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Mary Van Kleeck Papers

Identifier: LP000573

Scope and Content

The studies of industrial relations and conditions in the building industry (1915-1935), by the noted architect, D, Knickerbacker Boyd (as well as the numerous other studies included here), were done under the Russell Sage Foundation aegis, and under Miss van Kleeck's direction.

Edward A. Wieck (1884-1963) was a long-time officer of the United Mine Workers of America. From 1934 to 1948 he was Research Associate at the Russell Sage Foundation with Mary van Kleeck in the Department of Industrial Studies.

D. Knickerbacker Boyd (1872-1944), prominent architect of New York and Philadelphia, an officer and fellow of the American Institute of Architects, founded the Philadelphia Building Congress, and was a lec¬turer and writer in the architectural field. He gave his unique and precise building industry files to the RSF Industrial Studies department with the understanding that his files would not be disarranged in any way. His files have been kept in his original order, and comprise Boxes 35 to 50.

Principal subjects in the collection are: Apprenticeships in Construction Industry Automobile Industry-Labor Relations and Historic Documents Building Industry-Labor Relations Citizens' Waterfront Committee, 1946-1947 Coal Industry-Labor Relations and Historic Documents Colorado Fuel and Iron Company Economic Conferences and Congresses Housing Industrial Fatigue Industrial Relations Institute (International) Interprofessional Association for Social Insurance Miners' Unions National Recovery Administration Productivity Sit-down Strikes Social Insurance Social Planning Social Work Standards of Living Statistics Steel Industry-Labor Relations and Historic Documents Unemployment Union Agreements Wartime Labor Problems (WWII) Welfare Work Working Women

Correspondents include Mary van Kleeck, E. A. Wieck, Mary Fledderus, D. Knickerbacker Boyd, John M. Glenn, Henry Kraus, and numerous others, many notable, but with no frequency. Miss van Kleeck's, Edward Wieck's and D. Knickerbacker Boyd's letters are not indexed but will be found in their sections of these papers. Correspondents in Boyd's files were not indexed, as, although there are many letters, they are nearly all single letters, answering inquiries.

Series Description: Series I. Files of Mary van Kleeck This series consists of seven files: A-Correspondence and Subject File; B-Conferences and Committees; C-Speeches and Writings; D-Clip-pings; E-Industrial Relations Institute, F-Interprofessional As-sociation for Social Insurance; and G-Working Women. Material is as indicated, and includes also research reports and research material. Dates are mostly between 1921 and 1952, a few going back as far as 1910.

Series II. Russell Sage Foundation Industrial Research Papers These files include reports by a number of researchers, including Mary van Kleeck herself, Edward A. Wieck, D. Knickerbacker Boyd, Louis Bloch, and many others. Original documents on coal mining, the steel industry, the automobile industry, and other industries and workplaces, as well as the final reports, are included. Files are: A-Miscellaneous Industrial Studies; B-Colorado Fuel and Iron Company; C-Collective Bargaining in the Coal Industry; D-Edward A. Wieck files, notes and studies, including coal and steel documents; E-Automobile Industry under the NRA, and original documents; and F-the D. Knickerbacker Boyd Files on the Building Industry. Dates of most papers are between 1920 and 1950, some material earlier.


  • 1910 - 1950


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Mary van Kleeck (1883-1972) was Director of Industrial Studies for the Russell Sage Foundation from 1908 to 1948. The author of many books, articles and pamphlets, and a speaker in great demand, she was an industrial sociologist and expert on employment statistics and working conditions. During World War I she was appointed Director of the Women's Bureau of the US Department of Labor, and a member of the War Labor Policies Board. She was Associate Director of the International Industrial Relations Institute, and one of the founders of the Interprofessional Association for Social Insurance. She was an early expert on working women and their problems.


25.5 Linear Feet (51 MB)


Correspondence, reports, minutes of meetings, clippings, and published material of Mary Van Kleeck, director of the Commission on Women's Work and Industrial Studies, and associate director of International Industrial Relations Institute of the Russell Sage Foundation. In addition to Miss Van Kleeck's files concerning her work with the Sage Foundation and the Inter-Professional Association are the papers of Knickerbocker Boyd, an architect interested in the relationship of architects with the building trades unions, and Edward Wieck, a colleague of Miss Van Kleeck's at the Sage Foundation. Activities of the United Mine Workers Union, 1900-1940's; organizing and unionizing in the automobile and steel industries in the 1930's and 1940's; and the operations and reports of the Sage Foundation are among the subjects included in the collection.


Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-13), and Series 2 (Boxes 14-50). Folders are arranged alphabetically or chronologically, depending upon the series.


Most of the papers (and all of the personal papers) of Mary van Kleeck were deposited at the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, her alma mater. She separated some material having to do with labor research, and designated the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs as the repository for that material, which largely comprises the files of Edward A. Wieck, D. Knickerbacker Boyd, and other research experts in her RSF Department. Thirteen of the fifty boxes are some of her own files and studies as Director of Industrial Research at the Russell Sage Foundation. These files were received by the Archives in 1972.

Related Materials

The Edward A. Wieck collection, already deposited at the archives, has a close relationship to his files in the van Kleeck Collection, which were geenrated at the Russell Sage Foundation, Only a few of the many studies are duplicated. These files comprise Boxes 22 to 34. They contain many original documents gathered by Wieck, relating to labor conditions and strikes in the coal, steel and automobile industries. The mining documents here postdate the documents in the Wieck papers.

Mary van Kleeck Papers at the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College.


Much relevant published material from Mary van Kleeck's papers has been given to the Archives library. Most of it has to do with mining. This includes numerous published reports, pamphlets, early proceedings of UMWA, and court trial transcripts from 1900, mostly UMWA cases. Among the serials are the Progressive Miner, the Coal Mining Review, the UMWA Journal and many agreements. Interesting old cases involving the chief early union leaders, Mother Mary Jones, etc. are also among these library materials.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Mary Van Kleeck Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Ave.
Detroit MI 48202 USA