• Identification00004327
  • TitleDescriptive inventory for the Chicago Teachers Union visual materials, ca. 1910-2012, bulk 1980-2000
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • Language
    • English.
    • English
    • Spanish
  • RepositoryChicago HistoryMuseum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationChicago Teachers Union
  • Date
    • 1910-2012
    • 1980-2000
  • Physical Description13.5 linear feet, including approximately 3,600 images and 5 videos (16 boxes, 2 folders)
  • Location
    • 1980.0142 PPL
    • 1980.0142 PCP-0269
    • 1980.0142 PPN-0006
    • 1980.0142 0MM-0327
    • 1980.0142 PFL

Advance appointment required to view color material in cold storage or negatives in cool storage; please email research@chicagohistory.org.

To consult color slides and lantern slides in the Research Center it is necessary to make an advance appointment (research@chicagohistory.org).

In order to view an original videotape, a research copy must be made (email: research@chicagohistory.org).

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Materials were a gift of the Chicago Teachers Union (accession number: 1980.0142, 1980.0156, 1985.0418, 2016.0067.2).

Chicago Teachers Union visual materials (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Black-and-white and color photographic prints, negatives, slides, and albums related to the work and promotion of the Chicago Teachers Union and its predecessors. Images depict union leaders, committees, conferences, meetings and activities, including demonstrations against payless paydays (1933) when the Chicago Board of Education could not pay its employees and later rallies and strikes. Also included are posters and placards; VHS and Beta cassettes; and transparency reproductions of cartoons, charts, and clippings regarding salaries, benefits, facilities, birth statistics and legislation. Most photoprints are annotated and identified.

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), Local 1 of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), had its beginnings with the establishment of the Chicago Teachers Federation (CTF) in 1897. In 1902 CTF received a charter from the American Federation of Labor (AFL) as a federal labor union. Composed mainly of high school teachers, the Men’s Teachers Union was founded in 1912. Two years later the Federation of Women High School Teachers was established. In 1916 these three bodies, along with four other non-Chicago teacher groups, successfully petitioned the AFL to charter a new national labor organization, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The CTF became AFT Local 1, the Men’s group became AFT Local 2, and the Women’s Federation was chartered as AFT Local 3.

During the 1920s, the Men’s Union and the Women’s Federation jointly organized four other groups of Board employees into unions: the elementary school teachers (AFT Local 199), the playground teachers (AFT Local 209), the school clerks (AFT Local 224), and the truant officers. These six groups coordinated activities through the Joint Board of Teachers Unions.

On October 28, 1937, the four AFT charters were formally surrendered and the AFT issued a single charter for the new Chicago Teachers Union, AFT Local 1. In the 1960s, the CTU began including a number of non-teacher’s groups employed by the Board of Education, and secured collective bargaining in 1966. Since its inception, the CTU has advocated on issues such as working and learning conditions; member pay, benefits, and job security; evaluation-based merit pay for teachers; and school closures and privatization.

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the Chicago Teachers Union records (1973.0019; 1989.0505; 1993.0001) and the Photographs and printed materials related to the 2012 Chicago Teachers Union Strike (2013.0087+).

The 1980.0142, 1980.0156, and 1985.0418 accessions were partially processed by CHM staff at an unknown earlier date; the 2016 accession was integrated into the existing collection and processing completed for the earlier materials in 2017.

  • Names
    • Fewkes, John M.
    • Herrick, Horace N.
    • Stevenson, Adlai E.
    • Taggart, Helen E.
    • Vaughn, Jacqueline
    • Chicago (Ill.). Board of Education
    • Chicago Public Schools
    • Chicago Teachers Union
  • Subject
    • Collective bargaining--Education
    • Educational change--Illinois--Chicago
    • Labor unions--Officials and employees--Education
    • School closings--Illinois--Chicago
    • Schools--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Strikes and lockouts--Teachers--Illinois-–Chicago
    • Teachers' unions--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
  • Geographic CoverageChicago (Ill.)--Politics and government--20th century

The collection is arranged in four series.

Series 1. Strikes, circa 1952-2002 (6 boxes, 1 folder)

Series 1 contains images relating to strikes, rallies, and demonstrations conducted by the CTU. This series is arranged by date.

Series 2. Activities, circa 1930-2005 (7 boxes, 2 folders)

Series 2 contains images of various activities undertaken by the CTU such as schools visits, entertainment and social events, issues advocated for by CTU and history files. This series is arranged by topic.

Series 3. Meetings and Committees, 1931-2001 (6 boxes, 1 folder)

Series 3 documents various committees within the CTU such as the Political Action Committee, House of Delegates, and Executive Board. Various meetings are documented including those regarding membership and contract negotiations, as well as mayoral forums and educational conferences. This series is arranged alphabetically by meeting name.

Series 4. People (4 boxes, 1 folder)

Series 4 contains images of various individuals within or associated with the CTU. In addition, various groups such as the executive board, legislators, playground teachers and school nurses are also included in series 4. Individuals are arranged alphabetically by surname; those depicted in a significant number of photographs are housed in a single folder. Groups are arranged alphabetically by name.