ILGWU Education Department, Beverly Shulman Papers

Collection Number: 5780/106

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


ILGWU Education Department, Beverly Shulman Papers, 1972-1991
Collection Number:
Shulman, Beverly;
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU);
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU). Research Dept.
2 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Records (documents).
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Consists of materials on several of the ILGWU's training institutes, seminars, and conferences.
Collection material in English


The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union was once one of the largest labor unions in the United States founded in 1900 by local union delegates representing about 2,000 members in cities in the northeastern United States. It was one of the first U.S. Unions to have a membership consisting of mostly females, and it played a key role in the labor history of the 1920s and 1930s. The union is generally referred to as the "ILGWU" or the "ILG". The ILGWU grew in geographical scope, membership size, and 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. The ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in 1995 to form the Union of Needle trades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). UNITE merged with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) in 2004 to create a new union known as UNITE HERE. The two unions that formed UNITE in 1995 represented only 250,000 workers between them, down from the ILGWU's peak membership of 450,000 in 1969.


Beverly Shulman was Special Projects Coordinator in the Education Department of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU).


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.


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.

Shulman, Beverly.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Educational Dept.

Women's clothing industry--United States.
Clothing workers--Labor unions--United States.
Clothing workers--United States.
Industrial relations--United States.

Form and Genre Terms:
Records (documents)


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, Beverly Shulman Papers #5780/106. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Related Collections:
5780: ILGWU records
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: ILGWU Education Department, Fannia Cohn Papers
5780/049 P: ILGWU Education Department, Fannia Cohn Photographs


Box 1 Folder 1 1991
Box 1 Folder 2 1977
Box 1 Folder 3 1977
Box 1 Folder 4 1977
Box 1 Folder 5 1977
Box 1 Folder 6 1977
Box 1 Folder 7 1974-1976
Box 1 Folder 8 1977
August 15 - September 8, 1977
Box 1 Folder 9 1977
Box 1 Folder 10 1977
Nov. 1977
Box 1 Folder 11 1977
Box 1 Folder 12
Box 1 Folder 13 1978
Box 1 Folder 14 1980
Box 1 Folder 15 1980
Oct. 14-16, 1980
Box 1 Folder 16 1980
Box 1 Folder 17 1978
Box 1 Folder 18 1979
March 26 - April 11, 1979
Box 1 Folder 19 1978-1979
Box 1 Folder 20 1979
Box 1 Folder 21 1978
November 8-21, New York, 1978.
Box 1 Folder 22 1978
Box 1 Folder 23 1978
June 7-9, 1978.
Box 1 Folder 24 1978
February 2, 1978.
Box 1 Folder 25 1979
August 20-22, 1979.
Box 1 Folder 26 1978
Box 1 Folder 27 1978
Box 1 Folder 28 1977-1978
Box 1 Folder 29 1978
Box 1 Folder 30 1978
Box 1 Folder 31 1978
Box 1 Folder 32 1978
Box 1 Folder 33 1981
August 1981.
Box 1 Folder 34 1981
August 16 - 22, 1981
Box 1 Folder 35 1978
Box 1 Folder 36 1977-1978
Box 1 Folder 37 1978
Box 1 Folder 38 1977
Box 2 Folder 1 1976
Reservations, Invoices, Checks Received & Paid Out.
Box 2 Folder 2 1977-1981
Box 2 Folder 3 1977-1978
Jan. 29 - Feb. 1, 1978.
Box 2 Folder 4 1972
Box 2 Folder 5 1972
Box 2 Folder 6 1972
Box 2 Folder 7 1972
Box 2 Folder 8 1972
Box 2 Folder 9 1972-1973
Box 2 Folder 10 1973
Box 2 Folder 11 1979
Box 2 Folder 12 1978-1979
Box 2 Folder 13 1979-1981
Box 2 Folder 14 1978-1980
Box 2 Folder 15 1978
July 4, 1978.
Box 2 Folder 16 1980
Box 2 Folder 17 1981
Lane Kirkland.
Box 2 Folder 18 1981
Box 2 Folder 19 1980
July 4, 1980.