Mark Starr Papers

Collection Number: 5243

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


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Mark Starr Papers, 1951
Collection Number:
5243
Creator:
Starr, Mark
Quantity:
3 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Papers (documents).
Repository:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
The Union Education Survey which was compiled under the direction of Mark Starr was sponsored through a grant made available by the Ford Foundation through the offices of the Fund for Adult Education.

The aim of the survey was to determine the various paths that labor organizations had travelled and were considering for the future in the establishment and maintenance of their programs of adult union education.

The scope of the study included those training and educational programs which were aimed at increasing the union member's social awareness of both the union's organization and, more broadly, of the general environment of the community-at-large. In light of the modern trend toward the philosophy of the universality of the laboring man, Starr was particularly interested in those programs or acitivities which were designed to assist union members in acquiring this global outlook.

The data for this survey was collected via the responses to personal letters and wires sent by Starr and his associates to various national unions, state federations and councils for the AFL and CIO, colleges and universities known to be active in the area of labor education and to the directors of a number of independent labor education organizations.

A preliminary report was submitted to the Fund For Adult Education on June 22, 1951 and the final report was prepared for distribution in September 1951.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Mark Starr was born in Shoscombe, in Somersetshire, England; on April 27, I894, the son of William and Susan (Padfield) Starr. After graduating from St. Julian's National School in Shoscombe in 1907 he began work as a hod carrier. In 1908 he became a miner and after seven years, in 1915, the Rhondda district of the South Wales Miners' Federation awarded him a two year scholarship to the Labor College in London. After World War I, the scholarship was renewed for an additional two years (1919-20).
Starr taught economics and social history to the miners of the South Wales Federation during 1920-21 and then became the divisional organizer and lecturer for the British National Council of Labor Colleges, a post he held until 1928. During this period, he also taught
Esperanto which he had learned during World Was I and about which he has always been enthusiastic - even to the extent of urging its use by the United Nations.
Starr came to the U.S. in 1928 to teach British labor history and economics at the Brookwood Labor College, Katonah, New York. There he met another instructor, Helen B. Norton of Kansas and married her on May 31, 1932. Starr remained at Brookwood as an instructor until 1933 and was then appointed its extension director. Also, for two summers during this period be taught at the Brynn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers.
Starr left Brookwood in January 1935 to accept a challenging appointment as the director of the recently formed Educational Department of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, New York.
In April 1943, Mark Starr became the center of a storm of controversy when his nomination as New York City's first director of adult education was rejected. Starr was the only one of a multitude of candidates to pass the rigorous examinations given by the board of
superintendents in its long quest for an adult education director. However, due to his lack, of a college degree (a predetermined requirement), and despite a strong wave of protest in opposition to the Board's decision, the Board was adamant in their refusal to
accept his nomination.
Soon after his rejection, he became a labor consultant for the Office of War Information in London. In 1945, Starr again visited London in the capacity of an advisor to the American delegation attending the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization conference UNESCO.
Mark Starr has always been active in the political arena. In 1924, in Wimbledon, England, he ran unsuccessfully as the Labor Party candidate for Parliament. Again, in his only other attempt at political office, he was defeated when he ran in 1946 as the Liberal Party candidate for Representative from the Fourth District, Queens, of Greater New York.
In June 1946, President H. S. Truman appointed Starr as one of the thirty members of the National Commission on Higher Education. Mark Starr has also been a Trustee of Town Hall, the President of the League for Industrial Democracy, chairman of the Queen's County (N.Y.) Liberal Party, a member of the Executive Board of the American Adult Education Association, a member of the New York Adult Education Council, American Labor Education Service, Public Affairs Committee, and the Council for Democracy. He is also a member of the American Federation of Teachers of which he was a vice president from 1940 to 1942 and is currently president of Local 189.
Mark Starr has been a prolific writer, publishing works in many journals and periodicals. Among the books he has authored are: A Worker Looks at History (1917), -A Worker Looks at Economics (1925), Trade Unionism Past and Future (1923), Lies and Hate in Education (1928) Workers' Education in the United States (1941), Labor and the American Way(1952), and Creeping Socialism vs. Limping Capitalism (1954).
John Chamberlain, the highly respected author and critic, has refered to Starr as a "canny soft-spoken person who has a deep respect for other peoples rights to their opinion. His teaching method is Socratic; if he disagrees with you he merely commends to your attention some factors which he thinks you may have overlooked." According to another source, Starr's "vices" are reported to be limited to "reading and clipping newspapers and labor publications, drinking tea, and singing in a loud voice somewhere between tenor and baritone."
SUBJECTS

Names:
Starr, Mark
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union
Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees
UNITE HERE (Organization)

Form and Genre Terms:
Papers (documents)


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:
Mark Starr Papers #5243. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Date
Box 1 Folder 1 1949-1951
Box 1 Folder 2 1951
Box 1 Folder 3
Box 1 Folder 4 1951
Box 1 Folder 5 1948
Box 1 Folder 6 1951
Box 1 Folder 7 1951
Box 1 Folder 8 1951
Box 1 Folder 9 1950-1951
Box 1 Folder 10 1948-1951
Box 1 Folder 11 1951
Box 1 Folder 12 1950
Box 1 Folder 13 1951
Box 1 Folder 14 1951
Box 1 Folder 15 1951
Box 1 Folder 16 1951
Box 1 Folder 17
Box 1 Folder 18 1951
Box 1 Folder 19 1951
Box 1 Folder 20 1951
Box 1 Folder 21 1951
Box 1 Folder 22 1951
Box 1 Folder 23 1950-1951
Box 1 Folder 24 1950-1951
Box 1 Folder 25 1951
Box 1 Folder 26 1950-1951
Box 1 Folder 27 1948-1951
Box 1 Folder 28 1948-1951
Box 1 Folder 29 1950-1951
Box 1 Folder 30 1951
Box 1 Folder 31 1951
Box 1 Folder 32 1951
Box 1 Folder 33 1947-1954
Box 1 Folder 34 1950-1951
Box 1 Folder 35 1951
Box 1 Folder 36 1951
Box 1 Folder 37 1951
Box 1 Folder 38 1949-1950
Box 1 Folder 39 1951
Box 1 Folder 40 1951
Box 1 Folder 41 1951
Box 1 Folder 42 1951
Box 2 Folder 1 1951
Box 2 Folder 2 1950-1951
Box 2 Folder 3 1947-1951
Box 2 Folder 4 1947-1951
Box 2 Folder 5 1951
Box 2 Folder 6 1949-1951
Box 2 Folder 7 1950-1952
Box 2 Folder 8 1950-1952
Box 2 Folder 9 1948-1951
Box 2 Folder 10 1951
Box 2 Folder 11 1951-1952
Box 2 Folder 12 1950-1951
Box 2 Folder 13 1951
Box 2 Folder 14 1951
Box 2 Folder 15 1950-1951
Box 2 Folder 16 1948-1951
Box 2 Folder 17 1951
Box 2 Folder 18 1951
Box 2 Folder 19 1951
Box 2 Folder 20 1949-1951
Box 2 Folder 21 1949-1951
Box 2 Folder 22 1951
Box 2 Folder 23 1951
Box 2 Folder 24 1950-1951
Box 2 Folder 25 1950
Box 2 Folder 26 1951
Box 2 Folder 27 1951
Box 2 Folder 28 1947-1951
Box 2 Folder 29 1951
Box 2 Folder 30 1951
Box 2 Folder 31 1946-1951
Box 2 Folder 32 1946-1951
Box 2 Folder 33 1946-1951
Box 2 Folder 34 1946-1951
Box 2 Folder 35 1950-1951
Box 3 Folder 1 1946-1951
Box 3 Folder 2 1946-1951
Box 3 Folder 3 1946-1951
Box 3 Folder 4 1951
Box 3 Folder 5 1948-1951
Box 3 Folder 6 1950-1951
Box 3 Folder 7 1936-1951
Box 3 Folder 8 1951
Box 3 Folder 9 1951
Box 3 Folder 10 1951
Box 3 Folder 11 1951
Box 3 Folder 12 1950-1951
Box 3 Folder 13 1951
Box 3 Folder 14 1951
Box 3 Folder 15 1951
Box 3 Folder 16 1951
Box 3 Folder 17 1950-1951
Box 3 Folder 18 1951
Box 3 Folder 19 1951
Box 3 Folder 20 1951
Box 3 Folder 21 1951
Box 3 Folder 22 1951