General Records of the Department of Labor

(Record Group 174)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

174.1 Administrative History

Established: By an act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 736).

Predecessor Agencies:

Of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor:

Of the Department of Labor:

Functions: Administers programs intended to monitor the economic and physical welfare of American wage earners, improve their working conditions, and advance profitable employment opportunities.

Finding Aids: Leo Pascal, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the General Records of the Department of Labor, 1907-1942," PC 28 (Nov. 1945); Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the General Records of the Department of Labor," NC 58 (May 1964).

Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Department of Labor and its predecessors in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85.
Records of the Women's Bureau, RG 86.
Records of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, RG 100.
Records of the Children's Bureau, RG 102.
Records of the Wage and Hour Division, RG 155.
Records of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RG 257.
Records of the Labor-Management Services Administration, RG 317.
Records of the Employment and Training Administration, RG 369.
Records of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, RG 433.
General Records of the Employment Standards Administration, RG 448.

174.2 General Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor and
the Department of Labor

History: Department of Commerce and Labor established by act of February 14, 1903 (32 Stat. 825), consolidating functions previously scattered through several government departments and agencies. By act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 736), the Department of Commerce and Labor was divided into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor. To the latter were assigned the Bureau of Labor Statistics, formerly the Bureau of Labor; the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization; and the Children's Bureau. Subsequent additions to the department included the Conciliation Service (1918), U.S. Employment Service (dating to 1907 as the Division of Information in the Bureau of Immigration, but achieving bureau-level status in 1918), and the Women's Bureau (1920, from the Women in Industry Service of the War Labor Administration).

Textual Records: General files, 1907-42 (bulk 1913-33), including minutes of departmental and other committees; fragmentary files of the Conciliation Service, 1918-19; files of the Speakers' Bureau, 1918-19; and records of the President's Mediation Commission, 1917-18, with a subject index and list of file numbers. Subject files, 1953-58. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1953-60. Speeches, 1953-60. Collection of Texas and Illinois "left-wing" labor newspapers, 1907-58.

174.3 Records of Officials of the Department of Labor

174.3.1 Records of Secretaries

Textual Records: Office and subject files, correspondence, speeches, and other records of Secretaries of Labor William B. Wilson, 1913-21; Frances Perkins, 1933-45; Lewis B. Schwellenbach, 1945-48; Maurice J. Tobin, 1948-53; Martin P. Durkin, 1953; James P. Mitchell, 1953-60; Arthur J. Goldberg, 1961-62; W. Willard Wirtz, 1962-69; George P. Shultz, 1969-70; James D. Hodgson, 1970-73; Peter J. Brennan, 1973-75; John T. Dunlop, 1975-76; W.J. Usery, 1976-77; Ray Marshall, 1977-80; Raymond J. Donovan, 1981-84; and Robert B. Reich, 1993-96. Records of Secretaries of Labor relating to their memberships on the Trade Policy Committee, 1958-63.

Sound Recordings: "Working Women and the New Deal," radio speech by Secretary Frances Perkins, June 24, 1936 (1 item). Interviews, press conferences, addresses, speeches, statements, and radio programs, usually by or involving Secretaries Mitchell, Goldberg, and Wirtz, concerning the department and government-labor relationships, 1934-71 (143 items). See Also 174.8.

Photographic Prints: Secretaries of Labor Maurice J. Tobin, 1948-53, and Martin P. Durkin, 1953; and 40th anniversary celebration of the Department of Labor, 1953 (M, 19 images). See Also 174.9.

174.3.2 Records of Under Secretaries

Textual Records: General subject files, correspondence, and other records of Under Secretaries of Labor Michael J. Galvin, 1941-50; David A. Morse, 1946-48; Lloyd A. Mashburn, 1953; Arthur Larson, 1942-57; James T. O'Connell, 1957-60; James D. Hodgson, 1969; Laurence H. Silberman, 1970-72; Richard F. Schubert, 1973-75; Michael H. Moskow, 1976-77; Robert O. Aders, 1975-76; John Gentry, 1979-80; Malcolm B. Lovell, Jr., 1981-83; and Ford B. Ford, 1983-84.

174.3.3 Records of Deputy Under Secretaries

Textual Records: Records of Deputy Under Secretary Millard Cass, 1947-71. Subject files, 1970-72, and a sample of 1972-73 Congressional correspondence of the Deputy Under Secretary for Legislative Affairs.

174.3.4 Records of Assistant Secretaries

Textual Records: General correspondence, subject files, and other records of Assistant Secretaries of Labor Charles V. McLaughlin, 1938-41; Marshall E. Dimock, 1939; Daniel Tracy, 1940-46; Edward C. Moran, Jr., 1945; John W. Gibson, 1945-51; Philip M. Kaiser, 1948-53; Ralph Wright, 1949; Robert T. Creasey, 1949-52; Spencer Miller, Jr., 1953-54; and John J. Gilhooley, 1957-60. Records of Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Management Leo R. Werts, 1942-70; and Frank G. Zarb, 1971-72. Records of Budget Officer and Administrative Assistant Secretary James E.Dodson, 1942-68. Records of the Assistant Secretary for Manpower, concerning alien labor policy for Guam, ca. 1947-71. Records of Assistant Secretary for Manpower Jerry R. Holleman, 1961-62; and Arnold R. Weber, 1969-70. Records of Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training William H. Kolberg, 1973-77. Records of Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Morton Korn, 1975-77. Records of Assistant Secretaries for Policy, Evaluation, and Research Michael H. Moskow, 1972-74; Abraham Weiss, 1974-77; and Arnold H. Packer, 1977-80. Records of Assistant Secretaries for Labor- Management Relations James J. Reynolds, 1961-65; Paul T. Fasser, 1973-76; and Bernard E. DeLury, 1976. Records of the Assistant Secretaries for Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration Dennis M. Kass, 1985-87; and David M. Walker, 1987-90.

Related Records: Records of the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in RG 100, Records of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Records of Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Ernest G. Green, 1977-81, in RG 369, Records of the Employment and Training Administration.

174.3.5 Records of the chief clerk

Textual Records: Numerical correspondence files, 1907-42, with partial index.

Finding Aids: Master index to numerical correspondence maintained in Historian's Office, Department of Labor. Select list of the chief clerk's files in Leo Pascal, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the General Records of the Department of Labor," PC 28 (1945).

Subject Access Terms: Gompers, Samuel A., Jr., Chief Clerk, Department of Labor, 1918-41.

174.3.6 Records of deputies, assistants, and special assistants

Textual Records: Records of Robert K. Salyers as Deputy to the Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Relations, 1957-59, and as Assistant to the Under Secretary, 1959-66. Records of Special Assistant to the Under Secretary and Executive Assistant to the Secretary John C. Donovan, 1961-64. Records of Executive Assistants to the Secretary of Labor Jack Howard, 1967-68; and David B. Taylor, 1969-70. Records of Special Assistants to the Secretary of Labor Hugh L. Kerwin, 1913-20; Richardson Saunders, 1933-39; Louis Sherman, 1945-47; Charles W. Straub, 1948-52; Thacher Winslow, 1948-52; Charles O'Dell, 1954-56; Albert L. McDermott, 1954-60; Stephen N. Shulman, 1961-62; Samuel V. Merrick, 1961-63; Seymour Wolfbein, 1962-67; Roger Lewis, 1965-68; and John P. Gould, Jr., 1969-70.

174.3.7 Records of other officials

Textual Records: Records of L.C. Marshall, Executive Secretary to the Advisory Council, 1918. Chronological correspondence files, 1971 (in Nixon Presidential Materials); and alphabetical correspondence files and subject files, 1971, of Millard Cass, consultant to the Secretary during Phase I of the President's Economic Stabilization Program. Records of Special Consultant to the Secretary on Youth Employment, India Edwards, 1961-64, chiefly 1964. Records, 1943-67, of Aryness Joy Wickens, who occupied a series of posts in the Department of Labor beginning in 1932.

174.4 Records of Organizational Units

174.4.1 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management

Textual Records: Subject files, 1942-57.

174.4.2 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Manpower

Textual Records: Subject files, 1950-58.

174.4.3 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Relations

Textual Records: Records of the Advisory Council on Employee Pension and Welfare Benefit Plans, 1962-85, including correspondence and reports, meeting minutes, transcripts of proceedings.

174.4.4 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Evaluation, and Research

Textual Records: Records of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Development, 1959-65.

174.4.5 Records of the Office of the Solicitor

Textual Records: General subject files, 1945-63. Subject files relating to foreign agricultural laborers and migratory workers, 1930-70; immigration and naturalization, 1933-40; labor disputes, 1933-40; EO 9240, interpreting provisions limiting payment of overtime during World War II, 1942-45; shipbuilding, 1948-62; and civil rights, 1957-71. Administrative files of the Wage Determination Branch, relating to the enforcement of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, 1941-43. Records relating to hours, wages, and public contracts including the Federal-Aid Highway Act, 1953-61; and industry committee files for Puerto Rico, 1960-63. Records relating to the establishment of unemployment compensation offices, 1936-52. Litigation case files relating to anti-discrimination legislation, 1965-76. Records of the Regional Solicitor, Region 9 (San Francisco, CA), relating to the Mexican Labor ("Bracero") Program, 1950-64 (in San Francisco).

174.4.6 Records of the Conciliation Service

Textual Records: Complaints, correspondence, and case files, 1919.

174.4.7 Records of the Division of Negro Economics

Textual Records: Fragmentary correspondence and reports on division activities, conditions of black workers and their relationship to white workers and employers, and developments in black participation in business and agriculture, 1919-21.

174.4.8 Records of the Office of Administrative Law Judges

Textual Records: Case files of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, 1977.

174.4.9 Records of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance

History: Established by EO 11246, September 24, 1965, to administer nondiscrimination and equal employment opportunity programs directed at contractors and subcontractors doing business with the Federal Government and in federally assisted construction projects. In 1969, the ofCC was transferred from the Office of the Secretary of Labor to the Wage and Labor Standards Administration.

Textual Records: Subject files of the Assistant Director for Construction, 1961-70. Equal opportunity compliance review files, 1965-85.

174.4.10 Records of the Office of Information and Public Affairs

Textual Records: Correspondence and subject files, 1933-62. Texts of speeches and other public statements, including scripts for radio broadcasts, of Secretaries Perkins, 1933-45, and Schwellenbach, 1945-48, and of Assistant Secretaries D.A. Morse, Philip Hannah, and John T. Kmetz, 1946-48. Informational issuances, such as press releases and statements, 1948-60. Records of the departmental World War II historical program, consisting of reports, correspondence, memorandums, and drafts of histories, 1942-47. Annual reports of the Department, 1952-93. Employee newsletters, 1969-95.

174.4.11 Records of the Office of the Legislative Liaison

Textual Records: Subject files, 1967-71.

174.4.12 Records of the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation

Textual Records: Reports and correspondence, 1964-65.

174.4.13 Records of the Departmental Committee on Economic Policy
and Programs

Textual Records: General file of the chairman, 1949-50.

174.4.14 Records of the Management-Labor Policy Committee on
Defense Manpower

Textual Records: General files, 1950-51.

174.4.15 Records of the departmental Defense Manpower

History: Established by General Order 48, Secretary of Labor, pursuant to EO 10161 of September 9, 1950, to utilize the functions and services of the Department of Labor to meet the labor needs of defense industries and essential civilian employment. General Order 48 revoked by General Order 63 of August 25, 1953, which established the Office of Manpower Administration under the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Manpower.

Textual Records: Records of William Batt, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, 1949-53. Case files on its advisory reports to the Wage Stabilization Board, regarding the latter's "rare and unusual" wage adjustment cases, 1951-53.

174.4.16 Records of the Program Planning and Review Committee

Textual Records: Correspondence, minutes, reports, and other records, 1955-62.

174.4.17 Records of the departmental Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency

History: Established by order of the Secretary of Labor, July 11, 1988, to provide the Department with specific recommendations for increasing the excellence of the American workforce. Terminated upon submission of final report, September 30, 1989, published as "Investing in People: A Strategy to Address America's Workforce Crisis."

Textual Records: General file, 1988-89, including background documents, newspaper clippings files, and transcripts of meetings.

174.5 Records of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB)

Textual Records: Correspondence and subject files, 1953-58.

174.5.1 Records of the Office of International Organizations Affairs

Textual Records: Correspondence and subject files, 1945-67. Geographic files, 1966-68. Subject files of the Foreign Economic Policy Committee, 1956-63 Correspondence and minutes of meetings of the Trade Agreements Committee, 1959-63. Records of the Division of International Labor Organizations including committee and conference files, 1945-64. Records of the Technical Cooperation Division including subject files, 1947-54; and correspondence relating to the training of foreign visitors, 1952-58.

174.5.2 Records of the Office of Country Program Affairs

Textual Records: Reports of the Foreign Worker Organizations Committee to the Council of Foreign Economic Policy, 1958-60.

174.5.3 Records of the Office of International Personnel and Management

Textual Records: Records relating to country assignments, 1958-61. Records of the Foreign Service Division including Comprehensive Economic Reporting Program (CERP) reports, 1952-58; and personnel performance and backstopping files, 1958.

174.6 Records of Commissions and Committees
1912-18, 1951-52, 1962-95

174.6.1 Records of the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations

History: Established by an act of August 23, 1912 (37 Stat. 415), to inquire into the general condition of labor in the principal industries of the United States and to determine and report upon the underlying causes of labor unrest.

Textual Records: Reports, studies, and administrative files of the Division of Research and Investigation, 1912-15.

Microfilm Publications: T4.

174.6.2 Records of the President's Mediation Commission

History: Established by order of the President, September 19, 1917, under the chairmanship of the Secretary of Labor, to deal with certain labor disputes in the Arizona copper mines, the California oil fields, and the Pacific Northwest lumber industry. Terminated upon submission of its final report, January 9, 1918.

Textual Records: Transcripts of hearings at Globe, Clifton, and Bisbee, AZ, 1917. Reports, correspondence, and memorandums relating to commission activities, 1917-18.

174.6.3 Records of the President's Committee on Government Contract Compliance

History: Established by EO 10308, December 3, 1951, to promote compliance with legislation that required non-discrimination clauses in government contracts. Abolished by EO 10479, August 13, 1953, which established successor Government Contract Committee.

Textual Records: Transcripts of meeting minutes, 1952.

174.6.4 Records of the National Manpower Advisory Committee

History: Appointed by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 (76 Stat. 28), March 15, 1962, to provide advice on departmental responsibilities under the act.

Textual Records: Correspondence of the executive secretary, 1962- 74. Transcripts of national and regional committee meetings, 1962-74. Records of conferences, seminars, panels, task forces, and subcommittees, 1962-74.

174.6.5 Records of the National Commission for Employment Policy

Photographic Prints: Portraits of members and chairmen of the Commission, 1974-95 (EP, 18 items). See Also 174.9.

174.7 Motion Pictures (General)

Documentaries, television interviews and debates, and television spots showing the history of American labor ("Challenge of Change"), the living and working conditions of migrant workers (CBS's "Harvest of Shame"), Secretaries Goldberg and Wirtz discussing the policies and programs of the Kennedy-Johnson administrations, and other subjects that relate to the work of the department and employment within the United States (102 reels).

174.8 Sound Recordings (General)

President Harry Truman's address to the President's Conference on Industrial Safety, March 23, 1949 (1 item).

See Under 174.3.1.

174.9 Still Pictures (General)
1919, 1935-82

Photographic Prints: Panorama of Department of Labor, Washington, DC, 1919 (P, 1 image). Photographic prints of occupations, labor activities, and personalities, 1940-70, collected by the Historian's Office (G, 1,300 images). Photographic prints of occupations and labor activities in the United States, 1935-82, collected by the Employment and Training Administration for the departmental publications "Manpower" and "Worklife" (MP, 2,000 images).

See Photographic Prints Under 174.3.1 and 174.6.5.

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.