Guide to the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 Collection

Special Collections & Archives
University Library
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8326
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Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
Title: Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 Collection
Creator: Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, I.A.T.S.E.
Identifier/Call Number: URB.SCG
Extent: 4.26 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1937-1951
Abstract: The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild was a professional guild and labor union of cartoonists and animators. The Guild, then known as the Hollywood Screen Cartoonists, held their first union meeting in 1937. Throughout its existence the Guild represented animators at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the Walter Lantz Studios, Walt Disney Studios, and Terrytoon, Inc. The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild Collection contains historical records relating to the organization of the Guild, jurisdictional disputes, and its support and involvement in union strikes.
Language of Material: English

Historical Note:

The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, then known as the Hollywood Screen Cartoonists, held their first union meeting in 1937. A formal constitution was drafted in 1939, and the name Screen Cartoonists Guild (SCG) was adopted. In 1940, William Littlejohn became the Guild's president. After their first year as a union, the SCG represented cartoonists at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and the Walter Lantz Studios. The Guild then consisted of approximately 115 members. Through successful collective bargaining, the SCG was able to significantly raise the average wage paid to the industry's animators.
Walt Disney Studios, with its 700 potential members, soon became the SCG's major organizing target. Disney employees belonged to the Federation of Screen Cartoonists (FSC), an organization which the SCG identified as a "company union." The FSC and the Disney Studios' management vehemently denied these allegations by the SCG. The Guild's successful organizing drive of Disney cartoonists quickly lead to the 1940/1941 Disney strike. The strike resulted in a bitter defeat for Disney and the Federation, while becoming a decisive victory for the SCG.
The SCG cast their lot with the Painters Union (International Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America), an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor (A.F. of L.), but had to fight a jurisdictional battle with the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) for union recognition. The Hollywood Cartoonists then became Local 852 of the Painters Union.
Having successfully organized the Hollywood industry, the SCG soon tackled the New York animation industry. In 1944, the SCG sent its organizers to New York City to form Screen Cartoonists, Local 1461. This move also proved to be a successful venture, although in 1951, Local 1461 became involved in a tough jurisdictional dispute with the I.A.T.S.E., which was then led by Roy Brewer.
In 1947, the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild would face one of its first major defeats. Cartoonists in New Rochelle were asking for salaries comparable to those paid by other major studios. Not receiving satisfaction, the SCG organized a strike at Terrytoons, Inc. The cartoonists lost their fight in the strike, which lasted over twenty-eight weeks. Striking animators received support funding from other unions, but Terrytoons, Inc. was able to continue operating by hiring New Rochelle high school students to work during the strike.
In 1952 the Screen Cartoonists Guild changed its name to the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, and in 2002 changed to The Animation Guild.

Scope and Contents

The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 Collection contains historical records relating to the organization of the Guild, jurisdictional disputes, and its support and involvement in union strikes. The bulk of the material found in the collection consists of by-laws, cartoons and sketches, correspondence, memorabilia, minutes, newspaper clippings, newsletters, notes for speeches, organizational leaflets and strike photographs. Of particular significance are the handbills, leaflets and photographs from the Walt Disney Strike of 1940/1941, extensive correspondence between union organizers Herb Sorrell and Pepe Ruiz, and records detailing the Terrytoon Strike of 1947. The collection has been divided into four series: Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 (1937-1951), Federation of Screen Cartoonists (1939-1941), Walt Disney Studios' Strike (1941-1946), and Terrytoon, Inc. Strike (1945-1948).
Series I, Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839, consists of the Guild's by-laws, constitutions, correspondence, leaflets, pamphlets and printed material. The series is arranged in alphabetical order by type of material and chronologically within each grouping.
Series II, Federation of Screen Cartoonists, includes memorandums, printed material, organizational plans and statements. The material is arranged in chronological order.
Series III, Walt Disney Studios' Strike, consists of by-laws and leaflets pertaining to the Disney strike. Also included is a speech given by Mr. Disney (circa 1941) to studio employees. Leaflets are arranged in chronological order.
Series IV, Terrytoon, Inc. Strike, documents the strike's history through contracts, correspondence, financial records, minutes, newsletters and press releases. The series is arranged alphabetically according to the nature of the material and chronologically thereafter.

Arrangement of Materials:

Series I: Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839, 1937-1951
Series II: Federation of Screen Cartoonists, 1939-1941
Series III: Walt Disney Studios' Strike, 1941-1946
Series IV: Terrytoon, Inc., Strike, 1945-1948

Electronic Format:

Digital reproductions of selected items in this collection are available electronically as a part of the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library.  

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been dedicated to the public. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Accruals:

1981

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, 1980.

Preferred Citation:

For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

Processing Information:

Dr. Leonard Pitt, 1981

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Documents
Photographs
Scrapbooks

 

Series I: Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839, 1937-1951

Box 1, Folder 1

By-laws, Constitution, ca. 1939

Box 1, Folder 2

Clippings, 1938-1941

Box 1, Folder 3

Clippings, 1941-1946

Box 1, Folder 4

Correspondence, March 1944-March 1945

Box 1, Folder 5

Correspondence, April 1945-January 1946

Box 1, Folder 6

Correspondence, February 1946-July 1946

Box 1, Folder 7

Correspondence, July 1946-March 1947

Box 1, Folder 8

Correspondence, March 1947-December 1947

Box 1, Folder 9

Correspondence, April 1948-October 1950

Box 1, Folder 10

Correspondence, November 1950-December 1950

Box 1, Folder 11

Correspondence, December 1950-January

Box 1, Folder 12

Leaflets, November 1937-July 1939

Box 1, Folder 13

Leaflets, July 1939-December 1939

Box 1, Folder 14

Leaflets, January 1940-July 1940

Box 1, Folder 15

Leaflets, August 1940-December 1940

Box 1, Folder 16

Leaflets, January 1941

Box 1, Folder 17

Leaflets, February 1941

Box 1, Folder 18

Leaflets, March 1941-April 1941

Box 1, Folder 19

Leaflets, May 1941

Box 1, Folder 20

Pamphlet: "Technical Problems", 1942 August 25

Box 1, Folder 21

Printed Literature, January 1938-December 1951

Box 1, Folder 22

Printed Literature, December 1951

Box 1, Folder 23

Speeches, January-December 1941

Box 3, Folder 1

Cartoon Drawings

Box 3, Folder 3

Screen Cartoonists Guild

 

Series II: Federation of Screen Cartoonists, 1939-1941

Box 1, Folder 24

FSC Memorandums, February 1941-October 1941

Box 1, Folder 25

FSC Printed Literature, November 1939-February 1941

Box 1, Folder 26

FSC Printed Literature, March 1941-October 1941

Box 3, Folder 2

Federation of Screen Cartoonists

 

Series III: Walt Disney Studios Strike, 1941-1946

Box 1, Folder 27

By-Laws, ca. 1941

Box 1, Folder 28

Leaflets, December 1941-June 1946

Box 1, Folder 29

Leaflets, June 1946

Box 1, Folder 30

Leaflets, June 1946

Box 1, Folder 31

Leaflets, July 1946

Box 1, Folder 32

Leaflets, July 1946

Box 1, Folder 33

Leaflets, July 1946

Box 1, Folder 34

Leaflets, July 1946

Box 1, Folder 35

Leaflets, July 1946-December 1946

Box 1, Folder 36

Speech: Walt Disney, 1941 February 10

Box 3, Folder 5

Walt Disney Studio Strike

Box 4

Scrapbook, 1941-1942

Box 5, Folder 17

Photos - Walt Disney Strike

Box 5, Folder 18

Photos - Walt Disney Strike

Box 5, Folder 19

Photos - Walt Disney Strike

Box 5, Folder 20

Photos - Walt Disney Strike

Box 5, Folder 21

Photos - Walt Disney Strike

Box 5, Folder 22

Negatives - Walt Disney Strike and Terrytoon Incorporated Strike

 

Series IV: Terrytoon, Inc., Strike, 1945-1948

Box 2, Folder 1

Contract Proposals, ca. 1947

Box 2, Folder 2

Correspondence, June 1945-December 1945

Box 2, Folder 3

Correspondence, January 1946-April 1947

Box 2, Folder 4

Correspondence, April 1947-May 1947

Box 2, Folder 5

Correspondence, May 1947-June 1947

Box 2, Folder 6

Correspondence, July 1947

Box 2, Folder 7

Correspondence, July 1947-August 1947

Box 2, Folder 8

Correspondence, September 1947-October 1947

Box 2, Folder 9

Correspondence, November 1947-May 1948

Box 2, Folder 10

Financial Records, 1947

Box 2, Folder 11

History of Strike, 1947 May 1

Box 2, Folder 12

Membership Lists, 1947-1948

Box 2, Folder 13

Minutes, April 1947-June 1947

Box 2, Folder 14

Minutes, July 1947-August 1947

Box 2, Folder 15

Minutes, August 1947-December 1947

Box 2, Folder 16

National Labor Board: decisions, 1947-1948

Box 2, Folder 17

Newspaper clippings, April 1947-December 1947

Box 2, Folder 18

Newsletters, May 1947-October 1947

Box 2, Folder 19

Notes

Box 2, Folder 20

Press Release, 1947

Box 3, Folder 2

Terrytoon, Inc. Strike

Box 5, Folder 1

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 2

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 3

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 4

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 5

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 6

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 7

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 8

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 9

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 10

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 11

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 12

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 13

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 14

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 15

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 16

Photos - Terrytoon, Incorporated Strike

Box 5, Folder 22

Negatives - Walt Disney Strike and Terrytoon Incorporated Strike