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Elmer Cope Papers

Identifier: LP000931

Scope and Content

The papers of Mr. Cope reflect the many different roles he served in the labor movement; assistant director in the USW, CIO representative in international trade organizations, Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, and his involvement in the USW Educational programs. Also contained within the collection are papers from his involvement with the NCC.

This collection contains limited correspondence. The vast majority of his correspondence papers can be found at the Elmer Cope Collection located at the Ohio Historical Society.

Series 1: National Council of Churches, 1956-1964 Speeches from various religious leaders and study reports on the church, business, labor and economics.

Series 2: Labor Organizations 1945-1964 Subseries A: Labor Education, 1956-1964 Labor education manuals, financial records, and program development reports.

Subseries B: International Labor Organizations, 1952-1957 International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and International Labor Organization newsletters and press releases.

Subseries C: Political Action, 1945-1964 CIO and AFL-CIO press releases, Executive Board statements and speeches. Official Committee for Public Education (COPE) analysis of elections and legislation.

Subseries D: USW Union, 1951-1958 Research Department reports, speeches, and wage stabilization reports.


  • 1945 - 1964
  • Majority of material found within 1952 - 1960


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.


Elmer Cope was employed at Republic Steel in Warren, Ohio. He was an original staff member of the CIO's Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) in 193 6. Later that year he became the first director of the Canton, Ohio SWOC office. He then took over as director of the Youngstown, Ohio SWOC office. Mr. Cope later served as the assistant to Regional Director, Van Bittner, in the Chicago, Illinois SWOC offices. CIO President, Phillip Murray, appointed Mr. Cope as the CIO representative in Europe in 1947 where he became the Assistant General Secretary of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and contributed to the establishment of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. In 1951 he served as the Director of Economics and International Affairs of the United Steel Workers Union (USW) in their Washington, D.C. office. From 1958-1963 Mr. Cope was the Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer. Finally, he was the International Representative of the USW's Educational Department in 1964. Mr Cope died in 1965. Mr. Cope was also involved with the National Council of Churches (NCC) from 1956-1964. His involvement in the NCC was personal and not professional as he did not represent any labor organization at the NCC in any official capacity.


5 Linear Feet (10 MB)


Part of the Elmer Cope Papers at the Ohio Historical Society. Subjects include: labor education; political action; U.S. role in international trade organizations


Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Box 2), and Series 2 (Boxes 1-10). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series 2 is further divided into 4 subseries.


The papers of Elmer Cope were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in 1984 and were opened for research in May of 1992. The papers were given to the Reuther Archives by the Ohio Historical Society and were originally contained within a larger Elmer Cope Collection which is located at the Ohio Historical Society.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in May, 1992.


Guide to the Elmer Cope 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