The collections

Materials included in this project belong to the following Rutgers University Libraries collections:

  • Rutgers University Special Collections
    International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. President's Office. Records: James B. Carey (ca. 1938-1965)
    Finding Aid available at

    Containing nearly 130 boxes of records generated by James B. Carey, first president of the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers, these documents, pamphlets and ephemera cover the major subject areas of the Carey-era IUE, including:

         -UE/IUE split
         -Domestic anti-communism during the McCarthy era
         -Collective bargaining and negotiations
         -IUE initiatives on social, economic and political issues
         -Political action in support of the Democratic Party
         -Involvement in international labor affairs
  • Rutgers University Special Collections, IUE International Photo Collection
    A large collection of photographs related to IUE activities. Featured are images of Carey and other prominent political and labor figures.
  • Carey Library, School of Management and Labor Relations
    Carey Ephemera Boxes

    Two boxes of Carey's personal effects, including photographs, awards and certificates, union conference badges, and other IUE-related ephemera and artifacts.

This project

As a graduate student in Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, I enrolled in "Digital Libraries." The final project for the course involved coming up with an idea for, and creating, in part or in full, a digital library.

Constance Finlay, Director of the Carey Library where I work part-time as a Library Assistant, suggested I create a digital library about James B. Carey, namesake of the School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) Library. Thrilled at the idea of incorporating a school assignment into my work duties, I began to explore the interesting Carey ephemera held at the Carey Library, and eventually the Rutgers University Special Collections IUE archives.

After getting a sense for the collections, I imagined potential users and defined key goals for the project:
-Illuminate the career of James B. Carey
-Introduce those interested to the Carey and IUE-related materials at Rutgers University Libraries
-Create an online resource of IUE information, labor history, and labor iconography

I photographed physical items such as buttons, badges and medals for display on the website using a makeshift copy stand consisting of a tripod, digital camera (Nikon Coolpix 8700) and black cardboard for a backdrop. Documents were also photographed in this manner.

Work on this project continued through September 2006 for display in conjunction with "James Carey: Labor's Boy Wonder," an exhibition co-sponsored by Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives and the School of Management and Labor Relations.
Click here for more information about the exhibit.


Many thanks to those at Rutgers who provided their invaluable advice, assistance, knowledge and expertise, making this project possible:

Constance Finlay, Director, Carey Library
Bob Golon, Labor Archivist, Special Collections and University Archives
Tim Corliss, Head, Preservation, Special Collections and University Archives
Eugene McElroy, Library Associate, Carey Library
Tara Christakos, Student, Douglass College

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This exhibition was arranged by Constance J. Fontana.