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David Scribner Papers

Identifier: LP001607

Scope and Content

This collection contains 3 series: Personal and Professional Association Information, Legal Case Files and Notes, and Publications and Notes. The Personal and Professional Association Information series contains abroad ephemera of personal and work-related materials, including his resume, prepared speech for NLG event where he was being honored, daughter Aggie’s resume, and daughter Toni’s letters. The Legal Case Files and Notes contains legal documents, notes, and correspondence. The Publications and Notes Files contain publications on labor history, civil rights, and legal strategy. Series 1: Personal and Professional Association Information, 1923-1990 Series 2: Legal Case Files and Notes, 1942-1986 Series 3: Publications and Notes, 1919-1982


  • 1919 - 1990


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.


David Scribner was born around 1907 in Russia and raised on the lower east side of Manhattan. He attended City College and graduated from Brooklyn Law School. Scribner worked at the New York State Labor Relations Board as senior litigation counsel and general counsel for United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). He represented labor leaders accused of being Communists by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. Scribner was part of the legal team representing the unarmed students that demonstrated on Kent State University campus in 1970 against President Nixon’s order to bomb Cambodia, and for an end to the Vietnam War. He was active in several organizations of socially-minded lawyers such as the International Labor Defense (ILD), National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and International Juridical Association (IJA). David met his wife, Sylvia Cohen, at UE. David and Sylvia married in 1953 and had two children together, Oliver and Aggie. David had 3 children from a previous marriage, Toni, Wendy, and Nancy. David Scribner passed away in 1991.


2.75 Linear Feet (3 SB)


David Scribner held a long career in the field of law beginning in the 1930s. He specialized in civil liberties and labor law and often took on cases with political implications.

This collection consists of personal documents, professional legal documents, notes, correspondence, publications, and newspaper clippings.


The collection is arranged into 3 series.

Folders in each series are listed by their location within each box. They are arranged in rough alphabetical order.

Series 1: Personal and Professional Association Information, 1923-1990 Series 2: Legal Case Files and Notes, 1942-1986 Series 3: Publications and Notes, 1919-1982

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The David Scribner Papers were donated to the Reuther in 1994 by Aggie Scribner.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Julie Miller and Shae Rafferty on March 15, 2019.
Guide to the David Scribner Papers
Processed by Julie Miller and Shae Rafferty.
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