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Special Collections: Guide to the Portland Central Labor Union

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
February 2010

Collection title: Portland Central Labor Union Records
Collection number: MS 1576
Dates of collection: 1906-1940 (inclusive) 
Size of collection: 1 record carton
Restrictions on access and use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility; one week's notice required for retrieval


The Portland Central Labor Union, founded around 1900 in Portland, Maine, consisted of delegates of various unions within its jurisdiction. It was affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and the Maine State Federation of Labor. Trades represented included barbers, hod carriers, hoisting engineers, iron moulders, plasterers, typographers, musicians, painters, carpenters, plumbers and stage employees, among others. Along with central labor unions in Augusta, Bangor, Lewiston and several other Maine communities, the Portland organization acted for the general welfare of its members, giving moral and financial support and attempting to arouse public support for various union causes. It had no authority to interfere in the activities of its member unions and could not order strikes or lockouts.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains administrative records of the Portland Central Labor Union. Included are minutes of meetings, correspondence, financial and membership information. The correspondence includes incoming letters to the union’s secretary, many from the American Federation of Labor and unions affiliated with the Portland organization as well as copies of the secretary’s outgoing correspondence to political officials, union officers, etc.

Contents of Box

Box 1


1-2 Minutes of meetings, 1914-1919, 1924-1925

3 Correspondence, 1915

4 Correspondence, 1924

5 Correspondence, 1926

6-7 Correspondence, 1930-1931

8-9 Correspondence, 1933

10-12 Correspondence, 1937-1938

13 Cash book, 1906-1940

14 Due book and receipts, 1909-1916

15 Check register, 1934-1938

16 Record book of dues for unions in CLU, 1913-1926

17 Miscellaneous memorabilia

18 Miscellaneous publications

19 Proceedings of 21st annual convention of Maine State Federation of Labor, 1924


Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/23/2015
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