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AFT Local 231: Detroit Federation of Teachers Records

Identifier: LR000087

Scope and Content

The papers of AFT: Detroit Local 231 consist of union newspapers, correspondence, reports, constitutions, convention material, proceedings, minutes, flyers, memos, brochures, newsletters, clippings, and legal documents related to the DFT, the Michigan Federation of Teachers, the AFT, the Detroit Board of Education, and the National Education Association.

Important Subjects: Bradley v. Milliken; Class Size; Community Control of Schools; Detroit Public Schools; Freedom of Speech Millage Campaigns; School Desegregation; Student Rigths; Substitute Teachers; Teacher Salaries; Teacher Strikes

Important Correspondents: Elizabeth Bacon; Herman browne; Samuel M. Brownell; Frank Cody; Frances Comfort; John Hackett; Frank Martel; Beatrice L. Mazer; Mary Ellen Riordan; Remus Robinson; Florence Sweeney


  • 1930 - 1979


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


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.


The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) Local 231, AFT, AFL-CIO was founded in 1931. In 1938-1940, the DFT won a restoration of depression pay cuts, ten days sick leave, a ten-month school year, and class size reduction from fifty or more students to less than forty. The DFT was voted the sole bargaining agent by a majority of teachers in 1964. In 1965 the union signed its first comprehensive contract with the Detroit Board of Education under new state legislation.


34 Linear Feet (34 SB)


This collection has union newspapers, correspondence, reports, convention material, proceedings, minutes, flyers, brochures and other materials related to the growth of the DFT. Issues in these papers are Bradly v. Milliken, class size, desegregation, collective bargaining, strikes and salaries


Folders are listed in the order they appear.

Related Materials

Arthur Elder-Detroit Federation of Teachers Records, DFT WSU Chapter (AFT Local 231) Records


A number of photographs, posters, audio recordings, and items of memorabilia have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection and some constitutions, serials and contracts have been transferred to the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the AFT Local 231: Detroit Federation of Teachers Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA