The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Collecting area: Labor

Whipple, Charles L.

Charles L. Whipple Papers

1925-1991
21 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 360
Depiction of Charles L. Whipple, ca.1935
Charles L. Whipple, ca.1935

Charles Lewis Whipple was a noted journalist, editor, and the first ombudsperson for the Boston Globe. As a student at Harvard in the 1930s, Whipple joined the Young Communist League, carrying his radical politics with him when he joined the Globe’s staff in 1936 and became an active member of the American Newspaper Guild. Although classified as unfit for military duty due to the loss of vision in one eye, Whipple joined the Red Cross during the Second World War, and served with distinction with over thirty months of overseas service. After returning to civilian life and severing ties with the Communist Party, he resumed his position at the Globe, rising steadily to become editor of the opinion page in 1962 and ombudsperson in 1975. An editorial he wrote in 1967 is considered the first editorial in a major American newspaper to oppose the war in Vietnam. Although he formally retired from the Globe in 1979. Whipple worked an additional three years with the Xinhua News Agency in Beijing as editor of the Beijing Review and the China Daily, China’s first English-language daily. Whipple died in Northampton, Mass., in 1991, following complications from surgery.

A mixture of personal and professional correspondence, writing, and subject and clipping files, the Charles Whipple Papers document a long and exceptional career in journalism. The diverse roles that Whipple filled at the Boston Globe from the 1930s through 1970s resulted in rich documentation of his work as an organizer for the American Newspaper Guild on the eve of the Second World War; his writing and editorial work during the Vietnam War and as the Globe’s Ombudsman in the 1970s; and the three years he spent in China setting up an English-language newspaper during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Subjects

American Newspaper GuildBoston GlobeCommunists--MassachusettsJournalists--Massachusetts--BostonLabor unions--Massachusetts--BostonNewspaper employees--Labor unions--MassachusettsVietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

Whipple, Charles L.

Types of material

Photographs
Whitcomb, John M.

John M. Whitcomb Collection

ca.1905-1969
ca.400 titles
Call no.: RB 038

John Merrall Whitcomb was an architect, researcher, and life-long scholar. Born in New York City in July 1907, Whitcomb earned an undergraduate degree at Yale (1930) and a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania (1934) and began working his way up the ranks of the architectural profession in Boston. After wartime service in the Air Force, he resumed his career, establishing his own firm in Cambridge, Johnson and Whitcomb. He died in 1998.

Part of a large collection of books amassed over a lifetime, this collection focuses largely on Whitcomb’s interest in “seditionist” literature, including works on Anglo-American Socialism and Communism, as well as topics ranging from American labor to political and social history, the rise of fascism in Europe, Soviet studies, the Vietnam War, and political theory. The bulk of the material dates from the 1930s through early 1960s.

Subjects

Communism--Great BritainCommunism--United StatesSocialism--Great BritainSocialism--United States
Wilson, Rand

Rand Wilson Papers

1977-2004
15 boxes 22.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1026

A union organizer and labor communicator, Rand Wilson became a rank and file organizer for the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union and helped win the first-ever contract for workers at Clinical Assays in Cambridge, Mass., in 1982. He has since taken part in dozens of successful organizing and contract campaigns, both regionally and nationally, for the Communications Workers of America, the Paperworkers, Carpenters, Teamsters and Service Employees International Union, and other unions. Wilson’s notable achievements include coordinating solidarity efforts with the CWA and IBEW during the massive NYNEX telephone workers’ strike in 1989; founding the Massachusetts branch of the community-labor coalition, Jobs with Justice; coordinating communications for the Teamsters in 1997 during the lengthy contract campaign and historic 15-day strike by the 185,000 workers at UPS; and organizing an AFL-CIO-led effort focused on financial institutions’ conflicts of interest that helped to thwart the Bush administration’s efforts to privatize social security. He served as national coordinator for “Labor for Bernie” during the presidential campaign on 2016, and currently works for SEIU Local 888 in Boston.

Documenting forty years of labor activism, the Wilson papers include important material from most of his major initiatives, including organizing campaigns with the CWA, files relating to the Justice at Work/Just Cause for All initiatives, organizing high tech, health care and telephone workers, and Jobs with Justice. Nearly half of the collection is comprised of a comprehensive collection of source materials and documents from the Teamsters’ UPS contract campaign and strike.

Subjects

Labor unions--MassachusettsNYNEX CorporationStrikes and lockoutsUnited Parcel Service

Contributors

Communications Workers of AmericaInternational Brotherhood of TeamstersJustice at Work
Yarn Finishers Union (Fall River, Mass.)

Yarn Finishers Union (Fall River, Mass.) Records

1919-1922
1 flat box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 006

The Yarn Finishers Union was one of several autonomous craft bodies affiliated with the Fall River-based American Federation of Textile Operatives (originally known as the National Amalgamation of Textile Workers). Active in several shops — including Durfee Mills, Tecumseh Mills, Union Belt Co., O.B. Wetherell and Son, and Troy Cotton and Woolen Manufactory — the Yarn Finishers included membership from different segments of the work force, including rollers, quillers, and harness markers.

This slender collection documents two years of labor activism by the Yarn Finishers Union in Fall River, Mass. The minutebook begins in May 1919 as the Yarn Finishers voted to strike over low and unequal wages, particularly those to “girls,” and includes references to elections, financial issues such as the proposition to institute a minimum wage scale, and to settling disputes. The minutes continue through the end of a much quieter year, 1922. The second volume consists of a record of union dues collected, arranged loosely by craft.

Subjects

Fall River (Mass.)--HistoryLabor unions--MassachusettsTextile workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

American Federation of Textile Operatives

Types of material

Minutebooks