2003-2004 Annual Report

Labor Archives Roundtable 

Annual Report 2003-2004 

August 5, 2004 

Labor Archives Roundtable

Mission:  The Labor Archives Roundtable promotes communication among archivists 

and institutions concerned with records in the field of labor and develops cooperative 

strategies and guidelines to ensure comprehensive documentation of the labor movement 

Officers:  Chair, Barbara Morley, Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation 

and Archives, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University 

Report from Annual Meeting


The Labor Archives Roundtable conducted its annual business meeting at the Society of 

American Archivists Annual Convention in Boston, Massachusetts on August 5, 2004.  

Approximately 28 members attended the meeting.  Among the highlights of the meeting 

were the election of new officers for 2004-2005:  Chair, Jim Quigel, Historical 

Collections and Labor Archives, The Pennsylvania State University and Lauren Kata, 

Vice-Chair / Chair Elect, Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University.  Also, 

historian Dr. Ileen Devault gave an excellent presentation entitled “United Apart:  en 

masse (in Mass.)” based on her newest book, Cornell University Press, 2004. United 

Apart:  Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism, 1887-1903.  Her presentation 

emphasized the importance of the preservation and use of primary source materials—

including diaries of workers and labor newspapers—for her research and book. Out-going 

Chair, Barbara Morley prepared a draft of Roundtable goals and objectives for the 

upcoming year for consideration of the membership.  

Meeting summary and outline of projects and activities—completed, on-going, and new: 

1. Presentation by Ileen DeVault “United Apart: en masse (in Mass.)” based on her 

newest book United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism, 1887-1903, 

Cornell University Press, 2004.

2. Quick introductions by attendees.  The membership list was circulated for 

corrections and additions. 

3. Election of new officers.  James Quigel was elected Roundtable Chair and Lauren 

Kata, Chair elect.  Congratulations to both.   4.  Barb Morley – LAR Draft Goals and Objectives.  A draft of roundtable goals and 

objectives was distributed for preliminary consideration.  Pam, Lauren, Jim and Barb 

will continue considering these issues and present their revised list to the group.   

GOAL: to help labor unions and archivists to preserve and provide access to the 

valuable records of organized labor.    

o Objective 1:  Educate union records managers, decision makers, and 

archivists about the overall value of labor union documents and the 

specific types of material useful to unions and other researchers  

o Objective 2:  Educate union records managers and archivists about basic 

records management needs for labor documents  

o Objective 3:  Provide skilled consultants for in-house records programs  

o Objective 4:  Assist unions searching for appropriate repositories to 

maintain records off-site  

o Objective 5:  Promote systematic distribution of information about union 

records holdings for researchers  

GOAL:  Communicate the contributions of the LAR, archivists and labor historians to 

the goals of union officials, union members, and other records users.  

o Objective 1:  Identify strategic contacts and communication channels  

o Objective 2:  Develop and distribute educational material in print, digital, 

or presentation formats 

  5. Jim Quigel- Statement on saving and preserving union records impacted by labor 

union mergers and consolidation was edited, revised, and reviewed by archivists in 

attendance.  The statement, as amended, will be posted on the Labor Archives website 

and discussion list to share with all members and the labor archival community.  The 

SAA Labor Roundtable seeks to educate and work cooperatively with labor union 

officers and records managers—especially at the local level—on this vital issue. 

6. Jim Quigel –Preservation of AFL-CIO affiliate records and update of “How to Keep 

Union Records.”  The need for efficient and flexible ways to address the potential loss 

of union records during mergers was discussed, and it was agreed that updating Debra 

Bernhardt’s “How to Keep Union Records” is one way to draw attention to the 

documentary record’s preservation as records are in use and under consideration for 

disposition after their active  life.  Michael has been working with this document, 

updating elements in it as he uses it.  Jim, Rich, Casey, Barb and Michael agreed to 

undertake a preliminary analysis and, when permission is granted by Labor’s Heritage, 

the AFL-CIO and others involved, to edit the volume for redistribution in print and on 

the internet.  7. Barb Morley – Update George Meany Memorial Archives survey of Labor unions 

and archives, (1976). Patrizia and Barb will work on this 

8. Pam Hackbart-Dean – website pointing to labor union finding aids.  To make the 

records of labor unions more readily available to researchers, a page on the LAR 

website will provide links to web-based finding aids by union and by repository.  

This may also develop into a deeper project to offer finding aids from these 

repositories on the LAR webpage.  Pam and Patrizia will work on this 

9. Other project suggestions/issues that need discussion.  None offered. 

10. Pam Hackbart-Dean - midwinter session?  The IAM has offered to host a midwinter 

LAR meeting at their educational center providing room and board, and space to 

meet.  Those attending would need to cover transportation.  This is a very generous 

offer which we sincerely appreciate!  We will wait to see if there is reason to meet 

face to face at that time.   

11. What we’ve been up to…  passed over due to limited time 

12.Jim Quigel – call for 2005 session proposals.  October 9 is the deadline for 

submission.  Talk with Jim if you have a proposal for the RT or a conference 


Respectfully submitted, 

Barbara Morley Chair, Labor Archives Roundtable / 2003-2004 

Jim Quigel, Chair, Labor Archives Roundtable / 2004-2005