Prepared by Carol A. Beal, February 20, 1979; Prepared for the Web by Barbara Bass, July 16, 1999
2 boxes, 1.33 cubic feet, 11th floor
On November 20, 1979, Roger Meade, Co-Director of the Ohio Labor History Project, delivered the records of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 385, to the Kent State University Archives. He obtained them from then NALC president, Lawrence E. Frichtel.
The National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 385, was chartered in 1897 in Youngstown, Ohio. Over time, its jurisdiction was expanded to include bothe the city of Youngstown and surrounding suburban areas. At the time this collection was donated, the local had some six hundred and thirty-five active members and one hundred and forty retirees.
Scope and Content
The portion of the collection in the Archives at this time consists mainly of minutes, membership lists, and account books covering the period 1900-1976. The minutes, complete for all but thirteen years, 1941-43 and 1953-1963, are particularly thorough for records of this type. In addition to recording all business introduced at the meetings, they note correspondence received, donations made, and money spent. Also, changes in the bylaws of the organization are often incorporated into the minutes.
Information found in the minutes about the admission, resignation, expulsion, and death of members is supplemented by lists of members, attendance, and seniority. Similarly, expenditures and revenues are further documented for some years through treasurers' books and dues books.
Since most of this collection consists of bound volumes, its arrangement is largely a chronological one. The relatively few loose materials are arranged topically. Besides the bound volumes, this collection contains several folders of clippings and miscellaneous materials and group photographs of members. Unfortunately, most of the pictures are undated and unidentified.
The early records that document the founding of the union are lost, while the labor issues that created the union appear only in outline form in the minutes. Therefore, for researchers in social and labor history, the records of the NALC do not so much illuminate the concerns of labor as they do the orderly functioning of the union as a voluntary association. It is very apparent that the promise of fellowship and camaraderie were improtant forces in attracting members to the lodge and encouraging participation. Since this collection contains membership and attendance information for the twenty-six year period 1951-1977, researcher have a unique opportunity to study patterns of participation that persisted for individuals over time. These records also might be correlated with post office records, general histories of the period, and other union records currently at the Kent State Archives to get a clearer picture of the labor movement at the local level.
Branch Number 385 has agreed to dedicate both literary and property rights to Special Collections and Archives.
Folder -- Contents
Folder -- Contents