© 2012 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University
ILGWU. Education Department. Jasper Peyton
papers. Additional. Microfilm, 1941-1941
International Ladies' Garment Workers'
0.25 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Articles, reprints, pamphlets, correspondence,
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives,
Cornell University Library
This collection consists of 4 microfilm copies of "Russian
Development of a National Economic Plan, 1941" in Russian.
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).
Jasper Peyton was born in Richmond, Virginia. Peyton studied at the University of the
Philippines (Manila), graduated from City College (New York), and was adjunct professor at
Fordham University. He attended New York Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1982. From
1950 to 1969, Peyton worked as a pleater and patternmaker, and from 1969 until 1995, he was on
staff at the International's Education Department and for a time, serving as the Assistant
Education Director. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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
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
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.
This addition to the Jasper Peyton papers includes four microfilm copies of the "Russian
Development of a National Economic Plan" from 1941.