Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Massachusetts AFL-CIO Records
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Massachusetts AFL-CIO records consist of proceedings, reports, resolutions, correspondence, memoranda, minutes, agenda, speeches, statements, clippings, flyers, newsletters, and publications. Nontextual material includes films, photographs, memorabilia, posters, sound recordings, and video recordings. The records span the years 1902 to 1995.
Records of sizable quantity that illustrate well the administrative workings of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO are proceedings and reports of conventions (included for each year from 1902 to 1994, except for a five-year gap from 1919 to 1923); minutes and agenda of Executive Council Meetings (especially for the years 1975 to 1993); and the President's Files (covering 1982 to 1990). In addition, while comprised of much less extensive material physically, the Merger Material in series 1, Subseries C contains significant information with regard to the creation of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, as a result of the 1958 merger of the Massachusetts State Federation and the Massachusetts State CIO.
Taken together, the records best document the history of the organization in the 1980s and the early 1990s. This roughly parallels the presidency of Arthur Osborn, who served from 1979 to 1990. The President's Files, found in Series 1, Subseries F, are entirely those of Osborn. Other material in the collection reflects the influence of the Osborn presidency. For example, the records of the Education Committee (Series 1, Subseries H) include material from the College Scholarship Program, the budget of which Osborn worked to expand from $30,000 to $160,000. The impact of Osborn's leadership can also be detected in the records of the Prevailing Wage Campaign of 1988 (Series 3, Subseries A). Osborn served as chairman of the Committee for Quality of Life, which defeated a state ballot referendum that would have repealed the Prevailing Wage Law in Massachusetts. Moreover, Osborn represented labor on numerous boards of organizations not affiliated with the AFL-CIO, some records of which can be found in Series 4.
The series and subseries are as follows:
More detailed descriptions of the subseries can be found below.
With the exception of the Convention Files, minutes of the Executive Council Meeting, and Subject Files, the records were received from the office of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO with little or no discernible arrangement. While the file headings were maintained where possible, the arrangement of this collection was created by the processor. Series 1 reflects the hierarchical structure of the organization, as set forth in the 1987 edition of the constitution, the most recent year included in the collection. Series 2 and 3 are arranged chronologically, while Series 4 and 5 are arranged alphabetically by organization name and type of material, respectively. Nontextual and oversized material was removed from the normal series locations, and can be found in Series 5.
Series 1 reflects the hierarchical structure of the organization, as set forth in the 1987 edition of the constitution, the most recent year included in the collection. Series 2 and 3 are arranged chronologically, while Series 4 and 5 are arranged alphabetically by organization name and type of material, respectively.