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

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