Labor Archives Section Co-Chair Election, 2019-2021 Term

Below is the Candidate information for the Labor Archives Section Co-Chair position for the 2019-2021 Term.

Ben Blake
Director, George Meany Labor Archives, University of Maryland, College Park

Candidate Statement

Before becoming the Director of the George Meany Labor Archives, University of Maryland, College Park in 2016, I had significant experience in labor archives, including two years at San Francisco State's Labor Archives and Research
Center and have been responsible for the archives of union records and labor related collections in Cleveland, Youngstown and Baltimore. I hold a BA in Social Science from Hampshire College, MA in labor history from Cleveland State, an MLIS form the University of Pittsburgh, and the DAS certification from SAA.


One of my key priorities would be helping build a closer relationship with LAWCHA, LRAN, UALE, NALHC, WCSA and IALHI. For example, the UMD team attended the recent LAWCHA conference promoting the use of the Meany Archives. in the future, I would like to play a role in promoting all labor archives at LAWCHA and other conferences. Recently, I also volunteered for to be a member of the LAWCHA Digital Labor History Incubator, lead by James Gregory, University of Washington, Tobias Higbie, UCLA, and Vilja Hulden, University of Colorado. I would like to work to involve Section members in this project, including a major grant proposal, which has already been drafted by these three professors. I also think supporting Cornell's project on digitizing union contracts is very important and has proven to be of great worth to the labor movement. In addition, we should revisit the national directory of labor collections project, which we discussed at the Section retreat at last year's North American Labor History Conference. I am also very much interested in working with the Section to explore ways in which we might be able to apply a "documenting the now" approach to labor archives."

Blake-CV-Final-v03-2019.pdf1.16 MB
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