Meet Meghan Courtney, New 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.”
Courtney received received dual bachelor degrees in history and comparative religion from Northwestern University. Foretelling her future career, she wrote her honors thesis on 20th century American labor history. Between undergraduate and graduate school she interned for UNITE HERE, participating in organizing and boycott research. She went on to receive a master of science in library and information science from the University of Illinois.
Courtney has worked, interned, or volunteered in university, public, corporate, and personal archives, including in the University Archives at Northwestern and at the Illinois Labor History Society. Most recently, she worked at the Harold Washington Library and the Vivian Harsh Research Collection in Chicago on the Black Metropolis Research Consortium’s grant-funded Behind the Color Curtain project, where she processed the Harold Washington's Political Education Project Records, Eugene Sawyer Mayoral Records, and the Department of Urban Renewal Records, among others.
During the two months that she’s been on the job, she has processed the AFSCME Publications collection, visited AFSCME headquarters in Washington, D.C., and is collaborating with the union on an exhibit, a workshop, and other content for the AFSCME convention this summer. According to Courtney, “This year marks the 40th Anniversary of AFSCME's archives partnership with the Reuther Library, so that will be a part of my message at the convention.”