Guide to Federal Records

Records of the National Mediation Board


(Record Group 13)
1887-1968 (bulk 1907-65)

OVERVIEW OF RECORDS LOCATIONS

Table of Contents

  • 13.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 13.2 RECORDS OF THE U.S. STRIKE COMMISSION 1894-96
  • 13.3 RECORDS OF THE BOARD OF ARBITRATION, INTERSTATE COMMERCE CONTROVERSIES 1899-1913 (bulk 1907-13)
  • 13.4 RECORDS OF THE U.S. BOARD OF MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION 1887-1921 (bulk 1912-20)
  • 13.4.1 General records
  • 13.4.2 Records of the Secretary
  • 13.4.3 Records of the disbursing officer
  • 13.5 RECORDS OF THE RAILROAD LABOR BOARD 1920-26
  • 13.5.1 General records
  • 13.5.2 Records of the Docket Department
  • 13.5.3 Records of the Statistical Department
  • 13.6 RECORDS OF THE BOARD OF MEDIATION 1926-35
  • 13.7 RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD 1934-65
  • 13.7.1 Records of board member Robert O. Boyd
  • 13.7.2 Case files
  • 13.8 RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL RAILROAD ADJUSTMENT BOARD (NRAB) 1920-34
  • 13.9 RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL RAILWAY LABOR PANEL 1942-47
  • 13.10 RECORDS OF THE RAILROAD MARINE WORKERS COMMISSION 1962
  • 13.11 RECORDS OF THE RAILROAD LIGHTER CAPTAINS COMMISSION 1962

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13.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: By the Railway Labor Act, as amended (48 Stat. 1185), June 21, 1934.

Predecessor Agencies:

  • U.S. Strike Commission (July-Nov. 1894)
  • Board of Arbitration, Interstate Commerce Controversies (1898- 1913)
  • U.S. Board of Mediation and Conciliation (1913-26)
  • Railroad Labor Board (1920-26)
  • Board of Mediation (1926-34)
Functions: Mediated labor disputes in the railroad industry. Jurisdiction extended to railroad collective bargaining representation disputes by the Railway Labor Act (amended) of 1934, and to air carriers by the Railway Labor Act (amended) of April 10, 1936 (49 Stat. 1189).

Finding Aids: Mary Jane Dowd, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National Mediation Board, PI 179 (1975); reprinted in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the National Mediation Board in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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13.2 RECORDS OF THE U.S. STRIKE COMMISSION
1894-96

History: Appointed by President Grover Cleveland, July 26, 1894, to investigate the Pullman (or American Railway Union) Strike of 1894, under an act of October 1, 1888 (25 Stat. 501), authorizing temporary commissions to report on railroad labor controversies and providing for voluntary arbitration of disputes between carriers engaged in interstate commerce and their employees. Report and recommendations sent to the President, November 14, 1894.

Textual Records: Letters sent by Carroll D. Wright, Commissioner of Labor and Chairman of the Commission, 1894-96.

Subject Access Terms: Gompers, Samuel; Pullman, George M.

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13.3 RECORDS OF THE BOARD OF ARBITRATION, INTERSTATE COMMERCE CONTROVERSIES
1899-1913 (bulk 1907-13)

History: Established by an act of June 1, 1898 (30 Stat. 424), also known as the Erdman Act, which named the Commissioner of Labor and the Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission as mediators between operating railroad employees and carriers engaged in interstate commerce. Replaced by the U.S. Board of Mediation and Conciliation, pursuant to an act of July 15, 1913 (38 Stat. 103), also known as the Newlands Act.

Textual Records: Case files, 1899, 1907-13. Correspondence about railroad labor disputes not acted on by the board, 1908-13. Correspondence of Commissioner of Labor Charles P. Neill, concerning his work as a mediator, 1909-13. Legislation regarding arbitration of railroad labor disputes, 1909-13. Statistical data about railroad employment, wages, and labor disputes, 1909-13. Railroad wage schedules, 1911-12. Press clippings and other reference material relating to railroad labor disputes and legislation, 1907-13. Index of qualified arbitrators, 1907, 1909- 10.

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13.4 RECORDS OF THE U.S. BOARD OF MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION
1887-1921 (bulk 1912-20)

History: Established by the Newlands Act, July 15, 1913, to adjust disputes between railroads and their operating employees. Jurisdiction restricted to the short-line railroads after the establishment of the U.S. Railroad Administration, December 26, 1917, and federal seizure of most railroads two days later. Functionally superseded by the Railway Labor Board, created by the Transportation Act (41 Stat. 470), February 28, 1920. Activities terminated by failure of appropriations, June 30, 1921. Formally abolished by repeal of the Newlands Act and its replacement by Railway Labor Act (44 Stat. 577), May 20, 1926.

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13.4.1 General records

Textual Records: Decisions, interpretations, and correspondence of the Chairman, Judge Martin A. Knapp, 1912-18. Office files of Commissioner William L. Chambers relating to railway labor legislation, interagency relations, and wages and living conditions, 1913-20. Arbitration papers, 1910-13, 1917-18, and speeches and personal papers, 1887-1920, of Commissioner Chambers. Records relating to labor disputes, 1917-20.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the U.S. Board of Mediation and Conciliation in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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13.4.2 Records of the Secretary

Textual Records: General files, 1913-20, with related indexes. Records concerning the 8-hour-day controversy, 1916, the Adamson Act, 1916-17, and other legislation affecting railroad labor, 1915-21. Case files, 1913-21.

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13.4.3 Records of the disbursing officer

Textual Records: Records relating to budget estimates and disbursements, 1913-20. Correspondence relating to personnel, 1916-20. Excerpts from board minutes concerning organizational and personnel matters, and from special accounts, 1913-19.

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13.5 RECORDS OF THE RAILROAD LABOR BOARD
1920-26

History: Established by the Transportation Act, February 28, 1920, to hear and decide disputes between interstate railroads and all classes of railroad employees. Abolished by the Railway Labor Act, May 20, 1926, which created the Board of Mediation.

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13.5.1 General records

Textual Records: Minutes of executive sessions of the board, 1920-26, with related indexes. Central files, 1920-26. Correspondence of carrier representative Horace Baker with Regional Railroad Associations, 1920-22. Records of labor member A.O. Wharton relating to the Interstate Commerce Commission, 1920-25. Decisions of Regional Train Service Boards of Adjustment, 1921-26. Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary relating to fiscal and administrative matters and board decisions, 1920-26.

Related Records: Other records of Regional Train Service Boards UNDER 13.8. Record copies of publications of the Railroad Labor Board in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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13.5.2 Records of the Docket Department

Textual Records: Correspondence and administrative files, 1920- 26. Case files, 1920-26.

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13.5.3 Records of the Statistical Department

Textual Records: Administrative and statistical files relating to studies of wages, pay rates, cost of living, and other economic factors affecting railroad workers, 1920-26.

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13.6 RECORDS OF THE BOARD OF MEDIATION
1926-35

History: Established by the Railway Labor Act, May 20, 1926. Mediated disputes between interstate railroads and their employees involving wages, work rules, and working conditions. Abolished, 1934. SEE 13.1.

Textual Records: Minutes of executive sessions and correspondence of the chairman, 1926-34. Correspondence of board member Oscar B. Colquitt and records relating to cases he mediated, 1930-34. General subject and correspondence files, 1926-34. Case files, 1926-35. Press digests, 1926-27; and organizational, personnel, and fiscal files, 1926-34, of the Division of Administration. Case files and digests, studies, records of staff members, correspondence, and statistical data concerning disputes involving personnel for Technical Division A (clerical), 1926-29; Technical Division B (yard and maintenance), 1926-30; and Technical Division C (operating), 1926-34.

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13.7 RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
1934-65

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13.7.1 Records of board member Robert O. Boyd

Textual Records: Case closing digests, correspondence, reading files, and agendas for board meetings, ca. 1954-62.

Specific Restrictions: As specified by the National Mediation Board, the files of Robert O. Boyd may not be examined by, or copies of or information from them be furnished to, any person except by permission of the Executive Secretary, National Mediation Board.

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13.7.2 Case files

Textual Records: Mediation ("A") case files, 1934-60 (243 ft.), and arbitration ("ARB") case files, 1934-65 (121 ft.), concerning disputes between rail, express, and air carriers and employees on pay rates, working conditions, and rules. Interpretation ("I") case files, ca. 1936-64, concerning settlement of disputes over the meaning or the application of agreements reached through mediation. Emergency ("E") case files, 1956-65, relating to labor-management controversies in which the board, acting under an emergency provision of the Railway Labor Act, proffered its services without waiting for the parties to request mediation. (Before 1956 these cases were assigned "A" numbers.) Representation ("R") case files, 1934-59 (191 ft.), regarding disputes about bargaining representatives. Emergency board ("EB") case files, 1934-60 (128 ft.), relating to disputes that could not be adjusted under provisions of the Railway Labor Act and that were referred to emergency boards established by the President.

Specific Restrictions: As specified by the National Mediation Board, case files less than 50 years old may not be examined by, or copies of or information from them be furnished to, any person except by permission of the Executive Secretary, National Mediation Board.

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13.8 RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL RAILROAD ADJUSTMENT BOARD (NRAB)
1920-68

History: Established as an autonomous unit under the National Mediation Board, pursuant to the Railway Labor Act (amended), June 21, 1934, with headquarters in Chicago, IL. NRAB adjudicates disputes referred by the National Mediation Board growing out of grievances or the interpretation or application of agreements covering pay, rules, or working conditions in the railroad industry.

Textual Records (in Chicago): Case file docket sheet summaries and related records, 1920-34, inherited by the NRAB from Eastern, Southeastern, and Western Regional Train Service Boards of Adjustment.

Related Records: Decisions of Regional Train Service Boards of Adjustment UNDER 13.5.1. Annual reports of the NRAB, 1935-68.

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13.9 RECORDS OF THE NATIONAL RAILWAY LABOR PANEL
1942-47

History: Established by EO 9172, May 22, 1942, to serve as the source from which railroad emergency mediation boards were selected during the war emergency. Administered, by EO 9299, February 4, 1943, rail and airline wage and salary stabilization program, which responsibility lapsed when wage and price controls were revoked by EO 9801, November 9, 1946. Terminated by EO 9883, August 11, 1947.

Textual Records: Subject files of successive chairmen, 1942-47. Records of the Office of the Assistant to the Chairman, concerned principally with applications for wage and salary stabilization and adjustments for railroad and airline employees, 1943-47. Case files, 1942-47.

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13.10 RECORDS OF THE RAILROAD MARINE WORKERS COMMISSION
1962

History: Established by EO 10929, March 24, 1961, to help settle a dispute over manning requirements aboard railroad-owned tugboats and ferries operating in the New York Harbor area that had not been successfully adjusted by the National Mediation Board and Presidential emergency board. Terminated upon submission of final report, June 11, 1962.

Textual Records (in New York): Transcripts of hearings, exhibits, and final report, 1962.

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13.11 RECORDS OF THE RAILROAD LIGHTER CAPTAINS COMMISSION
1962

History: Established by EO 10948, June 12, 1961, to help settle a dispute over assignment of lighter captains to barges and scows used in railroad marine operations in the New York Harbor area that had not been successfully adjusted by the National Mediation Board and Presidential emergency board. Terminated upon submission of final report, July 9, 1962.

Textual Records (in New York): Transcripts of hearings, exhibits, and final report, 1962.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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