ILGWU. Research Department records

Collection Number: 5780/045

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU. Research Department records, 1884-1948
Collection Number:
5780/045
Creator:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
Quantity:
2 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Articles, reprints, pamphlets, correspondence, photographs.
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
The collection contains records of predecessor unions and locals of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Language:
Collection material in English


ILGWU ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Founded in 1900 by local union delegates representing about 2,000 members in cities in the northeastern United States, the ILGWU grew in geographical scope, membership size, political influence to become one of the most powerful forces in American organized labor by mid-century. Representing workers in the women's garment industry, the ILGWU worked to improve working and living conditions of its members through collective bargaining agreements, training programs, health care facilities, cooperative housing, educational opportunities, and other efforts. In 1995, the ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE).

RESEARCH DEPARTMENT ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Formed in 1937, the Research Department of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) supported the administrative operations of the Union and coordinated the ILGWU's investigative operations. It provided union leaders with information on wages, working conditions, economic conditions, and other matters in the women's garment industry; analyzed information for the union; and monitored developments in the industry.
In addition to providing research for union leadership, Research Department staff prepared materials for Congressional testimony, presented cases on behalf of local unions to the War Labor Board, and worked to administer the Fair Labor Standards Act. At times, the director of the Research Department represented the ILGWU in national forums.
The Department also maintained an extensive library, collecting and housing documents from Union administrative staff that were deemed substantive and of lasting value to the Union, whether produced internally or externally. The information gathered by the Department was of particular value during labor disputes and contract negotiations.
Lazare Teper was the founding director of the ILGWU's Research Department, working in that position from 1937 to 1980. Born in Russia sometime between 1906 and 1908, Teper later studied at the University of Paris and earned his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. He died in New York City in 1985.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Research Department records reflect the department's varied functions, documenting its role in gathering and analyzing information for international and local union leadership, representing the union before government and labor organizations, and gathering materials of research, and oftentimes historical, value. Some segments of the records focus on one aspect of the department's work, and others include documentation across the department's functions.
Research Department director Lazare Teper's papers, for example, include files relating to the Wage Stabilization Board (5780/105). The department also maintained records focused on the National Coat and Suit Industry Board (statements of receipts and disbursements, label division reports, meetings minutes, bulletins to members, and other reports and resolutions), as well as some related legal files (5780/123). Also among the documents collected by the Research Department are the New York Coat and Suit Industry Reports between 1934 and 1960. (5780/168)
Parts of the Research Department records consist primarily of collected documents from ILGWU affiliates. In this way, they resemble and, in some instances, complement the parts of the Archives Department Records (5780/121, 5780/121 PUBS), records generated by local unions (Series III), and the general collection of ILGWU publications (5780 PUBS). Research Department records of this kind contain records of predecessor unions to the ILGWU and ILGWU local union records (5780/045), or the annual report, "Conditions in the Women's Clothing Industry" (5780/078).
Other parts of the Research Department records document all of the department's functions. These records include financial and administrative reports, meeting minutes, and correspondence (5780/056, 5780/209), collected printed material (5780/168), and ILGWU statements on issues related to the garment industry (5780/209).
The Research Department records contains records of predecessor unions and locals of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, including the United Brotherhood of Cloakmakers, Local 1; Knights of Labor, Sanctuary Local Assembly 3038; Unity House Committee of Locals 22, 25, 60, and 66; United Progessive League of Cloak and Dressmakers; United Progressive League of Local 1; Skirtmakers' Union, Local 5; ILGWU Research Department; Cincinnati Joint Board; Local 60, and Local 63.
SUBJECTS

Names:
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers Union. Local 23-25 (New York, N.Y.)
International Ladies' Garment Workers Union. Local 60.
International Ladies' Garment Workers Union. Local 63.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 1 (New York, N.Y.)
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 22 (New York, N.Y.)
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 66 (New York, N.Y.)
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Research Dept.

Subjects:
Women's clothing industry--United States.
Women's clothing industry--New York (State)--New York.
Labor unions-- Clothing workers--United States.
Labor unions--Clothing workers--New York (State)--New York.
Clothing workers--United States.
Clothing workers--New York (State)--New York.
Industrial relations--United States.
Industrial relations--New York (State)--New York.

Form and Genre Terms:
Records.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
ILGWU. Research Department records #5780/045. Kheel Center for Labor- Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records
5780/056: ILGWU. Research Department collected documents
5780/078: ILGWU. Research Department reports
5780/105: ILGWU. Research Department records
5780/123: ILGWU. Research Department records
5780/168: ILGWU. Research Department records
5780/209: ILGWU. Research Department records

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1884
Bound volume.
Box 1 Folder 2 1887-1888
July 1887 - May 1888. Bound volume.
Box 1 Folder 3 1889-1890
June 1889 - Sept 1890
Box 1 Folder 4 1884
Bound volume.
Box 1 Folder 5 1888-1892
Bound volume.
Box 1 Folder 6 1893-1896
Bound volume.
Box 1 Folder 7 1946-1948
Sept 13, 1945.
Box 1 Folder 8 1946-1948
Sept 13, 1945.
Box 1 Folder 9
Undated. Bound volume.
Box 2 Folder 1 1918
Bound volume.
Box 2 Folder 2 1910-1913
Cincinnati, Ohio. Bound volume.
Box 2 Folder 3 1926-1928
Written in an "Outgoing Members" register. Bound volume.
Box 2 Folder 4 1898
Dues books, Contract, and Constitution.
Box 2 Folder 5 1901-1905
Yiddish. May 1901 - May 9, 1905. Local 5 later known as Local 23. Bound volume.
Box 2 Folder 6 1907-1909
Sept 16, 1907 - May 24, 1909. Bound volume.
Box 2 Folder 7 1930-1933
United Progress League of Cloak and Dressmakers, N.Y., Oct 1930-1931; Local 1, 1931-1933. Bound volume.
Box 2 Folder 8 1923
Locals 22, 25, 60, and 66. Bound volume.
Box 2 Folder 9 1935-1940
Yiddish. Bound volume.