Guide to the Records of Boston Workmen's Circle-Brookline, Mass., undated, 1927-1999
 
*I-494

Processed by Stephanie Call

American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, Massachusetts

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: reference@ajhsboston.org

URL: http://www.ajhsboston.org

© 2016, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Stephanie Call as MS Word document, September 8, 2009. Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on June 2, 2010. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Boston Workmen's Circle-Brookline, Mass.
Title: Boston Workmen's Circle-Brookline, Mass., records
Dates:undated, 1927-1999
Abstract: Created to provide mutual aid and education, The Workmen's Circle was established in New York in 1900 and officially chartered in 1905. Massachusetts established an Independent Workmen's Circle in 1903 to maneuver around prohibitive insurance laws, but was able to unify with the national organization in 1921. Several chapters were operational in Massachusetts by 1911. The Boston District often mirrored National's development, including the establishment of cemeteries, a chorus, a camp, and I.L. Peretz Schools. The Workmen's Circle focused on Jewish life and culture, promoted the use of Yiddish, and provided a place of learning for members. The Workmen's Circle was also instrumental in the creation of the Jewish Labor Committee in 1934. This collection contains correspondence, meeting notices and minutes, mortgages, curriculum, event flyers and programs, and news clippings from the Boston District, local branches, New England Region and National offices.
Languages: The collection is in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian.
Quantity: 14 cubic feet (12 document boxes, 3 oversized boxes)
Identification: I-494
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located at AJHS, Boston, MA.
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Historical Note1

Boston Workmen's Circle, Brookline, Massachusetts

Origins of New York and Massachusetts Workmen's Circles

"The Workingman's Circle" was established on April 4, 1892 when a small group of Jewish cloak makers met on New York's Lower East Side. Several years later, on September 4, 1900, three separate Jewish worker's groups formed a fraternal organization focusing on mutual aid and education, particularly for new immigrants with little access to health care and funeral benefits. The Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring was officially chartered in New York on November 22, 1905. Due to the fraternal insurance laws in Massachusetts, the local Workmen's Circle was unable to organize under the national charter, even though chapters in Massachusetts had already formed. In 1903, Mr. S. Yigdal organized the Independent Workmen's Circle, which would operate only in Massachusetts and alleviate insurance concerns. At the same time, the national Workmen's Circle started an organization specifically for Massachusetts residents called the Labor League. Finally, in 1921, insurance commissioners in New York and Massachusetts reached an agreement that allowed the Independent Workmen's Circle and the national Workmen's Circle to unify.

Chapters in Massachusetts were prolific. The city of Lynn incorporated four chapters by 1911, and chapters in Worcester, Chelsea, Revere, Peabody, Lawrence, Malden and Boston soon followed. In Boston, centers were open on Leverett Street, Warren Street in Roxbury, and Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester. The chapters provided a Yiddish speaking environment, which was of particular use to immigrants from Eastern Europe, and provided a "home away from home" that enabled new and established members to forge relationships and a community. There were also branches for women members, such as Branch 709B.

Cemetery Association

The Massachusetts branches of the Workmen's Circle often mirrored the development of the national organization, still located in New York. In 1913, New York incorporated a Cemetery Department, which led the Massachusetts branches to purchase land in Melrose, Springfield, Lowell, Haverhill, and Peabody. The Massachusetts Cemetery Department was a member of the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts, which is now responsible for maintaining the Workmen's Circle's cemeteries in Massachusetts.

Choral Group

In 1915, the New York Workmen's Circle established a choral group. In 1925, the Boston Workmen's Circle established their own group, with Louis Harris serving as their first director. In 1931 it was re-established with Reuben Osofsky as its director. It is unclear as to when or why the chorus was re-established then, but it officially disbanded in 1961.

Shule and Camp

New York founded shules in 1918, and by 1922, shules were operating in Chelsea, Boston and Springfield. In the 1930s, the shules were renamed I.L. Peretz Schools, for the renowned Yiddish author playwright, and additional openings followed in Lynn, Peabody and Lawrence. The I.L Peretz Schools had a folk-oriented curriculum and taught children Jewish culture, history, and Yiddish. In the 1950s, classes were taught in Yiddish with some Hebrew. By the early 1990s the Boston schule had been defunct for many years, until Center director Herman Brown re-established the program. Curriculum still focused on culture and history but Yiddish was not the primary teaching language.

In 1927, the Boston District bought land in Ashland, Massachusetts, where it established the Golden Ring camp. In 1957, the Ashland camp was destroyed in a fire and moved to Pembroke, Massachusetts. This camp was modeled on New York's summer camp and resort in Hopewell Junction, New York.

Young Circle League

By 1925, there were 84,971 members of the national organization in New York. That year, the national organization also started their Young Circle League, followed closely by the establishment of the Massachusetts Young Circle League in 1927.

Jewish Labor Committee

In conjunction with the Jewish Labor Bund and the United Hebrew Trades, the Workmen's Circle helped found the Jewish Labor Committee in February 1934 as a response to the rise of Nazism in Europe. The Jewish Labor Committee staffed a regional office in Boston, which often collaborated with the Boston District Workmen's Circle, particularly under the guidance of Julius Bernstein.

Boston District and Brookline Center

By 1940, the National Workmen's Circle had 100 Labor Lyceums (community centers) throughout the United States. In 1962, the Workmen's Circle Center relocated from Dorchester to its current location in Brookline, Massachusetts: a necessary change reflecting the Jewish community's move from urban areas to the suburbs of Newton, Brookline, and Brighton. The Center in Brookline held forums; Yiddish classes, lectures, and film festivals; hosted the Senior Citizen's Club; maintained a Yiddish Library; and was home to the I.L. Peretz School. In the 1970s, the Workmen's Circle established a branch (687) for Soviet Jewish immigrants, and in the 1980s, branch 2001 was established to reflect the interest in Yiddish music and Jewish culture by younger members of the Center. Due to declining membership, several of the branches were either dissolved or merged into another branch. The records do not always establish the location or membership of particular branches, but some branches can be identified. Branch 716E was the Unity Branch, Branch 709B was a woman's branch, Branch 915 was located in Chelsea, and Branch 714 was in Taunton.

The Brookline Center (which operated in part as the Boston District Committee) offered numerous lecture series, including a Yiddish Arts series in the 1970s. Branches were asked to support the series through the sponsorship of one evening's events. The first event, on November 9, 1975 featured violinist Percy Brand, a Holocaust survivor and local resident. In the following years, the Workmen's Circle offered lecture series on Jewish history, culture, the role of women in Jewish life as well as lectures in Yiddish. Yiddish sing-alongs and language classes were also conducted.

The Boston District Committee held an annual conference. To participate, branches were asked to send up to three delegates to speak for and vote on the branch's behalf. Institutions were allowed to send up to three fraternal delegates. During the meeting the group would elect a session chairman, conference secretary, as well as appoint members of the credential and resolution committees. Reports were given on various Workmen's Circle programs, and national representatives reported on the activities in New York and the impact expected in the Boston district. After each meeting, resolutions reflecting the Workmen's Circle's positions on events and issues concerning the Jewish community were published.

As with other Jewish organizations at the time, the Workmen's Circle was involved in the plight of Soviet Jews. The Social Action Committee held lectures on Soviet Jewry and focused on supporting organizations and implementing programs as needed. Julius Bernstein, the regional director of the Jewish Labor Committee-Northeast Region, was also involved with the Social Action Committee.

Membership

Membership to the Workmen's Circle consisted of both national and local branch dues. It offered the opportunity to fully participate in branch activities and provided reduced member rates for the summer resort, Circle Lodge, in Hopewell Junction, New York. In addition, membership provided access to the Workmen's Circle travel services and discount purchases on automobiles and appliances. Cemetery, funeral and medication plans, as well as a limited medical expense policy were also included in membership. The insurance programs offered included a hospital indemnity plan, excess major medical, medical supplement plans, a prescription drug plan discount buying service, and, in the 1980s, life insurance, disability and retirement plans.

The Workmen's Circle remains an active organization and still offers Yiddish and social action programs.

Footnote

1 From Workmen's Circle Boston website, "History," http://circleboston.org/about/history.php, obtained 2009, and materials located in the Boston Workmen's Circle collection.

Chronology

1892Jewish cloak makers meet on the Lower East Side of New York City and form the "Workingman's Circle" on April 4th.
1900Jewish worker's unions create The Workmen's Circle on September 4.
1903Independent Workmen's Circle organized in Massachusetts by Mr. S. Yigdal.
1905Workmen's Circle chartered in New York on November 22.
1911Four Workmen's Circle chapters operating in Lynn, Massachusetts
1913National incorporates a Cemetery Department; soon after, land is purchased in Melrose, Springfield, Lowell and Haverhill for cemeteries.
1915National establishes a chorale.
1918National establishes shules in New York.
1921Insurance commissioners in New York and Massachusetts reach an agreement that allows the Independent Workmen's Circle to merge with Workmen's Circle in New York.
1922Massachusetts establishes shules in Chelsea, Boston and Springfield.
1925Massachusetts Workmen's Circle establishes its own chorale.
1925National Workmen's Circle has 84,971 members.
1925National Workmen's Circle established their Young Circle League.
1927Workmen's Circle buys land in Ashland for the Golden Ring Camp.
1927Workmen's Circle established their Young Circle League.
1930sShules are renamed I.L. Peretz Schools.
1931Massachusetts chorale is re-established with a new director.
1934National Workmen's Circle is one of the founding organizations of the Jewish Labor Committee.
1957The Golden Ring Camp in Ashland is destroyed by fire, moves to Pembroke.
1961Massachusetts disbands its chorale.
1962Workmen's Circle relocates to Brookline from Dorchester.
1965Cemetery Department fire destroys records.
1970sWorkmen's Circle establishes a branch for Soviet Jewry immigrants.
1980sWorkmen's Circle establishes Branch 2001 to reflect the interest in Yiddish music and Jewish culture.
1986Herman Brown re-establishes the I.L. Peretz School in Brookline.
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Scope and Content Note

The Boston Workmen's Circle-Brookline collection contains correspondence, financial and membership records, newsletters, yearbooks, event programs, fliers and publicity, and meeting minutes, agendas, and announcements for the national Workmen's Circle, the District Workmen's Circle in Brookline, and various branches associated with the District.

Correspondence from Representative James Burke, Senator Edward W. Brooke, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Harold Donohue, and Regional Director- Northeast Region of the Jewish Labor Committee, Julius Bernstein are included in the collection. Financial records highlight the membership dues and the changes in membership over the course of Workmen's Circle's history in Boston.

Note: Many of the minute books are written in Yiddish.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into eight series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Boston Jewish Community Relations Council & Addendums, I-123
National Jewish Welfare Board, I-298 (New York)
Workmen's Circle- New York Office, I-304 (New York)
Combined Jewish Philanthropies, I-220
Bureau of Jewish Education, I-497
Labor Lyceum Workmen's Circle, Brockton, Mass., I-268
Percy Brand Papers, P-865

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Boston Workmen's Circle-Brookline, Mass., records; I-494; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

Gift of Herman Brown, March 10, 2000, and Workmen's Circle, Brookline, Massachusetts.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.

 

Series I: Correspondence, undated, 1955-1999

English.
Box 1.
Scope and Content:

This series contains correspondence from former director Herman Brown, as well as correspondence to and from Workmen's Circle departments, local and national Jewish organizations, and relating to national and regional Workmen's Circle business.

Subseries I: District, undated, 1964-1972, 1981, 1988-1999

English.
Box 1, Folders 1-5.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains correspondence primarily between Herman Brown and his assistant, Esther Ritchie, as well as other staff, community members and Workmen's Circle members. Organizations that Brown corresponded with include Social Democrats, USA; One Generation After; Jewish Labor Committee; Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith; and a letter to Robert Segal of the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council about donating the records of The Workmen's Circle to the American Jewish Historical Society. A variety of memorandums, Circle Lodge reservations, meeting agenda information, reimbursement requests, information about events, and branch election forms are also included.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 1-2 Brown, Herman 1988-1999 request_box
1 3 Brown, Herman/J.L.C. 1992, 1994-1998 request_box
1 4 Brown, Herman/Ritchie, Esther 1991-1997 request_box
1 5 Meeting Notices undated, 1964-1972, 1981 request_box

Subseries II: General, undated, 1955-1998

English.
Box 1, Folders 6-14.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains correspondence to and from Workmen's Circle departments, as well as correspondence to and from other local Jewish organizations, including Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council. Also included are committee expenses, burial plot information, letters about perpetual care, and general business for the Cemetery Department; general business and patient reminder letters regarding appointments from the Medical and Social Services Department; and letters regarding event collaboration and funding from Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Boston Jewish Community Relations Council. This series also contains letters from Senator Ted Kennedy, Representative Harold Donohue, Representative James A. Burke, Representative Michael Hamilton and Senator Edward Brooke.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 6 Cemetery Association undated, 1968-1969, 1975, 1979 request_box
1 7 Combined Jewish Philanthropies 1968, 1993-1994 request_box
1 8 Golden Ring Camp 1966-1972 request_box
1 9 Jewish Community Relations Council 1970-1972, 1990, 1994-1998 request_box
1 10 Medical and Social Services Department 1955-1966, 1971-1972 request_box
1 11-13 Misc. undated, 1960-1997 request_box
1 14 Senior Citizen's Club undated, 1971-1972, 1978 request_box

Subseries III: I.L. Peretz School, undated, 1963-1972, 1994-1998

English.
Box 1, Folders 15-18.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains correspondence relating to events, staffing, children's activities, dues, membership, notices for faculty, staff and parents, meeting notices and parent information for the I.L. Peretz School before and after its re-establishment.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 15 Faculty and Staff 1994-1998 request_box
1 16 Meeting Notices 1964-1972 request_box
1 17 Misc. 1963-1968 request_box
1 18 Parents undated, 1994-1998 request_box

Subseries IV: National, 1992-1997

English.
Box 1, Folder 19.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains correspondence from former national president, Karl Zuckerman, regarding national activities and relations with Boston. Also included are memos from Zuckerman to Regional and District Managers about issues and events on the national level and the impact on the district and local branches.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 19 Zuckerman, Karl 1992-1997 request_box

Subseries V: New England Region, undated, 1967-1972

English.
Box 1, Folder 20.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains meeting notices sent to regional members, including Boston, Western Massachusetts and Connecticut.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 20 Meeting Notices undated, 1967-1972 request_box
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Series II: Events and Programs, undated, 1947-1998

English.
Boxes 2-3.
Scope and Content:

This series contains planning notes, event fliers, programs, and programming details for the Brookline District Workmen's Circle, other local branches, the I.L Peretz School, as well as national level conferences and events. The District held numerous lecture series on Jewish history, Yiddish language and Jewish culture, and those are reflected in this series.

Subseries I: Branches, undated, 1971, 1975, 1990-1996

English.
Box 2, Folder 1.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains miscellaneous fliers, programs, news clippings, press releases from brunches, lectures, dinners, concerts, held by Massachusetts branches 711E, 716, 716E, 1060, 2001.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
2 1 Misc. undated, 1971, 1975, 1990-1996 request_box

Subseries II: District, undated, 1947, 1960s-1998

English.
Box 2, Folder 2 -- Box 3, Folder 12.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains programs, fliers, publicity, news clippings, press releases and photographs from events held by the Boston District Workmen's Circle. Programs included a variety of lecture series, such as the Jewish History and Culture series, the First Sunday series, Women Exploring their Jewish Identities series, the Yiddish lecture series and the Yiddish Arts Series. Annual events like the Murdered Yiddish Writers and Jewish Storytelling Festival were sponsored by the Workmen's Circle, whereas the Jewish Film Festival and Israeli Independence Day were participatory, but not sponsored, by the Workmen's Circle. Also included in this sub-series are programs, correspondence, and notes from the 75th, 90th and 95th anniversaries, the latter which honored Representative Barney Frank with the Social and Economic Justice Award.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
2 6 First Sunday 1997-1998 request_box
2 7 Immigration Conference 1995 request_box
2 8 Israeli Independence Day 1990-1998 request_box
2 9 Jewish Cultural Festival 1994-1995 request_box
2 10 Jewish Film Festival 1988-1997 request_box
2 11 Jewish History and Culture Series 1994-1998 request_box
2 12 Jewish Storytelling Festival 1991-1997 request_box
2 13 May Day 1974, 1980, 1995-1997 request_box
2 14-18 Misc. undated, 1947, circa 1960s-1980s, 1989-1998 request_box
2 19 Murdered Yiddish Writers 1970-1998 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
3 1 Polish Jewry between the Two World Wars 1998 request_box
3 2 Russian Club 1978-1979 request_box
3 3 Soviet Jewry 1978, 1981, 1992 request_box
3 4 Outreach Seminar 1996-1997 request_box
3 5 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising undated, 1992-1998 request_box
3 6 Women Exploring their Jewish Identities Series 1994-1996 request_box
3 7 Yiddish Arts Series/Binder 1975-1979 request_box
3 8 Yiddish Arts Series/Budget 1977-1978 request_box
3 9 Yiddish Arts Series/Entertainers 1976-1978 request_box
3 10 Yiddish Film Festival 1992, 1995 request_box
3 11 Yiddish Lecture Series 1991-1998 request_box
3 12 Yiddish Sing and Classes undated, 1969, 1992-1998 request_box

Subseries III: I.L Peretz School, undated, 1955, 1964-1965, 1995-1997

English.
Box 3, Folders 13-17.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains programs and fliers for the dedication dinner, first anniversary of the school, and promotion exercises.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
3 13 Brookline-Brighton Service Development Fund 1995-1997 request_box
3 14 Dedication Dinner 1964 request_box
3 15 First Anniversary 1965 request_box
3 16 Flyers and Printed Programs undated, 1996 request_box
3 17 Promotion Exercises 1955 request_box

Subseries IV: National, undated, 1978, 1990-1998

English.
Box 3, Folders 18-20.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains information pertaining to national Workmen's Circle events, including conventions, early childhood programming, and travel opportunities.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
3 18 Conventions 1978, 1993, 1996, 1998 request_box
3 19 Early Childhood Programming 1994 request_box
3 20 Travel undated, 1990-1998 request_box
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Series III: Financial Records, undated, 1927-1997

English.
Boxes 4-8.
Scope and Content:

This series contains receipt books, ledgers, reports and statement of accounts for various branches of the Workmen's Circle, the District, and the Cemetery, Golden Ring Camp, Medical and Social Services, I.L Peretz School, Senior Citizens Club, and Workmen's Circle Home. Correspondence relating to financial records indicates that the branches did not keep the most accurate or up to date information. The District Workmen's Circle benefitted from the auspices of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and submitted paperwork to their allocations committee annually.

Subseries I: Branch 687, 1991-1996

English.
Box 4, Folder 1.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the branch asset report of Branch 687, the Workmen's Circle's Russian branch.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
4 1 Branch Assets Report 1991-1996 request_box

Subseries II: Branch 711E, 1953-1980

English.
Box 4, Folders 2-5.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains reconciliations and a receipt book for Branch 711E, most likely indicating membership dues.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
4 2 Misc. 1979-1980 request_box
4 3-4 Receipt Book 1960-1970, 1977-1979 request_box
4 5 Reconciliations 1953-1975 request_box

Subseries III: Branch 714, 1993

English.
Box 4, Folder 6.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the branch asset report of Branch 714.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
4 6 Branch Assets Report 1993 request_box

Subseries IV: Branch 716, 1994-1996

English.
Box 4, Folder 7.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains miscellaneous financial records of Branch 716.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
4 7 Misc. 1994-1996 request_box

Subseries V: Branch 786, undated, 1963-1987

English.
Box 4, Folders 8-18.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the financial records of Branch 786, which are more detailed than other branches. These records include cash and receipt books as well as membership disbursement records, detailing the membership fees paid and what costs associated with the cemetery association, health insurance or related costs were paid out to members of that branch.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
4 8 Cash Book 1970-1974 request_box
4 9 Disbursements undated request_box
4 10 Member’s Ledger Account 1979-1981 request_box
4 11 Membership Dues, Statement of Accounts 1980-1987 request_box
4 12-18 Receipt Book 1963-1979 request_box

Subseries VI: Branch 928, 1970-1976

English.
Box 4, Folder 19 -- Box 5, Folder 1.
Scope and Content:

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
4 19 Receipt Book 1970-1976 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
5 1 Membership Dues, Statement of Accounts 1973-1976 request_box

Subseries VII: Branch 940, 1981

English.
Box 5, Folder 2.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the check recorder book for Branch 940.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
5 2 Check Recorder 1981 request_box

Subseries VIII: Branch 1060, 1994-1995

English.
Box 5, Folder 3.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the branch asset report of Branch 1060. This branch was dissolved in 1996 due to membership lapses.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
5 3 Branch Assets Report 1994-1995 request_box

Subseries IX: Branch 2001, 1968-1975, 1980-1987, 1995

English.
Box 5, Folders 4-7.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the membership ledger and dues information for Branch 2001. This was the Branch located at the headquarters of the District in Brookline and had the largest membership base of any branch in Massachusetts.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
5 4 Member’s Ledger Account 1969-1971 request_box
5 5-6 Membership Dues, Statement of Account 1968-1975, 1980-1987 request_box
5 7 Misc. 1969, 1975, 1995 request_box

Subseries X: Branch (unknown), 1964-1968

English.
Box 5, Folders 8-10.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains financial information for an unknown branch. There is no identification in the records.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
5 8 Misc. 1968 request_box
5 9-10 Receipt Book 1964-1968 request_box

Subseries XI: Cemetery Association, 1927-1962, 1968-1985

English.
Box 5, Folders 11-18.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains reports and receipt and expense books for the Cemetery Association, which documented all cemetery benefits paid to the deceased's next of kin.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
5 11 Expense Journal 1927-1936 request_box
5 12-17 Receipt Book 1935-1962 request_box
5 18 Reports 1968-1985 request_box

Subseries XII: District Committee, 1952-1998

English.
Box 6, Folders 1-7.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains financial information pertaining to the Workmen's Circle's 75th Anniversary, as well as correspondence between the District and National offices concerning the handling of financial information. The District was responsible for monitoring the finances of each branch but had its own financial responsibilities, which are documented in the reports.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
6 1 75th Anniversary Check Ledger 1975-1977 request_box
6 2 75th Anniversary Ledger 1977 request_box
6 3 Checkbook Receipts 1966-1976 request_box
6 4-5 Check Recorder 1971-1983 request_box
6 6 National 1955-1996 request_box
6 7 Reports 1952-1998 request_box

Subseries XIII: General, 1956-1998

English.
Box 6, Folder 8 -- Box 7, Folder 6.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains financial information pertaining to the Workmen's Circle Brookline, including all branches and departments. This subseries includes all paperwork filed on behalf of Workmen's Circle to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies allocations committee for funding, as well as the mortgages on their current and previous locations, correspondence pertaining to those mortgages, additional fundraising paperwork and miscellaneous financial information.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
6 8 Cancelled Passbooks 1974-1981 request_box
6 9 Cash Receipts Book 1974-1981 request_box
6 10-13 Check Recorder 1973-1987 request_box
6 14-20 Checkbook Receipts 1962-1989 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
7 1-3 Combined Jewish Philanthropies 1963-1997 request_box
7 4 Fundraising undated, 1992-1998 request_box
7 5 Israel Bonds 1967-1974 request_box
7 6 Mortgage and Correspondence 1956-1975 request_box

Subseries XIV: Golden Ring Camp, 1958-1978

English.
Box 7, Folders 7-10.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the mortgage, reports and tax returns for the Golden Ring Camp.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
7 7 Misc. 1970-1978 request_box
7 8 Mortgage 1958-1974 request_box
7 9 Reports 1961, 1964-1965, 1971 request_box
7 10 Tax Returns 1963-1978 request_box

Subseries XV: I.L. Peretz School, undated, 1962-1996

English.
Box 7, Folder 11 -- Box 8, Folder 3.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains tax returns, information on unemployment insurance, receipt books and donations for the Golden Book of Life for the anniversary of the school. Also included is payroll information, which is restricted.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
7 11 Donations undated, 1962-1975, 1996 request_box
7 12 Donations/Golden Book of Life undated, 1964, 1972 request_box
7 13 Misc. 1963, 1971, 1973, 1980 request_box
7 14-16 Receipt Book 1979-1980, 1982-1986 request_box
7 17 Reports 1963-1996 request_box
7 18 Payroll (restricted) 1994-1996 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 1 Tax Returns and Correspondence 1963-1993, 1996 request_box
8 2 Tax Exempt Certificate 1966, 1970 request_box
8 3 Unemployment Insurance 1964-1965 request_box

Subseries XVI: Medical and Social Services, undated, 1957-1960, 1975

English.
Box 8, Folders 4-6.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains a receipt book, reports and miscellaneous financial records for the Medical and Social Services Department of the Workmen's Circle.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 2 Misc. undated, 1957 request_box
8 3 Receipt Book 1975 request_box
8 4 Reports 1957-1960 request_box

Subseries XVII: New England Region, 1976-1977

English.
Box 8, Folder 7.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains miscellaneous financial information for the New England Region.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 7 Misc. 1976-1977 request_box

Subseries XVIII: Senior Citizen's Club, 1978-1980

English.
Box 8, Folder 8.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains miscellaneous financial information for the Senior Citizen's Club.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 8 Misc. 1978-1980 request_box

Subseries XIX: Workmen's Center Home, 1961-1970

English.
Box 8, Folders 9-10.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains reports and receipts for the Workmen's Center Home for senior citizens.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 9 Checkbook Receipts 1963-1970 request_box
8 10 Reports 1961-1964 request_box
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Series IV: General, undated, 1964-1999

English.
Box 8, Folders 11-21.
Scope and Content:

This series contains various pamphlets, brochures, news clippings and publicity about the Workmen's Circle and its departments, including the I.L. Peretz School, Golden Ring Camp, and Senior Citizen's Club. It also contains information concerning National's relationship with the Jewish Labor Committee. Building renovation plans and inspection certificates are also in this series.

Subseries I: Building, 1964-1981, 1983, 1988, 1992, 1996

English.
Box 8, Folders 11-12.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains inspections certificates and renovation plans for the Brookline, Massachusetts building on Beacon Street.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 11 Inspection Certificates 1980, 1983, 1996 request_box
8 12 Renovations 1964-1981, 1988, 1992, 1996 request_box

Subseries II: Circle Lodge, undated

English.
Box 8, Folder 13.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains pamphlets for the Circle Lodge, National Workmen's Circle resort in upstate New York.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 13 Pamphlets undated request_box

Subseries III: District Committee, undated, 1967, 1970s-1990s

English.
Box 8, Folders 14-16.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains news clippings and publicity relating to various people and events.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 14 Misc. undated, 1967, 1974, 1992, 1997 request_box
8 15 News Clippings 1970s-1990s request_box
8 16 Publicity undated, 1970-1972, 1988, 1995-1998 request_box

Subseries IV: I.L. Peretz School, undated

English.
Box 8, Folder 17.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains pamphlets written for parents about the Peretz School and the benefits of attending.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 17 Brochures undated request_box

Subseries V: National, undated, 1967-1975

English.
Box 8, Folders 18-19.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains brochures about the national Workmen's Circle as well as information pertaining to the relationship between the Jewish Labor Committee and Workmen's Circle.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 18 Brochures undated request_box
8 19 Relationship with J.L.C. 1967-1975 request_box

Subseries VI: Israel, 1990-1998

English.
Box 8, Folder 20.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains articles and information about Israel.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 20 Articles and Information 1990-1998 request_box

Subseries VII: Senior Citizen's Club, 1967

English.
Box 8, Folder 21.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the book "Design for Action Manual for Councils on Aging (Massachusetts.)"

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 21 Design for Action Manual for Councils on Aging (Mass.) 1967 request_box
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Series V: Governance, undated, 1930-1998

English, Yiddish.
Box 8, Folder 22 -- Box 10, Folder 29.
Scope and Content:

This series contains meeting minutes, agendas, information about mergers and dissolution of branches, committees, strategic planning, and by-laws as well as National Workmen's Circle's constitution and reports for the District and Golden Ring Camp.

Subseries I: Branch 709B, 1930-1932, 1941-1948, 1956-1960

English, Yiddish.
Box 8, Folders 22-24.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains books of meeting minutes for Branch 709B. The books are extremely fragile and should be handled with care. The meeting minutes are in Yiddish.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 22-24 Meeting Minutes (fragile) 1930-1932, 1941-1948, 1956-1960 request_box

Subseries II: Branch 716, 1992

English.
Box 8, Folder 25.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the information for Branch 716's merger with Branch 711 in 1992.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 25 Merger 1992 request_box

Subseries III: Branch 716E, 1960-1962

English.
Box 8, Folder 26.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains minutes and related materials for Branch 716E's meetings.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 26 Minutes and Related Materials 1960-1962 request_box

Subseries IV: Cemetery Association, 1974-1975

English.
Box 8, Folder 27.
Scope and Content:

This subseries includes meeting notices for the Cemetery Association.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
8 27 Meetings 1974-1975 request_box

Subseries V: Committees, undated, 1957-1972, 1975-1981, 1990-1998

English.
Box 9, Folders 1-15.
Scope and Content:

This subseries includes meeting announcements, agendas, correspondence and minutes pertaining to several Workmen's Circle's committees, including the Social and Economic Justice Committee, responsible for planning many events at the District, long range planning, membership and building, among others.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
9 1 Academic Advisory 1992 request_box
9 2 Building undated, 1991-1997 request_box
9 3 Combined Journal 1966-1968 request_box
9 4 Committee of Jewish Concerns 1993-1995 request_box
9 5 Concert 1971-1972 request_box
9 6 Cultural Affairs 1992-1995 request_box
9 7 Joint Leadership 1990-1993 request_box
9 8 Long Range Planning 1993-1995 request_box
9 9 Medical and Social Services 1957-1971 request_box
9 10 Membership 1968, 1994-1998 request_box
9 11 Program Committee 1977-1981 request_box
9 12 Social Action Committee 1975-1978 request_box
9 13 Social and Economic Justice Committee 1993-1998 request_box
9 14 Social and Economic Justice Committee/Materials re: Activities and Causes undated, 1994-1998 request_box
9 15 Travel 1975 request_box

Subseries VI: District, undated, 1949-1998

English.
Box 9, Folders 16 -- Box 10, Folder 10.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains annual meeting information, meeting minutes, attendance and agendas, reports, strategic planning information, as well as the paperwork regarding the dissolution of the original center in Dorchester and several branches in Massachusetts.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
9 16-21 Annual Meeting 1955-1964, 1968-1981, 1992-1998 request_box
9 22 Committee Members, Board and Staff Lists 1949-1981 request_box
9 23 Meeting Attendance undated, 1980 request_box
9 24-27 Meeting Minutes 1953-1959 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 1-3 Meeting Minutes 1960-1963, 1968-1987 request_box
10 4 Meeting Minutes and Agendas 1994-1998 request_box
10 5 Reports 1976, 1991-1998 request_box
10 6 Resolutions 1964-1996 request_box
10 7 Strategic Planning 1993-1996 request_box
10 8 Agreement of Association 1963 request_box
10 9 Dissolution of the Dorchester Center 1965 request_box
10 10 Dissolved Branches 1967-1997 request_box

Subseries VII: Golden Ring Camp, undated, 1960-1971

English.
Box 10, Folder 11.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains reports for the Golden Ring Camp.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 11 Reports undated, 1960-1971 request_box

Subseries VIII: I.L. Peretz School, 1964-1980, 1993

English.
Box 10, Folders 12-13.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains Board of Education meeting minutes and by-laws. This particular Board of Education was associated with the Peretz School and was not the Brookline Board of Education.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 12 Board of Education/Meeting Minutes 1964-1980 request_box
10 13 By-Laws 1993 request_box

Subseries IX: Medical and Social Services Department, 1979

English.
Box 10, Folder 14.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains meeting minutes for the department.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 14 Meetings 1979 request_box

Subseries X: National, undated, 1971-1997

English.
Box 10, Folders 15-16.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains published booklets of National's constitution and annual meeting minutes.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 15 Constitution undated, 1971-1990 request_box
10 16 Executive Board Minutes 1974-1976, 1990-1997 request_box

Subseries XI: New England Region, 1968-1978

English.
Box 10, Folders 17-18.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains annual meeting minutes for the Regional Workmen's Circle governing body.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 17 Annual Meeting 1968-1978 request_box
10 18 Meeting Minutes 1968-1972 request_box

Subseries XII: Workmen's Center Home, 1954-1957

English.
Box 10, Folder 19.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains meeting minutes for this department of the Workmen's Circle.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 19 Meeting Minutes 1954-1957 request_box
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Series VI: Membership, undated, 1955-1998

English.
Box 10, Box 20 -- Box 12, Folder 10.
Scope and Content:

This series contains various membership forms and information for different branches, as well as the District, I.L. Peretz School, and the Senior Citizen's Club. General membership information is also included, which provides documentation on forms and benefit information for the region as well as what national membership entails. Membership transfers and classifications often went to the District or to each branch from National, which was informed about deaths, moves, or changes in name or status. Dues were paid to national or the district.

Subseries I: Branch 666, undated, 1973

English.
Box 10, Folders 20-21.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains benefits correspondence and forms, a branch membership list, and correspondence about dues.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 20 Benefits Correspondence and Forms 1973 request_box
10 21 Membership Lists and Dues Correspondence undated request_box

Subseries II: Branch 687, 1984-1985, 1991-1994

English.
Box 10, Folders 22-23.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains membership classifications and transfers, membership lists, and correspondence about dues for this branch.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 22 Membership Classifications and Transfers 1984-1985 request_box
10 23 Membership Lists and Dues Correspondence 1991-1994 request_box

Subseries III: Branch 714, undated

English.
Box 10, Folder 24.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains membership classification and transfer forms.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 24 Membership Classifications and Transfers undated request_box

Subseries IV: Branch 716, 1990-1999

English.
Box 10, Folder 25 -- Box 11, Folder 1.
Scope and Content:

This series contains death notices for members of this branch, member classifications and transfers, membership lists and correspondence about dues.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
10 25 Death Notifications 1993-1994 request_box
10 26 Membership Classifications and Transfers 1995-1996 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11 1 Membership Lists and Dues Correspondence 1990-1999 request_box

Subseries V: Branch 786, 1955-1988

English.
Box 11, Folders 2-6.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains benefits correspondence and forms, death notices, miscellaneous member information, membership classifications and transfers for this branch.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11 2 Benefits Correspondence and Forms 1963-1984 request_box
11 3 Death Notifications 1965-1987 request_box
11 4 Misc. 1976-1986 request_box
11 5 Membership Classifications and Transfers 1969, 1980-1988 request_box
11 6 Membership Lists and Dues Correspondence 1955-1982 request_box

Subseries VI: Branch 902, 1975

English.
Box 11, Folder 7.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains membership lists and correspondence about dues.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11 7 Membership Lists and Dues Correspondence 1975 request_box

Subseries VII: Branch 928, 1974-1976

English.
Box 11, Folders 8-10.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains benefits correspondence and forms, death notices, membership lists and correspondence about dues, as well as membership classifications and transfers.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11 8 Benefits Correspondence and Forms 1974 request_box
11 9 Death Notifications 1974-1976 request_box
11 10 Membership Lists and Dues Correspondence 1975-1976 request_box

Subseries VIII: Branch 1060, 1992, 1995-1996

English.
Box 11, Folders 11-12.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains membership lists and dues correspondence as well as changes in membership classifications and transfers.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11 11 Membership Lists and Dues Correspondence 1995 request_box
11 12 Membership Classifications and Transfers 1992, 1996 request_box

Subseries IX: Branch 2001, undated, 1960s-1996

English.
Box 11, Folders 13-20.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains alphabetical membership files with applications, dues correspondence, membership transfers and classifications, and death notices.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11 13 Alphabetical Files A-F 1960s-1970s request_box
11 14 Alphabetical Files G-N 1960s-1980s request_box
11 15 Alphabetical Files M-Z 1960s-1970s request_box
11 16 Benefits Correspondence and Forms undated, 1980 request_box
11 17 Death Notifications 1977-1985 request_box
11 18 Membership Classifications and Transfers undated, 1969-1996 request_box
11 19 Membership Lists and Dues Correspondence 1979-1995 request_box
11 20 Misc. 1978-1984 request_box

Subseries X: District, undated, 1958, 1964-1980, 1990-1998

English.
Box 11, Folder 21 -- Box 12, Folder 2.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains applications for memberships, correspondence with members about dues and medical and insurance benefits, mailing lists, dues paid information, material in prospecting campaigns, and transfer requests.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11 21-22 Applications 1993-1998 request_box
11 23-24 Correspondence re: Membership undated, 1958, 1969-1980, 1992-1997 request_box
11 25 Correspondence re: Medical and Insurance Benefits 1964-1973, 1990-1998 request_box
11 26 Mailing Lists 1994 request_box
11 27 Dues Paid 1976-1980 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 1 Prospecting Campaigns 1996-1998 request_box
12 2 Transfer Requests 1993-1998 request_box

Subseries XI: General, undated, 1960s-1990s

English.
Box 12, Folder 3-8.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains blank forms and sample letters, general benefit information, a membership handbook, and reports about the region.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 3 Blank Forms and Sample Letters undated request_box
12 4 Information about Benefits circa 1960s-1990s request_box
12 5 Handbook undated request_box
12 6 Misc. Lists 1960s-1990s request_box
12 7 Reports and Statistics for Region undated, 1993-1998 request_box
12 8 Youth 1992-1994 request_box

Subseries XII: Senior Citizen's Club, undated, 1971

English.
Box 12, Folder 9.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains miscellaneous information about membership.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 9 Misc. undated, 1971 request_box

Subseries XIII: I.L. Peretz School, 1995

English.
Box 12, Folder 10.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains dues forms and information about payments.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 10 Dues 1995 request_box
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Series VII: Publications, undated, 1942-1999

English, Yiddish.
Box 12, Folders 11-22.
Scope and Content:

This series contains copies of various publications of the Workmen's Circle and its departments, as well as the national newsletter, "The Call."

Subseries I: Cemetery Department, 1942

English.
Box 12, Folder 11.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains a 1942 yearbook for the Cemetery Department of the national Workmen's Circle. The yearbook contains articles written on the topics of death and grieving, as well as a financial report and tables regarding burials, deaths and the impact on membership, and the amounts of the funeral benefits paid out to members.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 11 Yearbook 1942 request_box

Subseries II: Combined Annual Journal, 1958, 1965, 1968-1971, 1973, 1975-1976, 1980

English, Yiddish.
Box 12, Folders 12-13.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains several annual journals and the original advertising correspondence that members and companies sent to the District to place and pay for an ad in the journal. The journals are comprised mostly of advertisements but do have brief reports on the activities of various departments, including the Golden Ring Camp and Ladies Auxiliary. Some journals include articles in Yiddish.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 12 Combined Annual Journal 1958, 1965, 1968-1971, 1973, 1980 request_box
12 13 Ad Contracts 1975-1976 request_box

Subseries III: Curriculum, undated, 1952, 1994

English, Yiddish, Hebrew.
Box 12, Folder 14.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains the 1952 national curriculum for the I.L. Peretz Schools of the Workmen's Circle, which was taught in Yiddish with some functional Hebrew. Also included are a 1994 Guidelines and Syllabus for shules, adopted by the National Executive Board; a manual, and a curriculum guide for Passover developed by and for the Brookline school. The 1994 guidelines also identify three main components of its curriculum, including Yiddish, Jewish history and living, and Jewish literature.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 14 Guides and Manuals undated, 1952, 1994 request_box

Subseries IV: Golden Ring Camp, 1961, 1967-1968

English.
Box 12, Folder 15-16.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains yearbooks from the Golden Ring Camp. Yearbooks include photographs, stories and essays by campers describing the events and activities during the summer.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 15-16 Yearbooks 1961, 1967-1968 request_box

Subseries V: Newsletters, 1954-1955, 1964, 1971-1979, 1994-1999

English.
Box 12, Folders 17-20.
Scope and Content:

This subseries contains various newsletters for members of Workmen's Circle. "Happenings" was written monthly and included news items from the various branches and departments of the Workmen's Circle, including the Boston District. Birth, marriage and death announcements were also published. "Parents Bulletin" was a national publication from the Education Department of the Workmen's Circle and focused on the history behind Jewish holidays and offering advice for the new school year. The Workmen's Circle Shule newsletter and general newsletter came out of the Brookline district and focused primarily on events at the Peretz School as well as branch events. "Vos Macht a Yid" was a newsletter from the Brookline district published in the 1990s through the current period and offered information on events, meetings, and volunteering opportunities.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 17 “Happenings” 1971-1979 request_box
12 18 Parents Bulletin 1954-1955 request_box
12 19 Workmen’s Circle Shule Newsletter & General Newsletter 1964, 1994-1997 request_box
12 20 “Vos Macht a Yid” 1996-1999 request_box

Subseries VI: "The Call", 1970, 1973-1975, 1992-1998

English.
Box 12, Folder 21-22.
Scope and Content:

This sub-series contains copies of the national Workmen's Circle publication, "The Call," which dealt with timely issues such as medical care, government budgets, Mid-East concerns, Soviet Jewry and Jewish continuity. Correspondence between the editor of "The Call" and Herman Brown on information from the Brookline District is also in this subseries.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
12 21 The Call 1970, 1973-1975, 1994-1998 request_box
12 22 Correspondence 1992-1994 request_box
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Series VIII: Oversized, undated, 1953-1984

English.
Boxes 13-15.
Scope and Content:

This series contains large membership ledgers for the District and various branches, posters, and mimeograph address plates.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
13 Branch 666 Membership Ledger 1967-1969 request_box
13 Branch 2001 Membership Ledger 1971-1984 request_box
13 Branch 785/786 Membership Ledger 1960-1970 request_box
13 Branch 928 Membership Ledger 1970-1973 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
14 Branch 786 Membership Ledgers (4) 1966-1977 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
15(OS1) 1 Blueprints 1968 request_box
15(OS1) 2 Posters and Photo undated, 1981 request_box
15(OS1) 3 General Ledger 1965-1968 request_box
15(OS1) 4 District Committee Ledger 1964-1970 request_box
15(OS1) 5 District Committee Ledger 1953-1964 request_box
15(OS1) 6 New England Regional Board Ledger 1968-1973 request_box
15(OS1) 7 Mimeograph Address Plates (6 small boxes) undated request_box
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