We’ve really hit the ground running with the Arizona AFL-CIO Collection. Since the arrival of our last box from off-site storage, we’ve processed about half the collection. That might be a record speed for us, but it’s also thanks to the great organization of the AFL-CIO files. True, like all of our previous collections, there isn’t much background to work with–that is readily available information already out there on the work done from this organization specifically in the state–but we’ve already learned a lot.
The materials we have span not only from 1915 to 1994, but also span across several unions and organizations, not just the AFL-CIO. At first it was unclear if these organizations kept their papers with the AFL-CIO office or these materials are what the AFL-CIO collected on them; but the way the materials are divide it seems more likely that the office was more of a home base for these unions and labor organizations. The AFL-CIO also established a call number system and collected books and pamphlets for workers to use as references and resources in subjects of interest. It’s like they had their own library and archives already!
Those other organizations of which we largely have materials from are the Arizona Carpenters Union, the United Steelworkers of America, Local 938, the Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America, Division 1223 and the Committee on Political Education. Along with the main series of State and National AFL-CIO papers, each are broken down into their own series with materials from their organization such as minutes, correspondence, finances, subject files, and documents on their personal connection AFL-CIO.