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Durham and Local History at the Rubenstein Library

This guide will help you research Durham history using primary source materials held at the Rubenstein Library

Print Materials

Durham Labor JournalDurham, N.C.: Tobacco Workers International Union, Local 176 and A.C. Simpson, -1964.

Newspaper published in Durham by Tobacco Workers International Union, Local 176. The Rubenstein Library has issues from 1946-1964. Later its name changed to Labor News

Manuscript Collections

Durham Central Labor Union Records, ca. 1921-1971

Minutes, financial records, correspondence, memorabilia, and other materials from various Durham labor unions and their local umbrella organization, the Durham Central Labor Union. The individual unions include: Tobacco Workers International Union Local 183; International Association of Bridge, Structural, and Ornamental Iron Workers Local 636; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 553; United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 522; Painters and Decorators Local 678; Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 585, Office Employees International Union Local 84; International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, and Helpers Local 81; and Bricklayers, Masons, and Plasterer's International Union Local 10. 

Wilbur Hobby Papers, 1956-1968

Wilbur Hobby, of Durham, N.C., was a prominent labor leader in North Carolina's labor movement. This collection is from Hobby's time as Southeast area director of the Committee on Political Education of the AFL-CIO. The collection also includes material from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and South Carolina on voting records, issue positions, activities of congressmen and other political officials, elections statistics, reports of state labor conferences, memoranda on unionization in various industries, reports of the state directors of the Committee on Political Education, and state labor publications. 

Joann Preiss Papers, 1970-2006

Preiss is a community and labor movement organizer in Durham, N.C. Materials in this collection represent both Joan Preiss's personal papers as well as organizational materials from the various groups that she worked with throughout her career. Heavily represented are the activities of the Triangle Friends of the United Farm Workers, which Preiss managed from her house in Durham, N.C. Other labor advcocacy groups are also well-represented in the collection, including Farm Labor Organizing Committee, National Farm Worker Ministry, Farmworker Ministry Committee. Along with her involvement in different local and national labor organizations, the collection also reflects Preiss's other interests in the city of Durham including community involvement in Durham revitalization, Duke Campus Ministry, political campaigns, community health, and human rights issues.   

Theresa El-Amin Papers, 1960s-2010

Activist and union organizer who was involved with many organizations, local and nationally. In the Durham area, she's worked with the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People (1999-2010), the Durham NAACP (2000-2010), and in 1998, she helped to found the Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN), which has worked on local issues like the education gap and passing an anti-sweatshop ordinance in the City of Durham.