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John Herling Papers

 Collection
Identifier: LP001259
The John Herling Papers contain personal and professional correspondence, reference material, and numerous publications by John Herling.
Herling's papers reflect his interest in writing about the labor movement in America. The records in Part 2 consist primarily of interviews conducted by Herling as research for a book on the UAW, which was ultimately written by John Barnard and published in 2004 under the title, American Vanguard: The United Auto Workers During the Reuther Years, 1935-1970. The interviews were conducted mainly with people associated with the UAW, however several involve people in other labor unions. The records consist of transcripts or notes (taken during interviews that were not recorded), although there are a few speech and panel transcripts as well (noted in inventory). There are also audio recordings of interviews, panels, and conferences. Researchers should note that some pages of interview transcripts are missing, some audio recordings are unmarked, and not all interviews exist in both transcript and audio recording format.

Dates

  • 1911 - 1991
  • Majority of material found within 1930 - 1979

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: Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

Permission to publish or quote from the oral history materials must be obtained from the interviewee or interviewee heirs or assigns.

Extent

61 Linear Feet ((57 SB, 4 OS). ) : Includes 112 audiocassettes, 123 audio reels, and a 45 rpm record.

Abstract

John Herling was a prolific journalist, working for several publications and serving as White House correspondent and syndicated columnist specializing in labor affairs throughout the 1950s and 1960s. He owned "John Herling's Labor Letter," which he edited and published from 1947 to 1990, as well as authoring several books, including Strikes Under the New Deal, The Great Price Conspiracy, and The Right to Challenge. Herling was also working on other books about the labor movement, including a book about the UAW, at the time of his death in 1994. Herling's papers reflect his interest in writing about the labor movement in America.

The records in Part 2 consist primarily of interviews conducted by Herling as research for a book on the UAW, which was ultimately written by John Barnard and published in 2004 under the title, American Vanguard: The United Auto Workers During the Reuther Years, 1935-1970. The interviews were conducted mainly with people associated with the UAW, however several involve people in other labor unions. The records consist of transcripts or notes (taken during interviews that were not recorded), although there are a few speech and panel transcripts as well (noted in inventory). There are also audio recordings of interviews, panels, and conferences. Researchers should note that some pages of interview transcripts are missing, some audio recordings are unmarked, and not all interviews exist in both transcript and audio recording format.

History

John Herling was born April 14, 1905, in New York City. Between 1928, when he graduated from Harvard, and 1934, he worked for the League for Industrial Democracy, where he met his first wife, Mary Fox Herling. During this period he was also employed as a research assistant for Norman Thomas and as publicity director for Thomas's presidential campaigns in 1928, 1932, and 1936. Mary Fox Herling died in 1978 and Mr. Herling subsequently married Alice Wolfson. Mr. Herling's interest in journalism began when he worked as a copy boy for the old New York World. Throughout the 1930s John Herling worked for the United Features Syndicate and Time, Inc., and spent a year with The March of Time in New York City. From 1939 to 1940 he served as director of the Children's Crusade for Children, an organization which assisted war refugees in Europe. In 1941 he accepted a position as director of the Labor and Social Relations Division of the Office of Inter-American Affairs. During 1946 Mr. Herling was a special correspondent in Europe, writing articles and radio transcripts for "Voice of America." Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s he served as a White House correspondent and syndicated columnist for several newspapers specializing in labor affairs and lectured abroad for the Labor Affairs section of the State Department. In 1947 Mr. Herling purchased Chester Wright's Labor Letter and promptly changed the name to John Herling's Labor Letter, which he edited and published until 1990. In addition to the Labor Letter, Mr. Herling authored several books, including Strikes Under the New Deal, The Great Price Conspiracy, and The Right to Challenge. At the time of his death on February 3, 1994, he was writing a history of the UAW.

Arrangement

Part 1: Materials are arranged in 2 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-32), and Series 2 (Boxes 33-52).
Part 2 (Boxes 53-61): Unless otherwise noted, items are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collection.

Oral history transcripts (Boxes 53-55) are foldered by the interviewee's name and include interview dates. Recordings follow (Boxes 56-61), listed by original title on each. Audiocassettes (Boxes 59-61) are boxed separately from the reels and are arranged alphabetically by interviewee last name or recording title.

Location

Pt 1: 4S-H-1(1-9); Pt 2: 3S-B-2(5), 3W-B-1(3-4)

Acquisition

Material was donated by Alice Herling on January 22, 1990 and May 21, 1992.

Related Material

Mary Fox Herling Papers, UAW President's Office: Leonard Woodcock Records, UAW President's Office: Walter P. Reuther Records

Transfers

Oral history cassettes and reels (Boxes 56-61) were transferred to the Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Part 1 processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library, with the cost of processing of the John Herling Papers underwritten by a gift from the estate of John Herling.
Part 2 finding aid written by William Dawson on December 5, 2012. Revised by Rebecca Bizonet on July 13, 2016.
Title
Guide to the John Herling Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library; Part 2 processed by William Dawson. Revised by Rebecca Bizonet.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Revision Statements

  • 2016-07-13: Part 2 revised by Rebecca Bizonet.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA