Blogs

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 »

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