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Francis Heisler Papers

Identifier: LP001036

Scope and Content

The papers of Mr. Heisler reflect his legal career with primary emphasis on labor-related cases.

Series Description: Series 1: Legal Career 1936-1976

Subseries A: Client Files, 1936-1976 Legal documents and other materials relating to Mr. Heisler's law practice.

Subseries B: Personal Papers, 1937-1976 Publications by Mr. Heisler and other personal material.

Subseries C: Scrapbooks, 1936-1958 Seven scrapbooks of clippings relating to legal cases handled by Mr. Heisler and subjects of interest to him.


  • 1936 - 1976



Collection is open for research.


Box 6 is CLOSED until several scrapbooks can be photocopied; in extremely bad condition, with brittle flaking yellow high-acid paper.
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.


Mr. Heisler was born in Hungary in 1895. Educated in Switzerland, he worked as an engineer in Germany and Chicago (after coming to the United States in 1924). After receiving his law degree in 1929, he worked briefly as both an engineer and attorney in the 1930s before engaging solely in the practice of law. Mr. Heisler served as national counsel for the Workers Defense League and was a board member as well as an organizer of the Chicago Division of the American Civil Liberties Union. During his legal career, Mr. Heisler maintained law practices in Chicago and Carmel and Monterey, California. His law practice included representation of numerous labor unions, conscientious objectors and draft resisters, and the handling of many civil rights and civil liberties cases. Mr. Heisler died in 1984.


3.5 Linear Feet (5 MB, 1 SB)

Language of Materials



Francis Heisler practiced law, representing numerous labor unions, conscientious objectors and draft resisters, and handled many civil rights and civil liberties cases in both Chicago, IL and California. His papers reflect his legal career with primary emphasis on labor-related cases.


Arranged in 1 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-6) which is further divied into 3 subseries: Subseries A (Boxes 1-5), Subseries B (Box 5), and Subseries C (Box 6). Folders in Subseries A is arranged alphabetically by client and then chronologically. Folders in Subseries B are arranged chronologically. And Subseries C contains scrapbooks.


The papers of Francis Heisler were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in March of 1981 by Mr. Heisler.


One photograph has been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Francis Heisler 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