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Collecting area: Labor (Page 2 of 8)

Barton, Thomas

Thomas Barton Papers

1947-1977 Bulk: 1960-1974
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 539
Depiction of YPSL logo
YPSL logo

In the early 1960s, Tom Barton (b. 1935) emerged as a leader in the Left-wing of the Young People’s Socialist League, the national youth affiliate of the Socialist Party. Deeply committed to the civil rights and antiwar struggles and to revolutionary organizing, Barton operated in Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York and was a delegate and National Secretary at the 1964 convention in which tensions within YPSL led to its dissolution.

A small, but rich collection, the Barton Papers provide a glimpse into the career of a long-time Socialist and activist. From Barton’s entry into the Young People’s Socialist League in the latest 1950s through his work with the Wildcat group in the early 1970s, the collection contains outstanding content on the civil rights and antiwar movements and the strategies for radical organizing. The collection is particularly rich on two periods of Barton’s career — his time in the YPSL and Student Peace Union (1960-1964) and in the Wildcat group (1968-1971) — and particularly for the events surrounding the dissolution of YPSL in 1964, following a heated debate over whether to support Lyndon Johnson for president. The collection includes correspondence with other young radicals such as Martin Oppenheimer, Lyndon Henry, Juan McIver, and Joe Weiner.

Subjects

Antiwar movementsCivil rights movementsCommunistsRevolutionariesSocialist Party of the United States of AmericaSocialists--United StatesStudent Peace UnionStudents for a Democratic Society (U.S.)Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movementsWildcatYoung People's Socialist League

Contributors

Barton, ThomasGilbert, CarlHenry, LyndonMacFadyen, GavinMcIver, JuanOppenheimer, MartinShatkin, JoanShatkin, NormVerret, JoeWeiner, Joe
Belanger, J. William, 1907-1986

J. William Belanger Papers

1932-1986
3 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 117

A leader in organized labor, William Belanger began as an organizer for the AFL’s United Textile Workers in 1932, eventually becoming the New England Regional Director and International Vice President of the TWUA and in 1958, the first President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

The Belanger Papers provide insight into the long career in labor activism, and include correspondence, writings, subject files, and printed materials. Of particular interest is a series of four oversized scrapbooks that cover Belanger’s career from 1934 through his final position as Director of the Massachusetts Department of Employment Security. These are especially enlightening on labor’s political activities, the CIO’s success in thwarting anti-labor referenda in 1948, and the efforts to expel Communists from the labor movement.

Subjects

Elections--Massachusetts--History--20th centuryLabor leaders--New England--BiographyLabor unions--MassachusettsMassachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950New England--Economic conditions--20th centuryTextile Workers Organizing CommitteeTextile Workers Union of AmericaTextile industry--MassachusettsTextile workers--Labor unions--New England

Contributors

Belanger, J. William, 1907-1986

Types of material

PhotographsScrapbooks
Bennett, John W., collector

John W. Bennett Labor Collection

ca. 1880-2000
118 boxes
Call no.: MS 443
Depiction of

Labor historian John W. Bennett has researched the history of the labor movement since his days as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts (Class of 1952). A born collector, he began accumulating memorabilia associated with unions, drawn to their potential as a visual record of labor iconography and self-representation.

Extending back to the 1880s, the Bennett Collection includes examples from around the country, but with a particularly strong representation of New England unions between the mid-1930s and mid-1970s.

Subjects

Labor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

Bennett, John W

Types of material

BadgesEphemeraRealia
Bruskin, Gene

Gene Bruskin Papers

1963-2018
6 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1020
Depiction of Gene Bruskin
Gene Bruskin

Gene Bruskin arrived at Princeton in 1964 as a basketball player and left as a political radical. After taking part in the Second Venceremos Brigade, Bruskin got involved in antiracist and labor organizing in Boston. As president of the United Steelworkers of America local during the busing crisis of the 1970s, he helped win overwhelming support among the city’s bus drivers to have the union represent them, leading successful campaigns for better wages and working conditions. In the years since, he has held numerous high-profile positions nationally and internationally, including as labor director for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Secretary Treasurer for the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, and co-convener of U.S. Labor Against the War, an organization promoting peace and the demilitarization of U.S. foreign policy. Bruskin was a major figure in the largest private union election in the history of the United Food and Commercial Workers when he led the successful campaign to unionize 5,000 workers at Smithfield Foods in North Carolina. Since retiring in 2012, he has continued to consult with unions. In addition he has returned to some of his earlier undertakings in producing cultural works as a poet, songwriter, and playwright, centered on social justice and working class themes.

Documenting nearly fifty years of activism, Gene Bruskin’s papers are an exceptional resource for the labor movement in the 1970s through early 2000s, and particularly its radical end. Although Bruskin’s early years are relatively sparsely represented, there is a significant run of Brother, the first anti-sexist, “male liberation” journal that he helped found while in Oakland, and the collection includes important material from his work in Boston with the Hyde Park Defense Committee, the Red Basement Singers, and especially with the School Bus Drivers and their tumultuous three-week strike in 1980. The collection also contains a rich assortment of material on labor left and antiwar organizing in the 1990s and 2000s, the Justice at Smithfield campaign, and Bruskin’s work on behalf of single payer insurance, for International Solidarity, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.

Gift of Gene Bruskin, April 2018

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--HistoryBus drivers--Labor unionsCharter schoolsJackson, Jesse, 1941-Labor unions--MassachusettsLabor unions--North CarolinaNational Rainbow Coalition (U.S.)Public schoolsSmithfield Foods, Inc.Strikes and lockouts--Bus driversWeatherman (Organization)

Contributors

Boston School Bus Drivers UnionUnited Steelworkers of America
Bush, Carroll H.

Carroll H. Bush Papers

1929-1938
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1055

A knitter in a Northampton silk factory during the years of the Great Depression, Carroll Bush was a Socialist and officer with the American Federation of Hosiery Workers.

The Bush papers offer a small but fascinating glimpse into political radicalism and union organizing among Northampton silk workers during the Great Depression. An active Socialist and union member in the Textile Workers Union of America, Bush corresponded with other textile workers and union organizers in Massachusetts and entertained an interest in union agitation more generally. The collection consists entirely of letters received by Bush.

Gift of Bruce Rubenstein via Eugene Povirk, Oct. 2018

Subjects

Communists--Massachusetts--NorthamptonHosiery workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts--NorthamptonNorthampton (Mass.)--History--20th centurySilk industry--Massachusetts--NorthamptonStrikes and lockouts--Massachusetts--EasthamptonTextile workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts--NorthamptonTremont Silk Company

Contributors

American Federation of Hosiery WorkersUnited Elastic CorporationUnited Textile Workers of America

Types of material

Fliers
Calkins, David

David and Marshall Calkins Account Books

1848-1855
3 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 178

Brothers from Wilbraham, Mass., David and Marshall Calkins received medical degrees together at the Worcester Medical Institution in 1848. Although David died at the age of 31 in 1855 while just beginning a career, Marshall went on to build a considerable reputation in medicine, working with the Springfield City Hospital for many years and teaching at the University of Vermont.

Kept during the Calkins brothers’ years in Monson, Mass., the three daybooks that comprise this collection list patients treated and their origin or race, along with medical class notes, services provided, remedies, and forms of pay, including bartering for goods. Also included is an account of a stay in Wilbraham.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987

Subjects

Monson (Mass.)--History--19th centuryPhysicians--Massachusetts--Monson

Contributors

Calkins, DavidCalkins, Marshall

Types of material

Account books
Cambridge Central Labor Union

Cambridge Central Labor Union Minute book

1926-1932
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 482 bd

The Central Labor Union was active in the Boston and Cambridge area as early as the 1870s, and by the turn of the twentieth century, the Cambridge Central Labor Union was a thriving organization. Active in many of the significant labor campaigns of the day, including the struggle for an eight hour day, the regulation of child labor, and the fight for collective bargaining, the Cambridge Central Labor Union was said in the late 1930s to represent nearly 30,000 workers in the city.

The minutes of the Cambridge Central Labor Union document the day to day operations of a union representing a cross-section of trades in the city of Cambridge, its relations to other organized labor groups, and the impact of the Depression of 1929 on working people in Massachusetts.

Subjects

Cambridge (Mass.)--History--20th centuryLabor unions--Massachusetts--Cambridge

Types of material

Minute books
Center for Popular Economics (U.S.)

Center for Popular Economics Records

1978-1986
21 boxes 12.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 109

Established in 1978 by a group of radical economists at UMass Amherst and local community and labor activists, the Center for Popular Economics. The Center’s staff grew to include a diverse group of economics professors, degree candidates, and activists from a wide range of educational institutions and social forums.

The collection documents the development of the Center’s program, curriculum, and staff, as well as their fund raising, advertising, outreach and networking activities.

Subjects

EconomicsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Economics

Contributors

Center for Popular Economics (U.S.)
Cigar Makers of the U.S.A. Local 39 (New Haven, Conn.)

Cigar Makers of the U.S.A., Local 39 Minute Books

1886-1941
2 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 383

Founded in 1864, the Cigar Makers were charted by the AFL in 1887. The collection consists of two minute books for Local 39 of New Haven, Connecticut, the earlier dating from 1886-1891 and the later volume dating from 1930-1941. Beginning in 1880, cigar manufacturers who negotiated labor contracts with the union affixed blue labels to boxes of “union made” cigars. A sheet of these union labels are laid into the back of the earlier minute book.

Subjects

Cigar makers--Labor unionsLabor unions--Connecticut

Contributors

Cigar Makers Union
Communist Party of Massachusetts

Communist Party of Massachusetts Collection

1932-1957
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 538

A branch of the Communist Party of the United States of America, the Communist Party of Massachusetts enjoyed strong popularity during the 1930s and 1940s, organizing the textile and other manufacturing industries.

This small collection is comprised of a miscellaneous assemblage of fliers, broadsides, and ephemera issued by the Communist Party of Massachusetts and its affiliates from the mid-1930s through the repression of the McCarthy era. Originating mostly from Boston, the items in the collection center on significant themes in Communist thought, including opposition to Fascism and militarism, labor solidarity against capital, and elections. A small number of items relate to Party-approved cultural productions, including plays and gatherings to celebrate Lenin or the Russian Revolution. Many items are associated with Otis A. Hood, a perpetual candidate for public office on the Communist Party ticket who became a target for McCarthy-era repression in the mid-1950s.

Acquired from Eugene Povirk, 2008

Subjects

Antiwar movements--MassachusettsCommunists--MassachusettsElections--MassachusettsWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Communist Party of Massachusetts

Types of material

BroadsidesFliers