IAM History Makes Online Debut

May 23, 2006 – IAM history comes alive with the online debut of all of the Machinists’ Monthly Journals from the earliest edition in 1889 all the way through its last year of publication 1956. The collection, which also includes the Machinist newspaper published from 1946 to 1994, is a joint project started in 2004 between the Georgia State University Southern Labor Archives and the Machinists union.

Representatives from Georgia State and the IAM met at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center to demostrate the new digital collection. “This has been a tremendous project to capture our history and make it available to our members, labor scholars and anyone interested in labor history,” said Winpisinger Center Director Jim Leslie. Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA has been the official archive of the Machinists union since 1988 and houses many of the IAM’s most precious documents. The IAM was founded in Atlanta in May, 1888.

“This project uses the latest technology to take us back to our earliest days. We want our members to use this site to learn about our past and our struggles so we can stay strong in the future,” said Headquarters GVP Bob Thayer who was at the debut.

Thousands of pages of Monthly Journals and Machinists newspapers have been converted to digital PDF format and are keyword searchable, including name and topic. The new site is the result of a two-year effort that involved compiling a complete set of Machinists’ Monthly Journals and Machinist newspapers, converting thousands of pages of materials into digital format, cataloguing the collection and making it available online.

“This is an incredible collection,” said Pamela Hackbart-Dean, director of the Southern Labor Archives for Georgia State University. “These publications give not only the IAM’s history but are a source for scholars, students and IAM members to get labor’s perspective on some of the greatest events in North American history. The IAM has made a great contribution to labor history.”