 1980-1990," provides an historical account of Solidarność from the events leading up to the first strike in 1980 through the 1989 election in Poland.  read more »

Reuther Library content used in new documentary

(8745) Walter Reuther, Richard Frankensteen, "Battle of the Overpass", Dearborn, Michigan

Walter Reuther and Richard Frankensteen shortly after being attacked by Ford Service men during the “Battle of the Overpass.” The men were beaten for distributing United Auto Workers leaflets outside of the Ford Rouge Plant, Dearborn, Michigan, 23 May 1937.

The 2010 North American Labor History Conference will top off this year’s event with a viewing of the latest cut of the new documentary Brothers on the Line on Saturday, October 23 at 11:00 AM.

The documentary, which relies heavily on the collections of the Walter P. Reuther Library, looks at the lives of the Reuther Brothers, Walter, Victor, and Roy, and their struggles to organize the United Auto Workers  read more »

2010 North American Labor History Conference

The 32nd annual North American Labor History Conference (NALHC) will take place October 21-23, 2010 on the campus of Wayne State University. In 1979, a committee representing Wayne State's History Department, the Walter P. Reuther Library, and other parts of the University formed to address the growth of labor history as a field of scholarship. The result was the first NALHC in October 1979.  read more »

Book Announcement: How to Keep Union Records

Like other organizations, labor unions and the archives that house their material operate in and are shaped by history. That history is largely informed by the records that labor archives receive from labor unions, the “symbiotic relationship” between the two, as Michael Nash reminds us, and the extent to which they are made available to and used by researchers. This is the message found within How to Keep Union Records. Edited by Michael Nash with selections by a cadre of labor archivists, the book is intended as much for labor archivists requiring guidance as it is for unions seeking ways to manage their records and ensure that their legacy lives into the future.  read more »

Book Announcement: The Color of Law

Next month metropolitan Detroit authors and frequent Reuther Library researchers Steve Babson, Dave Riddle, and David Elsila are releasing their book The Color of Law: Ernie Goodman, Detroit, and the Struggle for Labor and Civil Rights, which uses information garnered from collections held at the Reuther.

We have many records and manuscript collections that reflect how the local government, legal system, and organizations have addressed the intersection of civil rights, race, and the law in metro Detroit.  read more »

Subject Focus: History of Labor Day in Detroit

Few cities are more closely tied to the labor movement than Detroit. From the outset, Labor Day in Detroit was about worker demonstration, which typically took the form of a parade. The city's first Labor Day celebration was held on August 16, 1884 in Recreation Park and attracted 50,000 spectators. The earliest Labor Day image in the Reuther's collections shows Randolph Street in downtown Detroit circa 1890s (pictured below).  read more »

75 Years of Solidarity: A History of the UAW

75 years of the UAW Seventy-five years ago, during the difficult years of the Great Depression, autoworkers faced tough times. The factories were filled with workers toiling in dangerous and dirty conditions. Tedious and repetitive tasks were performed on assembly lines that moved faster and faster. The labor was physically exhausting, safety was overlooked, job security nonexistent, and hundreds of thousands of employees at automobile and parts factories lost their jobs. In the face of these obstacles, concerned autoworkers gathered together in Detroit and founded the United Automobile Workers of America (UAW) in 1935.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UAW, the Walter P. Reuther Library is currently featuring an exhibit entitled “75 Years of Solidarity: A History of the UAW,” which is open now through October 1, 2010. The exhibit uses a time-line to tell the story of the UAW, decade by decade, from its beginnings in 1935 to the present. Photographs, documents, and artifacts, including musical instruments and a Flying Squadron uniform, from the UAW archives are on display.

For your convenience, please use this quick link to access online UAW content, which includes over 400 collection abstracts (complete with guide), 300 images, 200 publications.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Hours of operation are 11 am - 6:45 pm Monday & Tuesday and 9 am - 4:45 pm Wednesday-Friday. Please contact us for information about this exhibit at 313.577.4024

Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs

Reuther's 2009 Newsletter

Newsletter Fall 2009 now available

The 2009 newsletter reports on the Reuther's activities over the past year. Learn about our exhibits, our newly opened collections, some of our important accessions, development of our digital and web programs, and our field work.

The Reuther is also launching a listserv to keep our friends more up to date with Library happenings. If you'd like to subscribe, please send an email to eb5801@wayne.edu with the subject line "Listserv Subscribe." In the body, please put your name and mailing address.

Download the full newsletter (fall09.pdf - 1.1MB)

National Association of Letter Carriers Exhibit

An exhibit celebrating the 120 year history of the National Association of Letter Carriers, “Still Delivering: A History of the Letter Carriers,” is now open to the public at the Walter P. Reuther Library.

Sponsored by Wayne State University’s Walter P. Reuther Library, the exhibit tells the story of the men and women who have devoted their lives to make sure the mail is delivered to homes and businesses six days a week, using documents, photographs and other objects from the library’s National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Historical Collection.

The exhibit focuses on the significance of the historical development of the NALC, the evolution of mail delivery, and the courageous men and women who not only keep the nation informed, but also contribute to the social well being of America in so many ways.

“Still Delivering: A History of the Letter Carriers” will be available for viewing in the Walter P. Reuther Library atrium on the campus of Wayne State University Sept. 22 through June 2010. Viewing hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibit is free.

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Walter P. Reuther Library Monday through Friday (313) 577-4024

Wayne State University is a premier institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 32,000 students in metropolitan Detroit.

Reuther Library at Wayne State University opens SEIU District 925 Oral history interviews for research

in

Oral history interviews focusing on relationship between women’s movement and organized
labor donated to Wayne State University’s Walter P. Reuther Library

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 925 Legacy Project donated 47
transcribed oral history interviews and corresponding audiotapes to Wayne State
University’s Walter P. Reuther Library. These oral histories, which are now open for
research, chronicle the organization’s 20-year history and provide insight into the
relationship between the women’s movement and organized labor.

In 1975, SEIU partnered with members of 9to5, National Association of Working Women to organize office workers in Boston and created Local 925. Stakeholders expanded upon this idea in 1981 by forming SEIU District 925 in order to organize office workers into chapters throughout the country. District 925 dissolved in 2001 when it consolidated with other SEIU locals. While District 925 also organized men, the collective power of organized women is a unifying theme throughout the oral histories.

9to5, the association, and District 925, the union, used a variety of techniques to raise community consciousness about the issues facing women clerical workers. When 925 launched, office workers were one of the largest, lowest-paid, most-exploited and least-unionized segments of the nation’s workforce. The 1980 movie Nine to Five, starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman, drew from real life experiences of women clerical workers and touched millions of people on a comedic level with a serious message about workplace oppression. District 925 helped to legitimize “women’s issues” in the workplace as union issues. They organized women, propelled them into national leadership positions within the labor movement, tackled pay inequity, and addressed issues such as family and medical leave – all during a time of great social and technological change.

Union leaders Karen Nussbaum, Debbie Schneider, Kim Cook, Bonnie Ladin, Anne Hill and Ellen Cassedy, as well as activists such as Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Tom Hayden, are among the subjects of these oral histories. The donation of these transcripts to the Walter P. Reuther Library will add to the 925 Manuscript Collection that is already part of the Reuther’s holdings.

For more information, contact Alexandra Orchard.

Louis Jones, PhD, CA, is the Field Archivist for the Walter P. Reuther Library.

Exhibit — Bricks, Mortar and More

The Reuther Library is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit: Bricks, Mortar and More: The Jewish Community and the Growth of Wayne State University. This exhibit honors the long partnership between the metro Detroit Jewish Community and the University as represented by the fifteen buildings on Wayne State's main and medical campuses that are named after the members of Detroit's Jewish Community that provided funds for their construction.  read more »

Audiovisual Collection

The Audiovisual Collections at the Walter P. Reuther Library consist of still and moving photographic images, sound recordings, art work and artifacts. The collections focus on three major historical subject areas: American Labor, Metropolitan Detroit, and Wayne State University, and include materials pertaining to 20th century industrial unionism, social, political, and radical reform movements, civil rights, women in the workplace, and twentieth century Detroit history.

To order digital images/photographs, please click on the Digital Image Request Form and fill it in. An AV Archivist will contact you with the specifics of your order.

Refer to the Reproduction and Use fees at the links below for pricing.

The Audiovisual Collections are open to the public by appointment only.

To schedule an appointment to view photographs, email AV Archivist Deborah Rice (drice@wayne.edu) or Elizabeth Clemens (elizabeth.clemens@wayne.edu). To schedule an appointment to listen to audio recordings or view film or video collections, email AV Archivist Mary Wallace (maryjwallace@wayne.edu).

Direct AudioVisual reference questions by emailing us at: reutherreference@wayne.edu

Library Collection

The non-manuscript holdings at the Reuther Library, also known as the Library Collection, contain more than 12,000 book and periodical titles, a substantial vertical file, published union convention proceedings and reports, union contracts and constitutions, pamphlets, and labor education materials. The collection scope includes materials related to 20th century American labor history, urban Detroit history, women in the workplace, radical organizations, and dissident union movements. Periodicals and dissertations that fall within the collection scope are regularly added to the Library Collection. Holdings in the Library Collection are non-circulating and are not available through interlibrary loan.

Bibliographic records on the secondary source holdings in the Periodicals and Publications Collection at the Walter P. Reuther Library are now available on-line. The collection includes pamphlets, newsletters, newspapers, journals, union convention proceedings, and reports, and will include both print and microfilm materials. For the first time in the Reuther’s history, researchers will have online access to an extensive list of titles from labor unions, urban organizations, and political reform groups. To access the publications content begin to browse by clicking the link provided above or by performing a search. Please note that advanced searches may be used to filter results.

Reading Room

Reading Room — Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday 10:00am–4:00pm
CLOSED Saturday & Sunday
To schedule a research appointment, contact Kristen Chinery

Please contact Kristen Chinery kristen.chinery@wayne.edu to begin planning your visit, ask reference questions, and schedule a research appointment. Audiovisual collections are available to the public by appointment only.

Requests to pull boxes in advance of your visit must be submitted at least 2 business days prior to your arrival. Up to 6 boxes may be requested in advance.

To order document scans, please complete the form found at this link here.

RULES FOR USE OF ARCHIVAL MATERIALS

  1. A driver's license or other photo identification and a signed researcher form (document below) are required for access to collections.
  2. Items such as a briefcase, portfolio, notebook, coat, computer case, purse, backpack, etc. must be stored in a locker outside the Reading Room.
  3. Pencil, computer, or audio recording devices may be used for taking notes. Pens and scanners of any type are prohibited.
  4. All materials are to be used only in the Reading Room.
  5. To request materials, please fill out a call slip, complete with accession number, and give it to the archivist on duty.
  6. Use only one box at a time. Remove only one folder from a box at a time. Use “Out Cards” (available at the archivist’s desk) to mark the folder’s place within the box.
  7. Do not fold, write on, or otherwise damage the papers. Please turn pages carefully.
  8. The exact order and arrangement of the materials in the collections must be maintained. Make sure all sheets are straight and that no page edges protrude from the folder before returning the folder to the box.
  9. If any mistake is discovered, please call it to the attention of a staff member. Do not rearrange items or remove anything from folders.
  10. Patrons may not eat, drink, or talk on cell phones in the Reading Room.
  11. When citing materials, please use the full name of the collection and of the Library. In the event that this research becomes a source for publication, the Library requests a copy of the publication. Example: The John Doe Collection, Box 9, Folder 23, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs (or University Archives), Wayne State University.

DIGITIZING SERVICES

For the purpose of preserving its collections, the Reuther Library has made digital imaging the default option for reproduction of materials in our Reading Room. Patrons may bring their own equipment (digital camera, cell phone, or tablet) with them or use a camera provided by the Reuther. Digital cameras provided by the Reuther are available on a first come, first served basis.

  1. There is a digital imaging fee of $10.00 per day, plus tax*. There is no charge to patrons taking up to ten images.
  2. Patrons may use digital cameras provided by the Library, or a personal digital camera, cell phone, or tablet. Patrons using a Reuther camera must provide their own external media to transfer images.
  3. Patrons are responsible for recording information about the images they take on the Digital Image Request Sheet regardless of equipment used.
  4. Flash photography is not permitted.
  5. Tripod use is permitted so long as other patrons, and their research space, are not disturbed. Patrons are prohibited from placing tripods on archival material.
  6. Patrons must request publication-quality images of any material from the Reuther Library at its standard fees.
  7. *To qualify for tax exemption, an official IRS tax exempt letter is required.

Campus Map and Parking

http://parking.wayne.edu/
This page includes a full detail interactive parking map.

Syndicate content