Guide to the ILGWU. Education Department. Fannia Cohn papers

Collection Number: 5780/049

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

Contact Information:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
Martin P. Catherwood Library
227 Ives Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3183
kheel_center@cornell.edu
http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/library/kheel
Compiled by:
Kheel Staff
EAD encoding:
Kheel Staff, June 05, 2012

© 2012 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
ILGWU. Education Department. Fannia Cohn papers, 1918-1962
Collection Number:
5780/049
Creator:
Cohn, Fannia M. (Fannia Mary), 1885- International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
Quantity:
6 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 correspondence, subject files, speeches, articles, photographs, and programs from Fannia Cohn's term as Executive Secretary of the ILGWU Education Department.
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).

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Fannia Cohn, garment worker, labor organizer and educator, and officer of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. She was born in Minsk in the late 1880s (there is disagreement as to the exact year). Cohn emigrated to the U.S. in 1904 and began working in a New York garment factory in 1905. She joined the ILGWU in 1909 and quickly emerged as a skilled leader and organizer. She was the first woman vice-president of the ILGWU and in 1918 became Executive Secretary of the Education Department, a position she held until her retirement in 1961. Cohn played a significant role in worker education and was a co-founder of both the Workers' Education Bureau and the Brookwood Labor College. She died in 1962 in New York City.

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Local union's of the ILGWU established and maintained robust, ambitious educational departments early on in the international's history. As these groups grew in size and scope, the international office sought to coordinate and centralize educational programming for the union's members, culminating in the formation of the Educational Department in 1918.
The department's programming included courses at the Workers' University at the Washington Irving High School in New York City, lectures at Unity Centers and Unity Houses in the northeastern United States, and other events. The educational offerings of the International's Education Department were varied, as had been the education departments of the local unions, and included not only classes in labor studies but also courses in languages, music, and the arts. The ILGWU's 1937 musical "Pins and Needles" exemplified the diversity of the union's programs.
Directors of the Education Department, especially Fannia Cohn and Mark Starr, wrote extensively on the ILGWU's programs and worker education in general. Longtime director Gus Tyler not only directed the department, but also served as the ILGWU's on-staff scholar. In later years, the Education Department went beyond collaborating with other education organizations and arranging in-house programs to also supporting post-secondary education for union members and their families.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Education Department records document activities across the entire period of the department's existence, with the bulk of the records covering the 1970s and 1990s. It contains papers from directors of the Education Department: Fannia Cohn, Mark Starr, Gus Tyler, and Kitty Krupat.
The earliest documentation of the department's work is found in the Fannia Cohn papers (5780/049, 5780/049 P); these contain correspondence, subject files, speeches, photographs, and printed material from her work as director of the Educational Department. A microfilm copy of the Fannia Cohn papers held at the New York Public Library (5998 mf) complements the Kheel Center's holdings. Documentation of the work of another longtime leader of the Education Department, Mark Starr, is contained in these records (5780/166, 5780/166 PUBS), as well as in a related collection from Starr on worker education programs (5243).
Documentation of the work of Gus Tyler, who led the merged Education and Political Department after Mark Starr's retirement in 1960, is also contained in the ILGWU records (5780/052, 5780/088, 5780/096). Tyler's papers are complemented by those of Assistant Director Jasper Peyton (5780/086) and Special Projects Coordinator Beverly Shulman (5780/106). These collections contain routine correspondence and memoranda, reports, materials relating to training institutes, seminars, and conferences, and printed material.
The papers of Kitty Krupat, who was serving as Education Director at the time of the ILGWU/ACTWU merger in 1995, constitute the entirety of Education Department records from the 1990s. They include correspondence, memoranda, reports, and financial records relating to the ILGWU's independent and collaborative education projects, including the Worker-Family Education Program, the Joint Union-University Committee on Labor Education, and the Consortium for Worker Education, as well as numerous trainings, conferences, and seminars. Also included in the files are materials from local unions and regional departments of the ILGWU, files on the Internationals' conventions, and reports to the General Executive Board.
The Fannia Cohn papers (5780/049) contain correspondence, subject files, speeches, articles, photographs, and programs from Fannia Cohn's term as Executive Secretary of the ILGWU Education Department. The materials in Series I are primarily letters between Cohn and various individuals pertaining to trade union matters in general and the ILGWU in particular. Included in the series are programs for lectures, concerts, museum visits and tours of New York City that were offered to ILGWU members and others as part of the Education Department's activities. Series II consists of bulletins, articles, lectures and course outlines. Most of these materials were written by Cohn herself or were prepared under her direction for use at the union's Unity Centers and at the Workers' University. A number of articles are by Mark Starr. There are also lectures by Charles A. Beard; Robert Brure; Babette Deutsch; Paul H. Douglas; Harry Laidler; A.J. Muste; Grace Scribner; Alexander Trachtenberg; Carl Van Doren; and Theresa Wolfson, among others. Significant individuals represented in the collection include David Dubinsky, Samuel Gompers, Morris Sigman ,Rose Pesotta, and H.G. Wells. Organizations include the Education Department of the ILGWU, the Brookwood Labor College, the AFL, Pioneer Youth of America, the Rand School of Social Science, and Unity House.

SUBJECTS

Names:
Beard, Charles A.(Charles Austin), 1874-1948.
Brue`re, Robert W.(Robert Walter), 1876-1964.
Cohn, Fannia M.(Fannia Mary), 1885-
Deutsch, Babette, 1895-
Douglas, Paul Howard, 1892-
Dubinsky, David, 1892-1982.
Gompers, Samuel, 1850-1924.
Laidler, Harry Wellington, 1884-1970.
Muste, Abraham John, 1885-1967.
Scribner, Grace, 1882-1922.
Sigman, Morris, 1880-1931.
Starr, Mark, 1894-
Trachtenberg, Alexander.
Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.
Wells, H. G.(Herbert George), 1866-1946.
Wolfson, Theresa, 1897-1972.
American Federation of Labor.
Brookwood Labor College (Katonah, N.Y.)
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Educational Dept.
Pioneer Youth of America.
Rand School of Social Science.

Subjects:
Clothing workers--Labor unions--United States.
Labor unions--Officials and employees.
Labor movement.
Labor movement--United States.
Labor unions.
Labor unions-- United States.
Labor unions and education--United States.
Working class--Education--United States.

Form and Genre Terms:
Articles.
Files (document groupings)
Correspondence.
Lectures.
Photographs.
Outlines.
Speeches.


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. Education Department. Fannia Cohn papers #5780/049. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records
5780/106: ILGWU. Education Department. Beverly Shulman papers
5780/138: ILGWU. Education Department. Kitty Krupat papers
5780/166: ILGWU. Education Department records
5780/166 PUBS: ILGWU. Education Department publications
5780/086: ILGWU. Education Department. Jasper Peyton papers
5780/049 P: ILGWU. Education Department. Fannia Cohn photographs
5780/049 mf: ILGWU. Education Department. Fannia Cohn papers. Microfilm

CONTAINER LIST

Date
Description
Container
1921-1959
A
Box 1 Folder 1
1938
Agricultural Dept., U.S.
Box 1 Folder 2
I.c.w. Resettlement and Farm Security Administrations with Arch A. Mercey.
1918-1954
American Federation of Labor
Box 1 Folder 3
I.c.w. Samuel Gompers & C. Thorne.
1936-1941
American Labor Education Service, Inc. (formerly the Affiliated School for Workers)
Box 1 Folder 3
1921-1957
B
Box 1 Folder 4
1938-1943
Balabanoff, Angelica
Box 1 Folder 5
1913-1945
Barnum, Gertz
Box 1 Folder 6
1920-1948
Beard, Charles A.
Box 1 Folder 7
1924-1928
Beard, Mary
Box 1 Folder 8
1940-1941
Brameld, Theodore
Box 1 Folder 9
1921-1935
Brookwood Labor Colleges
Box 1 Folder 10
1921-1960
C
Box 1 Folder 11
1923-1947
Chicago Joint
Box 1 Folder 12
1954
Education Committee, ILGWU
Box 1 Folder 13
Fannia Cohn to Julius Hochman (chairman) outlining educational activities of Union.
1926-1959
Columbia University
Box 1 Folder 13
I. c. w. Harry J. Carman (dean) & William F. Russell.
1936-1958
D
Box 1 Folder 14
1953-1955
Panel Discussions
Box 1 Folder 14
1926-1950
Dubinsky, David
Box 1 Folder 15
1922-1953
E
Box 1 Folder 16
1934-1945
Education
Box 1 Folder 17
Incl. Liaison for International Education and Conference on the Educational and Cultural Organization of the United Nations.
1924-1954
England
Box 1 Folder 19
I.c.w. The Labour Party, Ellen Wilkinson, Ernest Bevin and Morgan Phillips & ltr. from H.G. Wells.
1921-1957
F
Box 2 Folder 1
I.c.w. Mollie Friedman.
1935-1951
Form Letters
Box 2 Folder 2
1922
Forsberg, Allen B.
Box 2 Folder 3
1922-1942
Frey, John P.
Box 2 Folder 4
1930-1931
Frish, Evelyn
Box 2 Folder 5
1922-1956
G
Box 2 Folder 6
Greetings
Box 2 Folder 7
1921-1959
H
Box 2 Folder 8
History of the ILGWU, partial manuscript, no author, no date.
Box 2 Folder 8
1939-1952
I
Box 2 Folder 9
Incl. Isaacs, Stanley M., 1939, 1943.
1921-1960
J
Box 2 Folder 10
1937-1959
Justice
Box 2 Folder 11
Announcements of programs and related articles.
1926-1957
K
Box 2 Folder 12
1921-1957
L
Box 2 Folder 13
I.c.w. Lewis Lorwin (Louis Levine).
1921-1953
Labor Department, U.S.
Box 2 Folder 14
1921
Life and Labor
Box 2 Folder 15
(Publ. by Women's Trade Union League) Corres.
1922-1959
Locals and Union Affiliates
Box 2 Folder 16
1919-1925
Local 25
Box 2 Folder 17
I.c.w. Elsie Gluck (education dir.).
1930-1931
Local 38, N.Y.C.
Box 2 Folder 18
Strike. Incl. corres. of the Citizens' Emergency Committee is behalf of the striking ladies' Tailors and custom dressmakers of the Fifth Avenue Shops.
Local 91, N.Y.C.
Box 2 Folder 19
1937
Local 178
Box 2 Folder 20
May-June 1937, Education Dept. program.
1933-1960
M
Box 3 Folder 1
1926-1955
Miller (jr.), Spencer
Box 3 Folder 2
Miscellaneous Correspondence
Box 3 Folder 3
Miscellaneous Items. (Union and non-Union)
Box 3 Folder 4
1922-1958
N
Box 3 Folder 5
1946-1960
O
Box 3 Folder 6
1949-1950
Organization of American States. Pan American Union
Box 3 Folder 7
1922-1947
P
Box 3 Folder 8
I.c.w. Rose Pesotta.
Panel Discussions, General Matters
Box 3 Folder 9
1942-1946
Panel Discussions
Box 3 Folder 10
1947-1948
Panel Discussions
Box 3 Folder 11
1949-1952
Panel Discussions
Box 3 Folder 12
1953
Panel Discussions
Box 3 Folder 13
1929-1959
Perlman, Selig
Box 3 Folder 15
1926-1933
Pioneer Youth of America
Box 3 Folder 16
1934-1938
Pioneer Youth of America
Box 4 Folder 1
1939-1960
Pioneer Youth of America
Box 4 Folder 2
Programs. Education programs from various locals.
Box 4 Folder 3
Programs
Box 4 Folder 4
Education Department announcement of coming events and programs.
1940-1942
Programs
Box 4 Folder 5
1943-1946
Programs
Box 4 Folder 6
1948
Programs
Box 4 Folder 7
1949
Programs
Box 4 Folder 8
1950-1951
Programs
Box 4 Folder 9
1953-1961
Programs
Box 4 Folder 10
1921-1959
R
Box 4 Folder 11
1930-1953
Rand School of Social Science
Box 4 Folder 12
Reports and articles on Education
Box 5 Folder 1
1941-1950
Rutgers University
Box 5 Folder 2
1924-1959
S
Box 5 Folder 3
1924
Sigman, Morris
Box 5 Folder 4
1924-1932
Strikes
Box 5 Folder 5
1921-1959
T
Box 5 Folder 6
1958
Training Institute
Box 5 Folder 7
1939-1954
U
Box 5 Folder 8
1932
Unemployment Insurance
Box 5 Folder 9
1949-1962
United Nations
Box 5 Folder 10
Visits of Union members to UN.
1945-1952
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO)
Box 5 Folder 11
1920-1922
Unity Centers
Box 5 Folder 12
1921-1933
Unity House
Box 5 Folder 13
Incl. corres. re lectures held at Unity House.
1937-1938
Unity House
Box 5 Folder 14
1918-1953
V
Box 5 Folder 15
1938-1959
Wisconsin University at Madison, School for Workers
Box 5 Folder 17
1922-1931
Wolfson, Theresa
Box 5 Folder 18
1921-1949
Women's Trade Union League
Box 5 Folder 19
Workers' Defense League, 1921
1921-1943
Workers Education Bureau of America
Box 5 Folder 20
Incl. corres., minutes and reports.
1943-1958
Workers Education Bureau of America
Box 6 Folder 1
1936-1939
Works Progress Administration. Federal Theatre Projects.
Box 6 Folder 2
1943-1953
Y-Z
Box 6 Folder 3
1946-1949
At Your Service
Box 6 Folder 4
Bulletin.
Cohn, Fannia M. Notes for speeches, statements, articles and ltrs. [folder 1 of 6]
Box 6 Folder 5
Cohn, Fannia M. Notes for speeches, statements, articles and ltrs. [folder 2 of 6]
Box 6 Folder 6
Cohn, Fannia M. Notes for speeches, statements, articles and ltrs. [folder 3 of 6]
Box 6 Folder 7
Cohn, Fannia M. Notes for speeches, statements, articles and ltrs. [folder 4 of 6]
Box 6 Folder 8
Cohn, Fannia M. Notes for speeches, statements, articles and ltrs. [folder 5 of 6]
Box 6 Folder 9
Cohn, Fannia M. Notes for speeches, statements, articles and ltrs. [folder 6 of 6]
Box 6 Folder 10
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, A-C.
Box 6 Folder 1
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, D-I.
Box 6 Folder 2
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, L.
Box 6 Folder 3
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, M-N.
Box 6 Folder 4
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, 0.
Box 6 Folder 5
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, P.
Box 6 Folder 6
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, R-S.
Box 6 Folder 7
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, T-U.
Box 6 Folder 8
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, W-WI.
Box 6 Folder 9
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, WO-Z. [folder 1 of 2]
Box 6 Folder 10
Cohn, Fannia M. Articles, WO-Z. [folder 2 of 2]
Box 6 Folder 11
1937-1959
Cohn, Fannia M. Convention speeches,
Box 6 Folder 12
1937
In Union There Is Strength (a play)
Box 7 Folder 1
One-act play by Fannia M. Cohn & Irwin Swerdlow, 3rd ed.
1921-1925
Lecture Series
Box 7 Folder 2
Announcement of Courses given at Workers University.
1921-1922
Lecture Series
Box 7 Folder 3
Attendance records.
1921-1926
Lecture Series
Box 7 Folder 4
Lecture Series. Ardzrooni, Leon and (Albrecht, Arthur E.).
Box 7 Folder 5
Lecture Series. Ayres, C.E.
Box 7 Folder 6
Lecture Series. Bauer, Marian.
Box 7 Folder 7
Lecture Series. Beard, Charles A.
Box 7 Folder 8
Lecture Series. Boone, Gladys.
Box 7 Folder 9
Lecture Series. Branham, Lucy.
Box 7 Folder 10
Lecture Series. Brissenden, Paul F.
Box 7 Folder 11
Lecture Series. Bruere, Robert.
Box 7 Folder 12
Lecture Series. Calhoun, A. W.
Box 7 Folder 13
Lecture Series. Carman, Harry J. [folder 1 of 2]
Box 7 Folder 14
Lecture Series. Carman, Harry J. [folder 2 of 2]
Box 7 Folder 15
Lecture Series. Carr, Michael.
Box 7 Folder 16
Lecture Series. Daniels, Margaret.
Box 7 Folder 17
Lecture Series. Deutsch, Babette.
Box 7 Folder 18
Lecture Series. Douglas, Paul H.
Box 7 Folder 19
Lecture Series. Fichandler, Alexander.
Box 7 Folder 20
Lecture Series. Gadsby, Margaret; Glassberg, Benjamin; Goodrich, Carter L.
Box 7 Folder 21
Lecture Series. Holloway, Emory.
Box 7 Folder 22
Lecture Series. Kennan, Ellen A.
Box 7 Folder 23
Lecture Series. Kopland, Sylvia.
Box 8 Folder 1
Lecture Series. Kornhauser, Arthur W.
Box 8 Folder 2
Lecture Series. Laidler, Harry W.
Box 8 Folder 3
Lecture Series. Lehrer, Leib.
Box 8 Folder 4
Lecture Series. Levin, Max.
Box 8 Folder 5
Lecture Series. Lieberman, Elias.
Box 8 Folder 6
Lecture Series. Lyon, John H.
Box 8 Folder 7
Lecture Series. Marx, Olga.
Box 8 Folder 8
Lecture Series. Mautner, B.H.
Box 8 Folder 9
Lecture Series. Melvin, F.J.
Box 8 Folder 10
Lecture Series. Meyers, J.
Box 8 Folder 11
Lecture Series. Miller (jr.), Spencer.
Box 8 Folder 12
Lecture Series. Muste, A.J.
Box 8 Folder 13
Lecture Series. Overstreet, Harry.
Box 8 Folder 14
Lecture Series. Saposs, David J.
Box 8 Folder 15
Lecture Series. Scribner, Grace.
Box 8 Folder 16
Lecture Series. Selikman, Benjamin; Soule, George.
Box 8 Folder 17
Lecture Series. Sherry, Harry.
Box 8 Folder 18
Lecture Series. Stair, Bird.
Box 8 Folder 19
Lecture Series. Stolberg, Benjamin.
Box 8 Folder 20
Lecture Series. Stopler, B.J.R.
Box 8 Folder 21
Lecture Series. Trachtenberg, Alexander.
Box 8 Folder 22
Lecture Series. Van Doren, Carl.
Box 8 Folder 23
Lecture Series. Weinzweig, Max.
Box 8 Folder 24
Lecture Series. Wilbert, A.L.
Box 8 Folder 25
Lecture Series. Wolfson, Theresa.
Box 9 Folder 1
Lecture Series. Wolman, Leo.
Box 9 Folder 2
Lecture Series. Zimand Savel.
Box 9 Folder 3
Lecture Series. Misc. course outlines.
Box 9 Folder 4
Lecture Series. Misc. course outlines.
Box 9 Folder 5
1920-1926
Lecture Series. Programs
Box 9 Folder 6
New Members' Classes. Lessons II and III.
Box 9 Folder 7
1952
Officers Qualification Course
Box 9 Folder 8
Syllabus for the six lessons.
Plays, Union.
Box 9 Folder 9
Plays, Union.
Box 9 Folder 10
Printed Material from Education Dept. Misc.
Box 9 Folder 11
Printed Material from Education Dept. Misc.
Box 9 Folder 12
1922-1940
Reports of Education Department
Box 10 Folder 1
1941-1956
Reports of Education Department
Box 10 Folder 2
Songs. Union and local affiliates.
Box 10 Folder 3
Songs. Union and local affiliates.
Box 10 Folder 4
Songs. Union and local affiliates.
Box 10 Folder 5
Songs. Union and local affiliates.
Box 10 Folder 6
1942-1943
Starr, Mark
Box 10 Folder 7
Corres.
Starr, Mark. Articles, arranged alphabetically by title, A-0.
Box 10 Folder 8
Starr, Mark. Articles, P-Z.
Box 10 Folder 9
1934
Structure and government of the ILGWU
Box 10 Folder 10
Article
1939-1941
Studies. Union and Government Efforts to Regulate Wages and Hours in the Illinois Women's Cotton Garment Industry
Box 11 Folder 1
Garment Workers of Other Lands by Abe S. Weiss, 1941.
1935-1941
Training-for-Trade-Union-Service
Box 11 Folder 2
1946-1947
Training-For-Trade-Union-Service
Box 11 Folder 3
1946-1947
Training-For-Trade-Union-Service
Box 11 Folder 4
1940-1956
Trends and Prospects in the Women's Garment Industry
Box 11 Folder 5
GEB Reports to Convention.
1926-1941
Workers' Education
Box 11 Folder 6
A quarterly journal of American Workers' Education.
1940-1953
Workers Education Bureau of America
Box 11 Folder 7
Incl. newsletters.