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Documenting Labor Inside and Out
The Archives of Public Affairs and Policy

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Introduction

The Archives of Public Affairs and Policy

Archives and Labor Records

Who Uses Labor Records?

Internal Documents

Organizing

Publications

Union Members

Union Democracy

Collective Bargaining

Political Action

Solidarity

Labor Culture

Conclusion

Additional Resources

Stacks, Department of Special Collections and Archives, April 2001
Some of the collections housed at the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections, University at Albany, State University of New York.

The Archives of Public Affairs and Policy (APAP) is a group of archival collections held by the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York. The collections included in APAP relate to individuals and organizations concerned with public policy issues in New York State in the twentieth century (particularly since the 1950s) and beyond.

Currently, more than 180 collections are included in APAP and relate to the following subjects: labor; politicians and political parties; African-American and civil rights organizations; gay and lesbian rights; women's rights; criminal justice; social action and community organizations, including educational reform, environmental movement, and neighborhood associations; and social activism and public policy reform. Click here for a list of the holdings in APAP arranged by collecting area.

The Liberator, April 3, 1970
The Liberator, April 3, 1970 (Records of The Brothers).

Many of the subjects covered by the collections in APAP overlap and complement each other. For example, the interests of labor organizations often coincide with those of social activists and advocacy groups. As a result, the records of labor advocates, policy reform advocates, social reformers, and social welfare groups help to further document the history of the labor movement, while the records of labor organizations help to document social conditions and policy concerns.

For example, among the collections in APAP are the records of The Brothers, an African-American civil rights group from Albany. The Brothers were founded in 1966 over a dispute with Local 190, Laborers and General Construction Union. The cover illustration from the April 3, 1970 issue of The Liberator, the newspaper published by The Brothers, expressed some of their frustrations when it came to dealing with organized labor. Although The Brothers disbanded in the early 1970s, the issue of minority participation in construction projects in the Capital District continues to be an issue at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The records of The Brothers document part of the history of civil rights activism and of labor in Albany, and aid in understanding current interactions between the two.

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Digital Exhibit created by Cynthia K. Sauer, Consultant, and Brian Keough, Head, 2002
Copyright 2002 M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives
Comments to bkeough@uamail.albany.edu