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Finding Aid to the Selden Osborne Papers, 1933-1988
BANC MSS 90/45 c  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Selden Osborne papers
    Date (inclusive): 1933-1988
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 90/45 c
    Creators : Osborne, Selden
    Extent: Number of containers: 1 carton, 1 box, 1 oversize box Linear feet: 2
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The collection highlights Osborne's extensive involvement in labor organization and the attempt to reform and reveal what he saw as an undemocratic union structure. The collection consists of three series. Series 1 consists of various materials relating to labor organizations including meeting minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, election materials, correspondence and other miscellaneous items. The series also includes materials on the Socialist Party, Communist Party, and the Anti-War Movement. Series 2 consists of personal writings by Osborne, including typed manuscript drafts, handwritten notes and correspondence. The majority of Osborne's personal writings, located in focus on the history of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union and its leader, Harry Bridges. Series 3 consists of materials pertaining specifically to Harry Bridges. These records include newspaper clippings pertaining to various court trials that involved Bridges, including a scrapbook, as well as other miscellaneous documents.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English and Spanish
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html .
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Selden Osborne Papers, BANC MSS 90/45 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Osborne, Selden--Archives
    International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union
    International Longshore and Warehouse Union
    Pacific Maritime Association
    Bridges, Harry, 1901-1990
    Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.)
    International Longshoremen's Association
    Labor unions--United States
    Labor unions and communism--United States

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Selden Osborne Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Selden Osborne on January 10, 1990.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Crystal Miles in 2013.

    Biographical Information

    Selden Osborne was a long-time member of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU). He dedicated much of his adult life to labor reform through leadership in various labor organizations and by trying to reveal what he saw as hypocrisy in the upper ranks of union politics, particularly involving the co-founder and president of the ILWU for forty years, Harry Bridges. Osborne was a resident of San Francisco, California from 1934 and worked as a longshoreman beginning in 1943 until his retirement in the mid 1970s.
    Born in Bisbee, Arizona in 1911 and raised in San Diego, California, Osborne excelled in academics and would eventually earn a college degree from Stanford University. While still in college he became very active in social reform, leading him to union organization. Shortly after graduation he became a union organizer of agricultural workers in the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys of California. He then became a member of the Socialist Party, becoming president of their local Palo Alto, California chapter at the age of twenty-one in 1932. In 1935 Osborne left the Socialist Party with the Trotskyites and formed the Social Worker's Party, which would drive him towards working for issues of union democracy. He would go on to fight for union rights and against what he deemed injustices in the labor union system.
    During World War II Osborne spent time in the army and worked as a merchant seaman. He went on to become a pacifist in the 1950s and protested against nuclear armament during the Cold War. Osborne also joined the War Resister's League in civil disobedience and completed the first coast-to-coast disarmament walk across the United States in 1976.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection highlights Osborne's extensive involvement in labor organization and the attempt to reform and reveal what he saw as an undemocratic union structure. The collection consists of three series. Series 1 consists of various materials relating to labor organizations including meeting minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, election materials, correspondence and other miscellaneous items. The series also includes materials on the Socialist Party, Communist Party, and the Anti-War Movement. Series 2 consists of personal writings by Osborne, including typed manuscript drafts, handwritten notes and correspondence. The majority of Osborne's personal writings, located in focus on the history of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union and its leader, Harry Bridges. Series 3 consists of materials pertaining specifically to Harry Bridges. These records include newspaper clippings pertaining to various court trials that involved Bridges, including a scrapbook, as well as other miscellaneous documents.