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David Elsila Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP002444
Part 1: David Elsila's work with the AFT is the subject of the majority of the collection. Most of these records are internal memorandum for the AFT and its executive committee. The memorandum detail debates over many organizational issues, notably: the clash of Presidents David Selden and Albert Shanker; contentiousness between the AFT administration and the American Teacher editorial staff; and contract issues between the AFT and the Professional Union at Staff Headquarters. Booklets from AFT national conventions along with various items from his time as an officer for the Workers Education Local 189 are other AFT-related materials in the collection. Records from movements and organizations Elsila participated in make up the rest of the collection. These include the Michigan Labor History Tours, the anti-Vietnam War organization Labor for Peace, Michigan Labor Committee on Central America, and the UAW.
Part 2 consists of files relating to Laborfest, the Michigan Labor Legacy project, UAW Solidarity Magazine, and the UAW Public Relations Department.

Dates

  • 1964 - 1999
  • Majority of material found within 1968 - 1999
  • 1970 - 2012

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

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.

Extent

5.25 Linear Feet (4 SB, 1 OS, 1 folder)

Abstract

David Elsila is an activist, educator, writer, editor, and historian best known for his work involving the labor movement. He notably served as the longtime editor for the UAW's magazine Solidarity, managing the publication from 1977 to 1998. Before then, he was editor for the American Federation of Teacher's publications American Teacher and Changing Education. Elsila's work with the AFT is the subject of the majority of the collection. Most of these records are internal memorandum for the AFT and its executive committee. The memorandum detail debates over many organizational issues, notably: the clash of Presidents David Selden and Albert Shanker; contentiousness between the AFT administration and the American Teacher editorial staff; and contract issues between the AFT and the Professional Union at Staff Headquarters. Booklets from AFT national conventions along with various items from his time as an officer for the Workers Education Local 189 are other AFT-related materials in the collection. Records from movements and organizations Elsila participated in make up the rest of the collection. These include the Michigan Labor History Tours, the anti-Vietnam War organization Labor for Peace, Michigan Labor Committee on Central America, and the UAW.

Part 2 of the Elsila Papers consist of files relating to Laborfest, the Michigan Labor Legacy project, UAW Solidarity Magazine, and the UAW Public Relations Department.

History

David Elsila is an activist, educator, writer, editor, and historian best known for his work involving the labor movement. He notably served as the longtime editor for the UAW's magazine Solidarity, managing the publication from 1977 to 1998. Before then, he was editor for the American Federation of Teacher's publications American Teacher and Changing Education. Throughout his diverse career, he also taught journalism courses at Wayne State University, wrote several books on labor history, served as Vice-President of the ACLU of Metropolitan Detroit, was a board member and editor of the Michigan Labor History Society, and received numerous awards for his journalistic and civic accomplishments.

Arrangement

Part 1: Folders in this collection are not necessarily arranged in any particular order. The box listing provides an inventory based on their original order. Subjects may be dispersed throughout the collection.
Part 2: Files are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition

Part 1 of this collection was donated to the Reuther Library on September 6, 2013.

Part 2 of this collection was donated to the Reuther Library on September 28, 2016.

Related Material

Part 1: AFT Inventory Part I Records; UAW Public Relations Department Photographs and Sound and Video Recordings; AFT Office of the President Records; AFT Presidents Office: 1960-1970 Records Part II; Michigan Federation of Teachers Records; Oral History Collection; AFT Presidents Office: Alfred Loewenthal Records; Workers' Education Local 189 Records

Transfers

Photographic materials were transferred to the Reuther Audiovisual Department (see AV Material at end of inventory).

Processing History

Processed and finding aid for Part 1 was written by Gavin Strassel on May 28, 2014.

Processed and finding aid for Part 2 was written by Mark Prindiville on July 20, 2018.
Title
Guide to the David Elsila Papers
Status
completed
Author
Part 1 processed by Gavin Strassel. Part 2 processed by Mark Prindiville.
Date
2014-05-28
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA