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William and Ann Kemsley Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP000943
The papers of Mr. and Mrs. Kemsley are predominantly those of Mr. Kemsley. William Kemsley's papers reflect his work for the ICFTU, and to a lesser extent his involvement with the Michigan CIO Council and with the Economic Cooperation Administration.

Important subjects covered in the collection are: International Confederation of Free Trade Unions Labor Education Trade Unions around the world Office of Military Government, U.S. in Germany, 1945-46

Among the important correspondents are: William Friedland Jay Krane Charles Millard J. H. Oldenbroek Victor Reuther

Series I, Correspondence, 1946-63: The correspondence of William and Ann Kemsley between 1946 and 1963.

Series II, Subject Series: Files of William and Ann Kemsley on various topics including the ICFTU, OMGUS, and workers' education, arranged alphabetically.

Series III, Clippings: Clippings of articles written by or about William and Ann Kemsley.

Series IV, Family Correspondence, 1948-64

Dates

  • 1943 - 1961

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

3.5 Linear Feet (7 MB)

Abstract

An active member of United Auto Workers Local 174, William Kemsley held various offices as an organizer and advocate of union education. Mr. Kemsley served as education director of the Michigan Council of Industrial Organizations (CIO), as a staff member of the Economic Cooperation Administration in Paris, and as a representative of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) to the United Nations. Journalist Ann Kemsley was editor of the Wisconsin CIO News and wrote for various labor publications. The papers of Mr. and Ms. Kemsley relate their work as domestic and international labor advocates.

History

William Kemsley was born in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada on May 11, 1908. Mr. Kemsley moved to the United States in 1920. He became active in the trade union movement as early as 1932 and joined the UAW-CIO in 1937. He served as plant chairman of the Detroit United Auto Workers Westside Local 174, and held other offices including local organizer and local union education director.

In 1945, Kemsley went to Germany as a labor specialist in the Manpower Division of the Office of Military Government, U.S. (OMGUS). The following year he returned to the U.S. to become education director of the Michigan CIO Council.

Mr. Kemsley went to Paris in 1952 as a staff member of the Ecomomic Cooperation Administration where he served until 1954. In 1954, he was appointed representative of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) to the United Nations. Mr. Kemsley held this position until his retirement in May 1961.

Ann Kemsley, nee Terech, was born in Minneapolis on October 29, 1918. She is Mr. Kemsley's second wife. Mrs. Kemsley is a former editor of the Wisconsin CIO News and worked as a journalist for numerous trade union papers.

Mr. and Mrs. Kemsley live now in Bellows Falls, Vt.

Arrangement

Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-4), Series 2 (Boxes 4-6), Series 3 (Box 7) and Series 4 (Boxes 8-9). Folders are arranged alphabetically or chronologically depending on the series.

Acquisition

The papers of William and Ann Kemsley were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in March of 1980 by William and Ann Kemsley.

Transfers

Several hundred photographs relating to various ICFTU conferences and to the FDR-CIO Labor Center, Port Huron, many of which were taken by Ann Kemsley who was their official photographer, have been placed in the Archives' Audiovisual Collections. Numerous pamphlets and reports issued by the ICFTU, as well as periodicals relating to international union activity have been placed in the Archives Library. A large number of songbooks, primarily relating to political, labor and folk songs, have also been placed in the Archives Library. A list of all these publications has been placed in the case file.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in June 1983. Additional material was opened for research in June 2002.
Title
Guide to the William and Ann Kemsley Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1983-06
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2002-06: Additional material opened for research.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA