The Walter P. Reuther Library and the Wayne State University Library System recently launched the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Antecedents to Education Reform Historical Collection, a remarkable digital text collection of nearly 30 years of historical records dealing with United States public education reform, tenure and academic freedom for teachers, civil rights, collective bargaining and public employee unionism. (http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/aft)
“This collection is a one-stop shop for researchers looking at education and public employee unions,” said Dan Golodner, American Federation of Teachers Archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library. “By having it available digitally, researchers have instant access to historical content about education reform programs without traveling to an archive or spending days waiting for documents to arrive from school boards or school unions.”
Highlights of the growing AFT collection include documentation about the “Toledo Plan,” the first Peer Assistance Review program started in 1981 and modeled throughout the country since its inception, the Professional Education Program from Pittsburgh and Dade County Shared Decision Making program. The collection has documents from the national AFT headquarters and various AFT locals, as well as personal papers from AFT leaders. The site also contains speeches from AFT presidents and AFT policy and reports on education reform that supported various education initiatives during the 1980s and early 1990s.
The digital AFT collection is only a subset of the physical collection housed at the Reuther Library, which includes AFT historical documents dating back to the 1910s from 30 affiliate locals and state federations, and over 70 personal collections. For more information, or to access the entire collection, contact Dan Golodner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-577-8988.