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Katherine Pollak Ellickson Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP000321
Part I: Ellickson's papers and records kept during her years as a member of the President's Commission on the Status of Women reflect the preliminary efforts which led to its formation as well as her responsibilities as its executive secretary.

Less extensive files reflect her work for the BLS on company unions (1935); the National Labor Relations Board, especially on Western Union's company union (1938-40); the Social Security Board (1940-41); the Labor Bureau of the Middle West (1942); the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (1963-65); HEW on women and social security (1966-67); and volunteer work for the Continental Congress of Workers and Farmers (1933), the American Federation of Teachers in North Dakota (1934-35) and, later, for the National Consumers League, the D.C. League of Women Voters, various groups dealing with women's problems and the River Road Unitarian Church.

Important subjects in the collection: Affiliated Summer Schools for Women Workers; Agriultural Workers; American Federation of Labor; AMA Opposition to Medicare; Automobile Industry Sit-down Strikes, Labor Problems; Brookwood Labor College; Bryn Mawr Summer Schools for Women Workers; Bureau of the Budget; Child Labor; Clearinghouse on Women's Issues; Coal Industry; Company Unions; Conference for Progressive Labor Action; CIO early years and history; Consumers; Price Index; Continental Congress of Workers and Farmers; Credit Unions; Disability Insurance; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Equal Rights Amendment; Family Allowances; Forand Bill; Fringe Benefit Statistics; Guaranteed Annual Wage; Health Insurance; Household Services; Industrial Union Councils; Industry-Wide Bargaining; Join Labor ADvisory Committee to Bureau of Labor Statistics; Kennedy, John F., Presidential Campaign; Labor Bureau of the Middle West; Labor Standards; Labor Statistics Research; League of Women Voters; Medicare; Minimum Wage; Minority Women; National Consumers League; National Council of Senior Citizens; National Labor Relations Board; North Dakota Federation of Teachers; Politics in Labor; Postware Planning; President's Commission on the STatus of Women; Productivity; Rubber Industry; Social Security; Socialists; Southern Textile Workers; Steel Industry; Strikes; Summer Schools for Workers; Trade Unions; Unemployment Insurance; West Virginia Miners; Western Union NLRB Case; Women's Issues; Workers' Education

Important Correspondents: A. J. Altmeyer John C. Kennedy Sol Barkin Richard Lester Robert M. Ball Pauli Murray Birch Bayh Philip Murray John Brophy A. J. Muste Otis Brubaker Esther Peterson James B. Carey Emil Rieve Emanuel Celler Eleanor Roosevelt Ewan Clague Stanle y Ruttenberg Wilbur Cohen D. J. Saposs Eleanor Coit Clarence Senior Nelson Cruikshank Boris Stern Robert Delson Tom Tippett Anne Draper Harry Truman Kermit Eby J. Walsh Aime Forand Caroline Ware Arthur Goldberg Elizabeth Wickenden S. Gottlieb A. J. Wickens Mildred Jeffrey Nat Weinberg Elizabeth S. Johnson
Series Description:

Series I, Personal File, 1927-1964, Box 1: Personal correspondence which was not included in other files, clippings and miscellaneous items as noted.

Series II, Brookwood Labor College, 1929-1933, Boxes 2-4: Faculty correspondence, lecture outlines, book lists, memos dealing with the college's work, its strained relations with the AFL, suspicions of subversion, attempts to politicize, budget problems, the CPLA involvement, etc.

Series III, Political Action, 1932-1933, Box 5: Miscellaneous papers, mostly on the Continental Congress of Workers and Farmers, but including some Socialist viewpoints, political conferences, etc.

Series IV, Workers' Education, 1927-1937, Boxes 6-9: Mrs. Ellickson spent many years teaching workers and writing for workers' education. These papers recall the workers' schools, summer schools at Bryn Mawr, the Workers' Education Bureau, Weaverville Teachers' Training School and Affiliated Schools for Workers. Material includes correspondence, lecture outlines and notes, reports, pamphlets, as described.

Series V, West Virginia Miners, 1903-1932, Boxes 10-11: Bulletins, leaflets, pay envelopes, eviction notices, personal accounts, correspondence, interviews and reports on West Virginia miners are included here documenting their strikes, labor organizations, conditions, relations with mine owners, etc.

Series VI, Southern Textile Workers, 1929-1931, Boxes 12-13: Correspondence, leaflets and pamphlets, interviews and reports of conditions of organizing and strikes in North and South Carolina and Virginia textile industries. Pay envelopes, descriptions, songs, etc.

Series VII, Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1935-1937, Boxes 14-26: Minutes and notes, handwritten and typed, of early CIO meetings; summaries of early CIO-AFL confrontations; outlines, reports and correspondence, printed material; research reports, speech research, ghost-written speeches for CIO leaders, articles, drafts; problems of specific industries, research reports; first SWOC poster; lists, forms, applications showing early rapid expansion problems. Following the CIO material is a collection of duplicates not exactly matching the first group (Boxes 19 and 21-25), some copies have no originals. The differences are noted in the guide. Box 26 is a cardfile of research notes on the CIO. See also Box 34.

Series VIII, Research on Credit Unions, 1935-1936, Box 27: Notes, interviews, correspondence and reports, various plans, pamphlets. Union suspicion of early credit unions is reflected.

Series IX, Research on Company Unions, 1935, Box 28: Field reports, interviews of management and union leaders, notes, summations.

Series X, National Labor Relations Board, 1938-1940, Boxes 29-32: Memos, reports, research papers, private notes, mostly relating to work on Western Union case briefs. Box 32 is a cardfile on Western Union.

Series XI, Post-War Planning and Research, 1936-1958, Boxes 33-34: Resolutions, reports, many on reconversion, press releases, summaries, speeches, pamphlets, clippings, articles. Folders of memos to and from Philip Murray and J. Raymond Walsh and copies of Economic Outlook.

Series XII, Labor Advisory Committees on Government Statistics, 1944-1955, Boxes 35-42: Mrs. Ellickson served as liaison between the research directors of the CIO unions and government statistical agencies, especially the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Office of Statistical Standards of the Budget Bureau, during these years. Minutes off meetings, correspondence, reports, notes and other material on many productivity, employment and the Census.

Series XIII, Consumer Price Index, 1948-1954, Box 43: Notes, reports, correspondence, drafts and published material on the CPI gathered by KPE when a member of the Price Subcommittee of the Joint Labor Advisory Committee to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Series XIV, Productivity, 1945-1955, Boxes 44-46: Minutes of committee meetings, reports on productivity statistics; notes, clippings, memos, published materials. Included in Box 46 is material on the Steel case, 1952.



Series XV, Miscellaneous Research, 1952-1961, Boxes 47-49:

In her position as Associate Director of Research, Mrs. Ellickson had many research projects not falling in the larger categories. She edited many CIO publications and wrote many others. These two boxes include a miscellany, as described. There is material on agricultural workers in Box 49. See also Series XXIII.

Series XVI, Guaranteed Annual Wage, 1937-1955, Boxes 50-56: This major interest of Mrs. Ellickson is shown by papers which reflect part of the union efforts that resulted in supplementary unemployment benefits of various kinds. Correspondence, reports, extensive notes and printed material.

Series XVII, Unemployment Insurance and Workmen's Compensation, 1954-1960, Boxes 57-59: Papers, research reports, clippings, statistics and correspondence, on workmen's compensation and the fight for unemployment insurance.

Series XVIII, Disability and Social Security, 1941-1960, Box 60: A separate group, closely allied to the preceding and following series, these papers on disability insurance include correspondence, study papers, data, case histories, and plans to deal with disability.

Series XIX, Social Security and Health Insurance, 1943-1968, Boxes 61-84: For many years Mrs. Ellickson was Executive Secretary of the CIO Social Security Committee, which she joined in 1943, and she was on a number of advisory committees. Boxes 61 to 70 contain correspondence, research reports and other material on Social Security and the unions' fight to better it; Boxes 71 to 73 reflect the growing push for health benefits; Boxes 74 to 84 show the story of the fight for health insurance. See also Box 96 for Social Security problems in relation to women.

Series XX, Equal Employment Opportunity, 1963-1965, Boxes 85-89: Selected from her files on the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, these papers include correspondence, memos, studies, speeches and published material on minority opportunities, vocational training, testing procedures for hiring, civil rights, fair labor standards and compliance procedure.

Series XXI, President's Commission on the Status of Women, and Women and Social Security, 1961-1966, Boxes 90-96: Appointed by the President to join this commission, headed by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Mrs. Ellickson became its Executive Secretary. The Commission studied problems of equal rights, legislated advantages, equal pay, part-time work, minority women's problems, women's rights in Social Security and other aspects of the status of women.

Series XXII, Book Drafts, Boxes 97-98: Clippings, background material and drafts of a proposed book on the early CIO and its historical setting, tentatively titled "Labor's Breakthrough."

Series XXIII, KPE Writings and Miscellaneous, Boxes 99-102: Both raw materials and some finished products are here. Box 99 Contains pamphlets, articles and testimony for legislative hearings as well as political materials, including volunteer writing and research for the 1968 Humphrey campaign. Boxes 100-102 are cardfiles containing her research notes. See also Series XV.

Series XXIV, Miscellaneous Publications, Boxes 103-105: Miscellaneous pamphlets and first issues of Union News Service (Vol. I and II, 1936 and 1937, incomplete). Books from the Ellickson Collection are listed at the end of the guide.
Part II: Important Correspondents: Peg Ackroyd; J. C. James; S. J. Axelrod; Mildred Jeffrey; Dana Converse Backus; Elizabeth S. Johnson; Robert M. Ball; Ruth Kahn; Birch Bayh; Kay Kluz; Grace W. Bell; Lucile Kohn; Marshall Best; Connie Kopelov; Lenore E. Bixby; Esther Lazarus; Roscoe Bredell; Joseph Marshall; John Brophy; Joyce Mason; Ernest R. Bryan; Philip P. Mason; L. S. Buckmaster; William McAndrew; R. L. Burgess; Roberta McBride; Guy L. Bush; Lynn McGowan; Sr. M. Camilla; Harry B. Mitchell; Jean Carter; Grace E. Moreman; Emanuel Cellar; Charles S. Murphy; Sech Chafee Jr.; Pauli Murray; Malca Chall; Philip Murray; Mariam K. Chamberlain; Sarah Newman; Ewan Clague; Mario T. Noto; Wilber Cohen; W. M Otter; William J. Cohen; Monica B. Owen; Margaret Collins; Esther Peterson; Nathan E. Cowan; Oliver A. Peterson; Nelson H. Cruikshank; Mrs. Francis Pollack; Arlen Kaplan Daniels; Franklin S. Pollak; Harold D. Donohue; William Fred Ponder; Anne Draper; Edna Poyner; Kermit Eby; Eleanor Roosevelt; John C. Ellickson; Mrs. James (Libby) Rowe; Lavina Engle; Stanley H. Ruttenberg; Michael A. Feighan; D. J. Saposs; Dan E. Fenn Jr.; Andre Schiffrin; Mary L. Fonseca; Anita Shelton; Aime J. Forand; Walter Smethurst; Arvonne Fraser; C. Wilder Smith; Arthur J. Goldberg; Dorothy J. Sorter; Ruth D. Goldberg; Edwin R. Teple; Sylvia Gonzales; Tom Tippett; William Harry Grossman; Maurice J. Tobin; William Haber; Harry S. Truman; John J. Hall; Rexford Guy Tugwell; P. M. Hamer; William C. Walker; Florence C. Hanson; Caroline F. Ware; Nodine Cook Henniger; Leo R. Werts; Catherine C. Hiatt; Jean M. Whittet; Alice Hoffman; Elizabeth Wickenden; John Hutchinson; G. Mennen Williams; Harrison A. Williams, Jr.; Frank Winn

Series Description: Series I, Personal File, 1921-1978, Boxes 1-2 and OS Folders 1-2: Articles and college essays, student transcripts, personal correspondence which was not included in other files, personal records containing biographical information, miscellaneous papers relating to the River Road Unitarian Church, bibliographies, clippings and other material. Files are arranged chronologically.

Series II, Workers' Education, 1926-1937, Box 2: Mrs. Ellickson was very active in teaching workers and writing for workers' education. These papers contain incoming and outgoing correspondence, miscellaneous writings and bibliographies, Brookwood newsletters and workers' education flyers. Files are arranged chronologically.

Series III, Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1937-1975, Boxes 2-4 and OS Folder 3: This series contains ghost-written speeches for CIO leaders; articles and research materials; memoranda to CIO Research Directors; numerous handwritten notes; correspondence; and memoranda comparing AFL and CIO policies. There is also a large handwritten chart prepared by Mrs. Ellickson which compares the policy positions of the AFL and CIO just prior to the 1955 merger, which may be found in the oversize folder. Files are arranged chronologically.

Series IV, National Labor Relations Board, 1937-1940, Boxes 4-6: Memoranda, reports and briefs relating to the following topics: Western Union case, Marshall Field's case, independent unions and a long memo on the agricultural laborer. Files are arranged chronologically.

Series V, Women's Issues, 1962-1977, Boxes 6-8: Correspondence, bulletins, reports, minutes, notes, pamphlets and miscellaneous writings and clippings dealing with the President's Commission on the Status of Women, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Equal Rights Amendment, women and Social Security, the League of Women Voters, women's literature, the Clearinghouse on Women's Issues, the Women's National Democratic Club and other programs and issues. Files are arranged chronologically.

Series VI, Social Security, 1945-1972, Boxes 8-9: Correspondence, writings, reports, statements, memoranda, notes, press releases and clippings covering Social Security, health insurance, unemployment insurance and the aged. Files are arranged chronologically.

Series VII, National Consumers League, 1966-1978, Boxes 9-10: Speeches, reports, minutes, memoranda, notes, pamphlets and clippings covering household services and employment, labor standards, child labor and the National Consumers League. Files are arranged chronologically.

Series VIII, Professional Correspondence, 1960-1977, Box 10: Files are arranged chronologically.

Series IX, Minimum Wage, 1962-1970, Box 11 and OS Folder 4: Correspondence, reports, notes and published material related to the minimum wage, including its relationship to women workers. Files are arranged chronologically.

Series X, Miscellaneous File, 1942-1967, Box 11: Correspondence, memoranda, bills, notes, clippings and other material covering subjects like the Labor Bureau of the Middle West and legislative matters, not included in other series.
Part III: Box 1

Dates

  • 1921 - 1989

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to Walter P. Reuther Library "Rules for Use of Archival Materials."

Extent

58 Linear Feet (116 MB, 1 OS, photographs)

Abstract

Katherine Pollak was active in workers' education from 1927-1934. She worked at the CIO national office from 1935-1937 as an assistant to the director. Her papers include original notes and minutes of the earliest CIO meetings. She returned to the CIO national office from 1942-55 as Associate Director of Research, she focused on Social Security, manpower, farm labor and women and children. At the AFL-CIO national office (1955-61), she was assistant director of the Social Security Department and worked intensively to secure passage of health insurance legislation that was a precursor of Medicare. Her papers and records kept during her years as a member of the President's Commission on the Status of Women reflect the preliminary efforts, which led to its formation as well as her responsibilities as its executive secretary.

History

Katherine Pollak was born September 1, 1905, the daughter of Francis D. Pollak and Inez Cohen. She attended and taught at the Ethical Culture School in New York City, studied economics at Vassar College (A.B., 1926) and did graduate work at Columbia University. She married John Chester Ellickson, agricultural economist, in 1933, but continued to use her maiden name until 1938.

Her years in workers' education included tutoring, teaching and writing for the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers (1927-49), Brookwood Labor College (1929-32), including field work in Southern textile mill towns and West Virginia coal camps, and the FERA Southern teachers' training school in 1934.

As assistant to the director at the CIO national office (1935-37), she dealt with many organizational problems while conducting research and writing, and her papers include original notes and minutes of the earliest CIO meetings.

At the CIO national office, as Associate Director of Research from 1942-1955, she was secretary of the Social Security Committee; organized meetings of national union Social Security directors to discuss collective bargaining and legislative problems; served as liaison between the research directors of the national unions and government research agencies, especially the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and represented the CIO on government advisory committees on Social Security, manpower, farm labor and women and children. She also worked and wrote in related areas like legislation, postwar planning and the guaranteed annual wage.



At the AFL-CIO national office (1955-61), she was assistant director of the Social Security Department and had special responsibility for old age, survivors and disability insurance and public assistance, including intensive efforts to secure passage of health insurance legislation that was a precursor of Medicare.

Arrangement of the Records

Part I: Arranged in 24 series - Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Boxes 2-4), Series 3 (Box 5), Series 4 (Boxes 6-9), Series 5 (Boxes 10-11), Series 6 (Boxes 12-13), Series 7 (Boxes 14-26), Series 8 (Box 27), Series 9 (Box 28), Series 10 (Boxes 29-32), Series 11 (Boxes 33-34), Series 12 (Boxes 35-42), Series 13 (Box 43), Series 14 (Boxes 44-46), Series 15 (Boxes 47-49), Series 16 (Boxes 50-56), Series 17 (Boxes 57-59), Series 18 (Box 60), Series 19 (Boxes 61-84), Series 20 (Boxes 85-59), Series 21 (Boxes 90-96), Series 22 (Boxes 97-98), Series 23 (Boxes 99-102), and Series 24 (Boxes 103-107). All material is at least arranged to the series level, some folders are arranged chronologically therein.
Part II: Arranged in 10 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-2, OS folders 1-2), Series 2 (Box 2), Series 3 (Boxes 3-4, OS folder 3), Series 4 (Boxes 4-6), Series 5 (Boxes 6-8), Series 6 (Boxes 8-9), Series 7 (boxes 9-10). Series 8 (Box 10), Series 9 (Box 11, OS folder 4), and Series 10 (Box 11). Folders are primarily arranged chronologically.
Part III: Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition

The papers of Katherine Pollak Ellickson were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by Ms. Ellickson in 1969. Additional papers were placed in the Archives in December of 1978 and in 1984 and 1989.

Related Material

Katherine Pollak Ellickson oral histories

Transfers

A number of photographs and items of memorabilia received with the papers have been transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in 1970.
Part II: Finding aid revised in September 1979.
Part III: Finding aid revised in July 1998.
Title
Guide to the Katherine Pollak Ellickson Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library
Date
1970
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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