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NALC Auxiliary Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR001922
The bulk of this collection consists of minutes and transcripts of meetings of the NALC Auxiliary, from its founding meeting in 1905 through its 44th Biennial Convention in 1994. Auxiliary conventions were held concurrent with the national NALC conventions. Minutes from 1905 through 1923 meetings, including photocopies of handwritten notes from 1907 through 1911, were affixed to a large scrapbook, along with articles and photographs of officers published and clipped from the Postal Record. These pages have been recopied for placement in the convention series, and the scrapbook retained separately in the collection. Original transcripts of biennial convention proceedings became available in 1958 and continued in print through 1994. With the exception of the 41st and 43rd biennial conventions, all minutes and/or proceedings from 1905 through 1994 are included in the collection. These records document the procedures and business conducted at convention meetings. Together, these records provide a comprehensive history of the NALC Auxiliary and insight into the activities, interests and accomplishments of this group.

Important subjects covered in this collection are: Political participation Political activists Working environment Political letter writing Social networks Food banks Fund raising Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Letter Carriers—working environment Letter Carriers—families Insurance, Health Voter Registration Community Services
Series Description: Series I, NALC Auxiliary Conventions, 1904-1994: This series contains minutes and transcripts of proceedings of the national conventions of the NALC Auxiliary, beginning with the founding meeting of the NALC Ladies’ Auxiliary in 1905 and continuing through to the 44th Biennial Convention of the organization in 1994. Minutes of early meetings through 1923 were typed and/or published in the Postal Record, with the exception of those from 1907 through 1911, which were handwritten. Photocopies of these early records are included here. The series contains original transcripts of convention proceedings from 1958 to 1994, although records for the 41st and 43rd Biennial Conventions are missing. These records generally document the policies, programs and activities of the organization. Delegate lists and information relating to finances and membership are frequently included as well. Researchers will find that Auxiliary members often discussed social issues at their meetings, and their activities frequently focused on fundraising, member recruitment and charitable works. Of particular interest are discussions relating to legislation affecting letter carriers, and efforts by Auxiliary members to educate themselves on pertinent issues as well as influence congressional leaders through activities such as letter-writing campaigns, phone banks, and voter recruitment.

Series II, Miscellaneous Files, 1905-1968: This series contains correspondence to the membership from Nellie Heffelfinger, the first Auxiliary president, as well as a list of national officers who served from the founding of the organization until 1968. Also included is sheet music written by an Auxiliary member in 1957.

Series III, Oversize Material, 1905-1924: Oversize material consists of a large scrapbook used to hold copies of early minutes and clippings of Auxiliary news items, minutes and photographs published in the Postal Record.

Dates

  • 1905 - 1994

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

5 Linear Feet (5 SB)

Abstract

During the 5th National Convention of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in 1905, the wives, daughters, sisters and mothers of letter carriers also met, forming the National Ladies' Auxiliary. On September 5, 1905, seventy-two women attended the founding meeting, unanimously electing Nellie Heffelfinger of Los Angeles as the first president. The organization existed to provide a social network for Auxiliary members and their families, pursue charitable work, and affect legislation to improve the lives and working conditions of letter carriers. While early gag orders by Presidents Roosevelt and Taft, and later the Hatch Act restricted political activities by letter carriers, the members of the Ladies' Auxiliary were unrestricted in their legislative efforts and participated in letter-writing, fundraising, and campaigning. Around 1970, the term "Ladies" was dropped from the title and the organization became known as the "NALC Auxiliary" to reflect a membership that began to include both female and male spouses and family members. Today, the Auxiliary remains active in community affairs and continues to support charitable programs, organize social events, and promote the interests and image of letter carriers.

History

In 1905, as delegates to the Fifth National Convention of the National Association of Letter Carriers met in Portland, OR, a group of women—wives, daughters, mothers and sisters of letter carriers—also met in Portland with the intention of forming a national women’s auxiliary. Seventy-two women from twenty-six states attended this founding meeting and, on September 5, 1905, the National Ladies’ Auxiliary was established. Nellie Heffelfinger, of Los Angeles, was unanimously elected the first president. The objectives of the organization were to provide a social network for Auxiliary members and their families, collectively pursue charitable works and, with the strength of their numbers—despite the fact that they, as women, could not vote—assist in gaining favorable legislation to improve working conditions for letter carriers and improve the lives of both active and retired letter carriers and their families.

Throughout the years, members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary have actively worked to effect legislative change through letter-writing campaigns, phone banks, fundraising for legislative and political activities, and campaign support for sympathetic legislators. Because early gag orders by Presidents Roosevelt and Taft and the later Hatch Act restricted political activities by letter carriers, the Auxiliary, free of those restrictions, became a strong partner in efforts to bring about political change.

Around 1970, the term “Ladies” was dropped from the title and the organization became known as the “NALC Auxiliary” to reflect a membership that began to include both female and male spouses and family members. Throughout the years Auxiliary members have held their biennial conventions in conjunction with those of the National Association of Letter Carriers. Today, in addition to their legislative activity, Auxiliary members remain active in community affairs and continue to support charitable programs, organize social events, and promote the interests and image of letter carriers.

Arrangement

Arranged in 3 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-4), Series 2 (Box 5) and Series 3 (Box 5). Folders are arranged chronologically.

Acquisition

The records of the National Ladies’ Auxiliary, known today as the NALC Auxiliary, were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in 2001.

Related Materials

NALC: Office of the President, James H. Rademacher, NALC: Office of the President, J. Joseph Vacca, NALC: Office of the Executive Vice President, NALC: Office of the Vice President, NALC: Office of the Secretary-Treasurer, NALC: Research and Education Department

Transfers

Two photographs have been removed from the records and placed in the Archives’ Audiovisual collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in December 2006.
Title
Guide to the NALC Auxiliary Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
2006-12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
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Detroit MI 48202 USA