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David Tanzman Papers

Identifier: LP002554

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of arbitration briefs and supporting documents, summaries and positions of parties in dispute, contracts, correspondence, transcripts, the arbitrators observations about the grievances, notes, arbitrators awards, articles collected and written by David S. Tanzman on mediation and arbitration, arbitration reports, events Tanzman attended during his time as an arbitrator and documents related to the National Academy of Arbitrators.


  • 1953 - 2014


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.


2 Linear Feet (2 SB)


David S. Tanzman, originally from Corona, New York, was born in 1919 and received a BA in Liberal Arts from Wayne State University. According to the Detroit Jewish News, Tanzman fought in the European Theatre in World War II and when the war ended he worked as a government messenger in Washington. Later he became a mediator for the National Defense Mediation Board and then the National Wage Stabilization Board. In September 1948, he relocated to Detroit and joined the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service where he helped prevent labor disputes through mediation and arbitration until 1979.

After his work with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, he kept his hand in labor mediation and arbitration, and also became an instructor in the field of labor management relations in both public and private sectors. Additionally, Tanzman was a former program Director of the Wayne State University and University of Michigan Institute of Labor and Industrial affairs. Other professional activities include: being founder and past president of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, appointment to the Michigan Employment Relations Commission in 1983, a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, and Chairman of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission from 1986-1992. This collection focuses late in Tanzman’s career as an arbitrator of contract and grievance disputes.

Sources: The Detroit Jewish News, “Days of Future Past” (2015) Grand Valley State University, MERC Arbitrator and Fact Finder Resumes (2015)


Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection.


These papers were dontated to the Reuther Library by David Tanzman in November of 2014.

Related Materials

Walter P. Reuther Library Collection: Shlomo Sperka Papers, collections related to Labor and Industrial Arbitration and the National Academy of Arbitrators.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Elizabeth Nicholson on March 5, 2018.
Guide to the David Tanzman Papers.
Processed by Elizabeth Nicholson.
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