Finding Aid to the Selden Osborne Papers, 1933-1988

Finding Aid written by Crystal Miles
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
© 2007
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the Selden Osborne Papers, 1933-1988

Collection Number: BANC MSS 90/45 c

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California
Finding Aid Written By:
Crystal Miles
Date Completed:
April 2013
© 2013 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Selden Osborne papers
Date (inclusive): 1933-1988
Collection Number: BANC MSS 90/45 c
Creators : Osborne, Selden
Extent: Number of containers: 1 carton, 1 box, 1 oversize box Linear feet: 2
Repository: The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
Abstract: The collection highlights Osborne's extensive involvement in labor organization and the attempt to reform and reveal what he saw as an undemocratic union structure. The collection consists of three series. Series 1 consists of various materials relating to labor organizations including meeting minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, election materials, correspondence and other miscellaneous items. The series also includes materials on the Socialist Party, Communist Party, and the Anti-War Movement. Series 2 consists of personal writings by Osborne, including typed manuscript drafts, handwritten notes and correspondence. The majority of Osborne's personal writings, located in focus on the history of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union and its leader, Harry Bridges. Series 3 consists of materials pertaining specifically to Harry Bridges. These records include newspaper clippings pertaining to various court trials that involved Bridges, including a scrapbook, as well as other miscellaneous documents.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English and Spanish
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Selden Osborne Papers, BANC MSS 90/45 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Alternate Forms Available

There are no alternate forms of this collection.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Osborne, Selden--Archives
International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
Pacific Maritime Association
Bridges, Harry, 1901-1990
Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.)
International Longshoremen's Association
Labor unions--United States
Labor unions and communism--United States

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Selden Osborne Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Selden Osborne on January 10, 1990.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

System of Arrangement

Arranged to the folder level.

Processing Information

Processed by Crystal Miles in 2013.

Biographical Information

Selden Osborne was a long-time member of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU). He dedicated much of his adult life to labor reform through leadership in various labor organizations and by trying to reveal what he saw as hypocrisy in the upper ranks of union politics, particularly involving the co-founder and president of the ILWU for forty years, Harry Bridges. Osborne was a resident of San Francisco, California from 1934 and worked as a longshoreman beginning in 1943 until his retirement in the mid 1970s.
Born in Bisbee, Arizona in 1911 and raised in San Diego, California, Osborne excelled in academics and would eventually earn a college degree from Stanford University. While still in college he became very active in social reform, leading him to union organization. Shortly after graduation he became a union organizer of agricultural workers in the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys of California. He then became a member of the Socialist Party, becoming president of their local Palo Alto, California chapter at the age of twenty-one in 1932. In 1935 Osborne left the Socialist Party with the Trotskyites and formed the Social Worker's Party, which would drive him towards working for issues of union democracy. He would go on to fight for union rights and against what he deemed injustices in the labor union system.
During World War II Osborne spent time in the army and worked as a merchant seaman. He went on to become a pacifist in the 1950s and protested against nuclear armament during the Cold War. Osborne also joined the War Resister's League in civil disobedience and completed the first coast-to-coast disarmament walk across the United States in 1976.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection highlights Osborne's extensive involvement in labor organization and the attempt to reform and reveal what he saw as an undemocratic union structure. The collection consists of three series. Series 1 consists of various materials relating to labor organizations including meeting minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, election materials, correspondence and other miscellaneous items. The series also includes materials on the Socialist Party, Communist Party, and the Anti-War Movement. Series 2 consists of personal writings by Osborne, including typed manuscript drafts, handwritten notes and correspondence. The majority of Osborne's personal writings, located in focus on the history of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union and its leader, Harry Bridges. Series 3 consists of materials pertaining specifically to Harry Bridges. These records include newspaper clippings pertaining to various court trials that involved Bridges, including a scrapbook, as well as other miscellaneous documents.

Container List

 

Series 1 Labor Organization Materials 1933 - 1988

Physical Description: Carton 1; Box 1, folders 1 - 3; Oversize box, volume 1

Arrangement

Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Miscellaneous materials regarding various labor unions, organizations, and committees, including newsletters, administrative records, and correspondence. The bulk of materials relate to the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU). The series also includes materials pertaining to the Anti-War Movement and various political parties.
Carton 1, Folder 1

ILWU Administrative Materials 1945 - 1963

Carton 1, Folder 2

ILWU Pension and Health Plans - Miscellaneous 1978 - 1979

Carton 1, Folder 3

ILWU Twelfth Biennial Convention - Reports and Pamphlets 1957

Carton 1, Folder 4

ILWU Election Materials and Letters of Recommendation [Pertaining to Osborne] 1943 - 1962

Carton 1, Folder 5

ILWU Elections - Miscellaneous Materials 1937 - 1978

Carton 1, Folder 6

ILWU Local 10 - Sample Voting Ballots 1966 - 1978

Carton 1, Folder 7

ILWU Local 10 - Miscellaneous Financial Documents 1962 - 1978

Carton 1, Folder 8

ILWU Local 10 "Longshore Bulletin" 1948 - 1979

Carton 1, Folder 9

ILWU Local 10 "Stewards Council" Bulletin 1970 - 1974

Carton 1, Folder 10

ILWU Local 10 - Miscellaneous Bulletins [Includes "Defend Your Union" and "Our Hiring Hall"] 1950 - 1964

Carton 1, Folder 11

ILWU Local 10 - Miscellaneous Bulletins 1949 - 1974

Carton 1, Folder 12

ILWU Local 6 and 8 - Miscellaneous Bulletins and Pamphlets 1947-1971

Carton 1, Folder 13

ILWU Local 34 "34 Digest" Bulletin 1970 - 1971

Carton 1, Folder 14

ILWU Houston Local 1273 - Notes and Correspondence Pertaining to Work Practices 1960

Carton 1, Folder 15

American Federation of Labor (AFL) Convention, San Diego - Miscellaneous Notes 1934

Carton 1, Folder 16 - 18

Bay Area Longshoremen's Memorial Association (BALMA) - Miscellaneous Documents 1954 - 1975

Carton 1, Folder 19 - 20

California State Industrial Union Convention - Pamphlets and Minutes 1941 - 1949

Carton 1, Folder 21

Committee for Maritime Unions - Correspondence, Pamphlets, and Bulletins 1946 - 1954

Carton 1, Folder 22

Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) - Newspaper Clippings circa 1949

Carton 1, Folder 23

International Hotel Strike, San Francisco - Bulletins 1977

Carton 1, Folder 24

International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) - Executive Announcements and Bulletins 1953 - 1954

Carton 1, Folder 25

Joint Maritime Committee - Unemployment Information 1950

Carton 1, Folder 26

Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA) - Newspaper Clippings and Bulletins 1946 - 1948

Carton 1, Folder 27

Masters, Mates and Pilots of America - Miscellaneous 1961

Carton 1, Folder 28

Miner's Union - Miscellaneous 1938 - 1948

Carton 1, Folder 29

Pacific Maritime Association - Miscellaneous Documents 1963 - 1972

Carton 1, Folder 30 - 31

Port of San Francisco Joint Action Committee - Miscellaneous 1948

Carton 1, Folder 32

Sailors Union of the Pacific - Correspondence and Bulletins 1946 - 1957

Carton 1, Folder 33

San Francisco CIO Council - Miscellaneous [Includes meeting minutes and a strike welfare guide] 1942 - 1950

Carton 1, Folder 34

San Francisco Port Labor Relations Committee - Rules and Regulations 1958

Carton 1, Folder 35

Teamsters Local 70 and 85 - Bulletins and Election Materials 1959 - 1962

Carton 1, Folder 36

Waterside Workers Federation [Australia] - Miscellaneous 1959 - 1963

Carton 1, Folder 37

Miscellaneous Labor Organizations - Clippings 1938 - 1981

Carton 1, Folder 38

Union Bulletins - Miscellaneous [Includes "Longshore Victory" and "Longshore Militant" 1936 - 1978

Carton 1, Folder 39

Imperial Valley Agricultural Strike - Clippings 1934

Carton 1, Folder 40

Communist and Socialist Parties - Miscellaneous 1933 - 1962

Carton 1, Folder 41

Anti-War Movement - Miscellaneous [Includes correspondence] 1950 - 1988

Carton 1, Folder 42

Miscellaneous Clippings [Global issues] 1947 - 1973

Box 1, Folder 1

Austin, Kenneth C. - Miscellaneous correspondence and editorials 1947-1960

Box 1, Folder 2

Hield, W. Wayne - Manuscript ["Democracy in the ILWU"] circa 1949

Box 1, Folder 3

Kiernan, Owen (Jim) - Miscellaneous correspondence 1974-1981

Oversize Box 1, Volume 1

Scrapbook [Miscellaneous newspaper clippings pertaining to various unions] circa 1938 - 1940

 

Series 2 Personal Writings 1937 - 1981

Physical Description: Box 1, folders 4 - 10

Arrangement

Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Includes miscellaneous manuscript drafts and notes, as well as correspondence and editorials.
Box 1, Folder 4

Manuscript Drafts [Includes "Survival on the Waterfront" and "The Rise of the Bridges' Government"] circa 1952

Box 1, Folder 5

Unidentified Manuscript Notes and Outline undated

Box 1, Folder 6 - 8

Miscellaneous Notes undated

Box 1, Folder 9

Editorials - "The Torrance Industrial Worker" 1937 - 1938

Box 1, Folder 10

Personal Correspondence 1945 - 1973

 

Series 3 Harry Bridges 1938 - 1977

Physical Description: Box 1, folders 11 - 15, Oversize box 1, volume 2

Arrangement

Arranged hierarchically.

Scope and Content Note

Newspaper clippings pertaining to various court trials involving Bridges, as well as miscellaneous documents.
Box 1, Folder 11

Harry Bridges - Miscellaneous 1938 - 1977

Box 1, Folder 12

Harry Bridges' 'Lay-off Plan' - Miscellaneous 1949

Box 1, Folder 13

Harry Bridges [Pertaining to Jimmy Hoffa] - Clippings 1957 - 1959

Box 1, Folder 14

Harry Bridges [Pertaining to trial for perjury and fraud] - Clippings 1952 - 1953

Box 1, Folder 15

Harry Bridges [Pertaining to trial for Communist Party membership and perjury] - Clippings 1940 - 1942

Oversize Box 1, Volume 2

Scrapbook [Clippings pertaining to Harry Bridges] circa 1939 - 1940