Collection Scope and Content Note
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The collection spans the years 1913-1955 (bulk 1923-1955). It consists of official records, such as convention proceedings and General Executive Board meetings; office files (correspondence and financial records); local files (fur, leather, and Joint Board); subject files; and publications and miscellaneous. The records include union publications, broadsides, and photographs. The material documents particularly well the union's organizing efforts, the internal struggles against corruption, and the radical activities of its members. Also documented are the ethnic membership of the union, mostly Jewish and Greek, and its progressive and political bent. The records include documents pertaining to government prosecution of communist union members - prominently Ben Gold - but others as well. They give insights into the devastating effects of McCarthy-era anti-communist pressure on militant unions and their leaders.