United Mine Workers of America, President's Office records, 1898-2010

1823

Collection Overview

Title:
United Mine Workers of America, President's Office records
Dates (Inclusive):
1898-2010 and undated
Abstract:
The office of president dates from the formation of the United Mine Workers of America in 1890 and continues in the twenty-first century.
Abstract:
This collection mainly consists of correspondence and subject files generated by John L. Lewis and his immediate successors as president of the United Mine Workers of America.
Collection Number:
1823
Size:
220 Linear Feet
Size:
45 items (microfilms)
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Biographical Note

The office of president dates from the formation of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) in 1890. The president presided over international union conventions and meetings of the International Executive Board, appointed committees, organizers, and field workers, interpreted the meaning of the union constitution, led wage negotiations, endorsed or denied strikes and work stoppages, ruled on countless individual, local, and district issues, served as the union’s main spokesman for legislative goals and for health and safety concerns, and supervised the editorial stance and news policies of the United Mine Workers Journal. Under John L. Lewis, the presidency of the UMW became one of the most powerful positions in the American labor movement.

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Collection Overview

The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence and subject files generated by John L. Lewis in three capacities: as president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) (1920-1960); as head of the Committee for Industrial Organization/Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from its founding in 1935 to his resignation (1940) and UMW disaffiliation from the CIO in 1942; and as UMW president emeritus. Additional records and materials document the UMW’s re-affiliation with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1944, the internecine struggle of the rival labor federations culminating in the historic AFL-CIO merger agreement (1955), and relations with other unions. There are also substantial runs of presidential correspondence and subject files from Lewis’s successors, Thomas Kennedy (1960-1963), William A. Boyle (1963-1972), Arnold Miller (1972-1979), and Sam Church (1979-1982). Only in the area of wage negotiations are there substantial documents from the decades preceding Lewis’s presidency. (The papers of Lewis’s most important predecessor, UMW president John Mitchell, are at Catholic University.) A nearly complete run of international union constitutions spans the years 1903-2010; there are also numerous district constitutions.

Included among the subject files is a substantial run of printed government hearings. Although these volumes are available electronically, they have been retained because they collectively document the principal concerns and positions of the UMW with regard to twentieth century legislative issues. These issues pertain to prominent topics found within the correspondence and subject files, including coal policy, the perceived threat of nuclear energy, labor practices, the state of the American economy, pensions and benefits, efforts to establish national health care, and ongoing problems related to mine safety and mine-related disease (most notably, black lung). The correspondence and subject files also concern the function and structure of the union, its finances, the president’s leadership in wage negotiations in the anthracite and bituminous regions, his involvement in international affairs, and his responses to communism, dual unionism, and potential rivals such as the Progressive Miners of America.

Prints and negatives found within President’s Office files have been photocopied in their original positions and then moved into cold storage for the sake of preservation. But most UMW photographs reside elsewhere, within either the UMW Journal Office Records or the UMW Photographic, Graphic, and Artifacts Collection.

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Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged in 14 series: Series 1: Office Files (1900-1997 and undated) Series 2: Correspondence (1929-1967) Series 3: Anthracite Correspondence (1929-1968 and undated) Series 4: Foreign Correspondence (1935-1967) Series 5: Internal Correspondence (1933-1956) Series 6: John L. Lewis Personal Files (1923-1972 and undated) Series 7: President Emeritus Office Correspondence (1949-1969 and undated; bulk 1960-1969) Series 8: President Emeritus General Correspondence (1960-1969) Series 9: President Emeritus Personal files (1937-1973; bulk 1960-1969) Series 10: CIO Files (1924-1962 and undated) Series 11: Government Hearings (1904-1983) Series 12: Wage Negotiations (1898-1983) Series 13: Constitutions (1903-2010) Series 14: Photographs (1916-1997 and undated)

Missing Title

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Records less than 20 years old shall be made accessible only with the written permission of the designated representative of the donor.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], United Mine Workers of America, President's Office records, HCLA 1823, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Acquisition Information

Gift of United Mine Workers of America, 1994-2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Barry Kernfeld.

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Collection Inventory

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BoxFolder

11

12

13

14

15

16-7

18

19

110

111

112

113

114

115

116

117

118

119

120-24

125

126

127-31

132

133

134-35

2.542-43

2.541

2.539-40

2.536-38

2.535

2.534

2.533

2.532

2.531

2.530

2.529

2.528

2.527

1841

1842

1843

1844

1845

1846-11

2.526

2.525

2.524

2.523

2.522

2.57-21

2.53

2.52

2.51

21-3

24

25-12

213

214

31-3

34

35

36

37

38

39

310

311

312

313

314

315-16

317

318

319-67

41-5

46

47

48

49-12

413

414-15

416

417

418

419

420

421

422

423

424

425

426

427

428

429

430

431-32

433-35

436

437

438

439

440

51-7

58

59-13

514

515

516

517

518-19

520

521

522

523

524

525

526

527

528

1831-3

1834

1835-6

1837-9

18310

18311

18312

18313

18314

18315

18316

18317

18318

18319

18320

18321

18322

18412

18413-14

18415

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18418

18419

18420

18421

18422

18423

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18425

18426

18427

18428

18429

18430

18431

18432

18433

18434

18435

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18437

18438

1851

1852

1853

1854

1855

1856

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1858

1859

18510

18511

18512

18513

18514

18515

18516

18517

18518

18519

18520

18521

18522

18523

18524

18525

1861

1862

1863

1864

1865

1866

1867

1868

1869

18610

18611

18612

18613

18614

18615

18616

18617

18618

18619

18620

18621

18622

18623

18624

18625

18626

18627

18628

18629

18630

18631

18632

18633

18634

18635

18636

18637

18638

1871-6

1877

1878

1879

18710-11

18712
Box

188
BoxFolder

1891-2

1893

1894

1895-7

1898

1899

18910

18911

18912

2171-2

2173

2161

2162

2163

18913

18914-15

1901-5

1906

1907

1908

1909

19010

19011

19012

19013

19014

19015-16

1961-5

19017

19018

19019

19020

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

19510-11

19512

19513

19514

61

62-8

69

610

611

612

613

614-16

617

618

619-26

71-8

79

710-17

718-19

720-23

724-27

728

729

730

81-4

85-6

87

88-9

810-12

813-16

817-19

820-26

827

828

91-31

932-33

934

935

936-37

938

939

940

2.54-6

101

102

103

104

105-7

108-11

1012

1013

1014

1015

1016-17

1018

1019

1020

1021-22

1023-25

1026

1027

1028-31

111-10

1111

1112

1113-16

1117

1118

1119

1120

1121-24

1125-26

1127-28

121-6

127

128

129-28

131-5

136

137

138

139

1310-11

1312-16

1317-18

1319

1320-23

1324-28

141-3

144-12

1413-27

1428-29

1430-31

151-3

154-6

157

158

159-23

1524-26

1527

1528-29

1530

161

162-8

169

1610

1611

1612

1613-17

1618-20

1621

1622-25

1626

171

172

173-12

1713-19

1720-23

1724

181

182-9

1810-11

1812-16

1817

1818-19

1820-23

1824

1825-27

1828

191

192

193-4

195

196-7

198-18

1919

1920-24

201-5

206-9

2010

2011-15

2016-17

2018

2019-20

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027-28

2029

211

212-3

214-5

216-23

2124

2125-26

221-8

229-14

2215

2216

2217-18

2219

2220

2221

2222

2223

2224-29

231-6

237

238-9

2310

2311-16

2317

241-2

243

244

245

246-9

2410

2411-12

2413

2414

2415-18

2419-21

2422

2423-24

2425-26

2427-29

251

252

253-4

255

256

257

258

259

2510

2511

2512

2513

2514-16

2517

2518-19

2520

2521

2522-23

2524-27

2528

2529-31

261

262

263-4

265

266

267-9

2610

2611-13

2614

2615

2616

2617

2618

2619

2620

2621

2622-23

2624

2625

2626

2627-28

2164

2165

18916

18917-18

19021

19022

19023

19024

19025

19110-13

19114-15

19116

19117-18

1921-3

1924-11

19212

19213

19214-17

1931-2

19310-13

19314

19315

19316

19317

19318

19319

19320-22

1941-3

1944-5

1946

1947-24

19425

19426

19427

19428

19429-33

19434

19435

19436

19437

19438-39

19517

19518-19

19520

19521-22

19523

19524-28

19529

19530-31

19532-33

1966

1967-17

19618

19619

1971

1972

1973

1974-6

1977

1978

1979

19710

19711

19712

19713

19714

19715

19716

19717

2011-3

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

20110-11

20112

2166

271

272

273-9

2710

2711-19

2719

2720-22

2723-27

2728

281

282

283

284

285-8

289

2810-18

2819-20

291

292

293-4

295

296-11

2912

2913-18

2919

2920

2921

2922

2923

2924-25

2926

2927

2928

2929-30

301-3

304

305

306

307

308

309

3010

3011

3012

3013

3014

3015-18

3019

3020

3021

3022-23