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 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


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 »

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