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Baltimore Federation of Labor archives

Abstract

Title:
Baltimore Federation of Labor archives
Author/Creator:
Baltimore Federation of Labor
Collection number:
67-3
Size:
0.25 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1918-1965
Inclusive dates:
1918-1969
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

The Baltimore Federation of Labor (BFL), an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor, was formed in 1883 by delegates from industry-specific unions such as the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and the Bakery and Confectionery Workers' Union. The BFL's purpose was to improve the lives and working conditions of all laborers through unionization and legislative action. In the early twentieth century the BFL agitated for issues such as the eight-hour work day, legalizing unions, eliminating child labor, and free, compulsory education. The organization still exists today as the Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions. The Archives of the Baltimore Federation of Labor consist primarily of microfilmed minutes of meetings from 1918-1965, and other documents including a constitution, union publications, and two oral histories of Baltimore union members. The Archives of the Baltimore Federation of Labor consist primarily of microfilmed minutes of meetings from 1918-1965, and other documents including a constitution, union publications, and two oral histories of Baltimore union members.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

Baltimore Federation of Labor archives, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1320
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Alternate formats:

Series I contains microfilm; Series III contains audio tapes

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

The Baltimore Federation of Labor (BFL) was formed in 1883 with the goal of improving the lives and working conditions of all laborers through unionization and legislative action. The Federation consisted of delegates from industry-specific unions, initially in crafts such as carpentry and baking. Founding member unions included the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, the Bakery and Confectionery Workers Union, and the Cigar Makers International Union. In 1889, the Federation received a charter from the American Federation of Labor. The BFL agitated for issues such as the eight-hour work day, legalizing unions, eliminating child labor, and free, compulsory education. Between 1883 and 1900, the BFL was instrumental in enacting state laws regarding union trademarks, certain types of child labor, seats for female employees, and the legality of unions. During the Depression, the BFL expanded into industrial as well as craft professions and, for the first time, elected a woman delegate, Lillian Sipple, to the executive board. Competition with the Baltimore Industrial Council (BIC), an affiliate of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), and other groups of a more socialist bent than the BFL, led to attrition of membership in the BFL and to increased fragmentation of labor in the city. Issues of race were also of continuing concern in the BFL, which was slow to support African-American workers or the integration of unions. The BFL still exists today as the Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The archives of the Baltimore Federation of Labor consist primarily of microfilm copies of meeting minutes from 1918 to 1965. Other documents include the Federation's constitution, publications on union activities and legislation affecting businesses and unions, and two oral histories of Baltimore men involved with unions and the BFL.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Isabella Hayes, head of the Maryland Room at the University of Maryland Libraries, solicited the Archives of the Baltimore Federation of Labor in 1966 as part of a projected Maryland Labor Archives.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Sarah Heim, July 2003.

Processing note:

When processing began, the collection included a great deal of unrelated material that had apparently been stored in the same box. Publications not related to the BFL or to unions generally were transferred to the Marylandia collection. Notes on speeches by Governor Albert C. Ritchie were transferred to the Papers of Albert C. Ritchie. The microfilm reels were re-housed in acid-free boxes and shelved with the microfilm collection. The audiotape reels were transferred to the aural tape collection. The paper materials were place in acid-free folders in an acid-free box.

Encoded by:

EAD markup creating using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Henry Allen.

Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized as three series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Organizational Records, 1918-1965 (2 reels and 2 folders)

This series consists of microfilm of minutes from meetings of the Baltimore Federation of Labor from 1918 to 1965, with some gaps. The series also includes a 1920 constitution of the Federation, and notifications of password changes from the American Federation of Labor. Arrangement is alphabetical by document type.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Passwords from the American Federation of Labor, 1945-1946 series 1box folder_no 2
Constitution, 1920 series 1box 1folder_no 1
Minutes, January 1918-August 1925 series 1reel 1frame 1
Minutes, August 1925-August 1933 series 1reel 2frame 1
Minutes, April 19, 1935-April 1936 series 1reel 2frame 2
Minutes, August 30, 1933-April 17, 1935 series 1reel 3frame 1
Minutes, May 26, 1937 series 1reel 4frame 1
Minutes, July 14, 1937-May 6, 1942 series 1reel 4frame 2
Minutes, May 13, 1942-September 12, 1945 series 1reel 5frame 1
Minutes, March 3, 1948-July 18, 1951 series 1reel 5frame 2
Minutes, September 12, 1945-February 25, 1948 series 1reel 6frame 1
Minutes, August 1, 1951-February 3, 1954 series 1reel 6frame 2
Minutes, February 10, 1954-May 24, 1956 series 1reel 7frame 1
Minutes, March 16, 1961-March 1, 1962 series 1reel 8frame 1
Minutes, March 15, 1962-March 21, 1963 series 1reel 9frame 1
Minutes, April 4, 1963-May 7, 1964 series 1reel 10frame 1
Minutes, May 21, 1964-June 17, 1965 series 1reel 11frame 1

Series 2: Union News, 1957-1969 (2 folders)

This series consists of publications relating to the United Auto Workers 1957 anti-inflation proposal to automobile manufacturers, which requested that prices for 1958 models be held to within $100 of 1957 models, and an issue of Research Institute Recommendations from 1969 that includes a summary of new sociological research and legal developments relating to unionization. Arrangement is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
United Auto Workers' anti-inflation plan, 1957 series 2box folder 3
Research Institute Report with information on labor legislation, 1969 series 2box folder 4

Series 3: Oral Histories, 1966 (2 reels and 2 transcripts)

This series consists of tapes and transcripts of interviews with Hamilton Dubriel and Joseph Gillis of Baltimore. Dubriel was a member of the Steamfitters Union Local 438; Gillis was a member of the United Garment Workers and the Baltimore Federation of Labor, and he was a past Director of Region Eight of the AFL-CIO. The interviews were recorded in 1966 as part of a projected Maryland Labor Archives. Arrangement is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Transcripts -- Dubriel, Hamilton, April 21, 1966 series 3box folder 5
Transcripts -- Gillis, Joseph, April 26, 1966 series 3box folder 6
Audiotapes -- Dubriel, Hamilton (2 reels), April 21, 1966 series 3box folder 7
Audiotapes -- Gillis, Joseph (2 reels), April 26, 1966 series 3box folder 8

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

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Subjects