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 »

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