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Gordon W. Chapman Papers

Identifier: LP000923

Scope and Content

Series Description: Series 1: Office Files, 1934-1967 Correspondence, clippings, reports and other materials relating to Mr. Chapman's tenure as an AFSCME official.

Series 2: Minutes and Meetings of the International Executive Board, 1965-1966 Agenda and minutes of the meetings of AFSCME's International Executive Board in 1965 and 1966.


  • 1934 - 1967



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.


Gordon W. Chapman was born in Tomah, Wisconsin on September 5, 1907. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin's School of Commerce in 1931, he became an assistant director in the Wisconsin Public Welfare Department from 1934 to 1936. He joined Local 1 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and was appointed national accountant for that union. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer in 1937. From 1937 to 1944 Chapman continued in his position as Secretary-Treasurer. In 1944 he took on the job of Executive Assistant to AFSCME President Arnold Zander, and served in that capacity until he was re-elected to the Secretaryship in 1948. In the 1950s Chapman also worked actively in a variety of capacities for the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Chapman resigned from AFSCME in 1961 to accept a State Department appointment as special assistant for the coordination of international labor affairs. He left the State Department in 1962 and was again elected Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME. In 1966 Mr. Chapman retired because of ill health. Mr. Chapman's papers reflect almost exclusively his work in AFSCME.


2.5 Linear Feet (5 MB)

Language of Materials



Gordon W. Chapman was elected secretary-treasurer of AFSCME in 1937. He served until 1944 when he became executive assistant to AFSCME president Arnold Zander. In 1948, he was reelected to the office of secretary-treasurer. Chapman resigned from AFSCME in 1961 to accept a State Department appointment as special assistant for the coordination of international labor affairs. In 1962, he was once again elected as secretary-treasurer of AFSMCE where he served until his retirement in 1966 due to poor health. During the 1950s, Chapman also worked actively with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

Chapman placed his papers with the Reuther Library in 1979. His collection reflects almost exclusively his work in AFSCME.


Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), and Series 2 (Boxes 3-5). Folders are arranged by alphabetically by topic or material type.


The papers of Gordon W. Chapman were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in April of 1979 by Mr. Chapman and were opened for research in March of 1980.


Approximately 42 photographs relating to AFSCME functions, most of which have appeared in the Government Employees Journal or Public Employee, along with one photo-history album on the AFSCME'S 1940 convention, have been placed in the Archives' Audiovisual Collections.

The scrapbook of AFSCME organizer Adrian L. Mitten is also available in the Archives Audiovsual Collections. The scrapbook consists of photographs, clippings, and annotated commentary by Mr. Mitten on his grass-roots organizing of AFSCME locals for the period 1937 to 1966.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in March, 1980.
Guide to the Gordon W. Chapman Papers
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