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Mary J. Herrick Papers

Identifier: LP000385

Scope and Content

The Mary J. Herrick Collection covers the years 1932 to 1966.

Series Description: Series I Dispute Over Communist Control, 1932-41. Material in this series includes publications of locals, articles and references to per capita, roll call of delegates, descriptive material on the Jefferson Party, clippings, and correspondence. The records are incomplete for the earliest period, 1932, with the preponderance dating from the latter half of the 1930's.

Series II Executive Council, 1937-62. Included in the series are reports on administrative policies and procedures, resolutions and official ballots, financial statements, proceedings, clippings, publicity and campaign material for AFT national candidates, the School for Workers at Madison, Wisconsin including one photograph, and one folder of undated material. Most of the information here begins in the period of the mid-1950's.

Series III Research Department and Vice-Presidency, 1938-62. Miss Herrick was a Vice-President of the American Federation of Teachers for many years beginning in 1935 and served as Director of Research as well during the period 1956-58. The correspondence is distributed almost evenly over the time 1946-62 although the earlier period contains slightly less of this information until 1958. See especially: Box 2, Folder 2 letter dated July 22, 1957; Box 2, Folder 3 letter dated May 22, 1958; Box 1, Folder 8 letter dated June 26, 1960. Areas of information include reports from both the Research Department and Editorial Advisory Committee; agreements and memos; research projects in draft form; staff meetings; Defense Fund; checklists on publicity and public relations; a Shelf List showing the contents of files and shelves of the Research Department, and one folder of undated material. Included in this series are Miss Herrick's research projects in published form, dating between 1945-62.

Series IV Organizational Activity by American Federation of Teachers, 1958-62.

Publications are included here as well as clippings and one folder of notes. The organization of locals by the American Federation of Teachers includes Local 420, St. Louis, Missouri and its proposed constitution; official ballots of the Texas Federation of Teachers; Local 691, Kansas City, Missouri; publications; Greater Kansas City, Missouri and its restoration of levy; activity of the Minnesota Federation of Teachers; Local 66, Boston, Massachusetts and its contract; Greater Kansas City, Missouri's proposed constitution; teacher tenure laws in Independence, Missouri, and the program of the Ohio Federation of Teachers. Correspondence ranges between 1960-62.

Series V Convention Proceedings and Caucus, 1958-62; 1966. Campaign and caucus activity as well as publicity material pertaining to the national conventions of the American Federation of Teachers are included here. The AFT Constitution of 1966 and the roll call of delegates in addition to lists of committee members of that year are further information for that year.

Earlier material includes resolutions, amendments, and a financial statement with some of this information available for 1966 as well. Reports and publications are included in the series in addition to clippings and one folder of undated material.

Series VI Activities of Locals, 1959-65.

Union activity on a local level includes correspondence dating between 1960-62 and one folder of clippings. In this series are publications of the American Federation of Teachers as well as those of the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers; Local 3, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Local 2, New York City, negotiations and publications. Other publications include those of Local 1021, Los Angeles, California; Local 1263, Long Beach, California, and Local 420, St. Louis, Missouri.


  • 1932 - 1966


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.


Miss Mary J. Herrick was born on September 25, 1885 in Eureka, Illinois, the daughter of Horace Nelson and Mary (Musick) Herrick. She received her A. B. from Northwestern University in 1916 and her M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1931. She taught in various secondary schools in Chicago and the surrounding area from 1916 to 1961. At Ohio State University she served as Y. W. C. A. Secretary from 1918 to 1919. Between 1919 and 1922 she was a Director of the Italian Methodist Settlement in Chicago. She was a Fellow, Local Research, at the University of Chicago between the years 1928 and 1929. In 1930 she was in the Curriculum Department of the Chicago Board of Education. She became the Director of Research in 1956 for the American Federation of Teachers in Chicago, which position she held for two years. In 1961 she became the General Advisor at Roosevelt University.

Honorary positions include Past President of the Federation of Women High School Teachers from 1933 to 1936; Past Vice-President of the American Federation of Teachers; Board Member of the Chicago Teachers Union; Board Member of the Citizens Schools Committee of Chicago 1933 to 1963. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Illinois; the Chicago Council of Social Studies; the Chicago Teachers Union; the Association of Women Deans and Counselors; the League of Women Voters and has contributed to Schools and Society, The Nation, Crime and Delinquency, and The American Teacher magazines. She has co-authored Government in Action, 1951; High School Education in Chicago, 1934, and Discipline, What For and How, 1957.


2 Linear Feet (4 MB)


Long active with the AFT, Miss Herrick was its director of research and vice-president, and served in other positions with that union. During the 1930s, she was particularly concerned with organizing teachers in the Chicago area. The communist controversy in the AFT, federal aid to education, Workers Defense League, and teacher salaries and problems are covered. Correspondents include Irvin Kuenzli, Jerome Davis, Selma Borchardt, Charles Cogen, Estes Kefauver, and Paul Douglas.

Arrangement of the Records

Arranged in 6 series- Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Box 1), Series 3 (Box 2), Series 4 (Box 3), Series 5 (Box 4), and Series 6 (Box4).

Correspondence in all series is arranged in one chronological order. Undated pieces have been left either as arranged by Miss Herrick in each series or have been placed together in one folder at the end of the particular series.


The Mary R. Herrick Papers were deposited with the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs by Mary R. Herrick on February 13, 1970.

Processing History

Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Mary J. Herrick Papers
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