Guide to the Alaska Fishermen's Union Records
1919-1977

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Alaska Fishermen's Union
Title: Alaska Fishermen's Union Records
Dates: 1919-1977 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3 boxes plus 46 ledger books (12.9 linear feet)
Location of Collection: 10b.1.4-7 (ledger books)
13b.4.10 (boxes)
VII.a.19 (maps)
Collection Number: 1989.82
Summary: Minutes, correspondence and other materials generated by and of interest to the Alaska Fishermen's Union
Repository: Museum of History & Industry
Sophie Frye Bass Library

5933 6th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98108
Phone: 206-324-1126
URL: http://www.mohai.org

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

The Alaska Fishermen's Union was operational by 1919 and their headquarters were located in downtown Seattle. Their initial records consist of shipping lists, which name the vessel, the cannery, the fishing company, the captain, and the union members on each voyage in a particular fishing season. Over the years their records grow to include not only minutes and financial statements but also correspondence and reports related to significant issues in the fishing industry, including the First, Second and Third United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) conferences. Issues at the UNCLOS conferences included the breadth of the territorial sea, international fishing rights, and protection of marine resources.

The Alaska Fishermen's Union had branches in Oregon (Portland, Astoria), Washington (Bellingham), California (Monterey, San Francisco) and Alaska (Anchorage, Ketchikan) and represented shore-side workers including deckhands, cooks, pile drivers, dock workers, beach gangs, waiters and waitresses. Their headquarters were at 2505 1st Ave., Rm. 3, in Seattle for many years until they merged with the Seafarers International Union in 1997 or 1998. The SIU is headquartered in Piney Point, Maryland, and has a local union hall in Tacoma.

Content Description

The collection consists of both bound materials kept in binders, and loose papers filed and foldered in boxes. The bound materials include shipping lists on Alaska Fishermen's Union forms, which noted the names and membership numbers of men who signed on for different fishing companies, canneries and vessels; delegate lists, which were similar to the shipping lists except that they were written on fishing company forms; and typed minutes and correspondence from the local union halls. The minutes and correspondence include records of the weekly union hall meetings, election rosters, telegrams, lists of new, retired and deceased members, documents indicating political involvement in terms of issues relevant to the union, resolutions, and articles related to conservation and the fishing industry. The bound materials are in leather-bound or cloth-bound binders, measuring 38cm x 25cm, with two metal posts and gummed labels for the insertion of documents. In a few cases documents are bound in brown board binders with a clip mechanism for binding.

Documents pertaining to the First, Second, and Third Law of the Sea conferences are included in the boxed materials. Materials here range from loose papers to stenographer notebooks and brown board binders. There are also two maps in the collection.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Restrictions on Use :  

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation :  

The Alaska Fishermen's Union Records, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information :  

Donated by Harold M. Holten in 1989.

Separated Materials :  

These materials are part of a donation that also included items of special interest to the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. These documents are cataloged and stored separately by the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society at MOHAI.

Related Materials :  

Accession PS1042.1-.5 in the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society's collection contains five publications transferred from the Alaska Fishermen's Union Records. These include four publications of the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission (1954-1977) and one Coast Guard publication on safe construction of fishing vessels.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Shipping Lists

Shipping lists contained information on the dates of sailing, the name of the company, cannery and vessel and a list of the names and membership numbers of the union members on each particular voyage. Lists were compiled on official Alaska Fishermen's Union forms.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
shelf
10a.3.2 1989.82.1: Shipping Lists 1919 April-1920 March
10a.3.2 1989.82.2: Shipping Lists 1921 April-1923 April
10a.3.2 1989.82.3: Shipping Lists 1924 May-1926 June
10a.3.2 1989.82.4: Shipping Lists 1926 April-1929 May
10a.3.2 1989.82.5: Shipping Lists 1927 April-1930 May
10a.3.2 1989.82.6: Shipping Lists 1928 March-1930 May
10a.3.2 1989.82.7: Shipping Lists 1931 May-1936 May
10a.3.3 1898.82.8: Shipping Lists 1932 May-1936 May
10a.3.3 1898.82.9: Shipping Lists 1937 May-1937 Sept.
10a.3.3 1898.82.10: Shipping Lists 1938 May-1939 May

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Roll Book and Members Lists

The roll book contains lists of members (arranged in loosely alphabetical order), their member numbers, and members in bad standing, retired or deceased.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
shelf
10a.3.3 1989.82.11: Roll Book and Member's Lists for 1937 and retired members list for 1932-1939 1932-1939

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Delegate Reports

Delegate reports are similar to shipping lists but more detailed. Each page lists the cannery, the company, the season, the superintendent and the delegate. Each worker's work position, and home city are noted. Additional information includes cases of specific kinds of salmon packed, number of traps and seines used, inside-outside fishermen, overtime paid, etc. These volumes also contain numerous shipping lists. The lists are mostly typed, and are organized in alphabetical order by the name of the cannery or the fishing company.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
shelf
10a.3.3 1989.82.12: Delegate Reports 1940-1943
10a.3.3 1989.82.13: Delegate Reports 1943
10a.3.3 1989.82.14: Delegate Reports 1944-46
10a.3.3 1989.82.15: Delegate Reports 1948
10a.3.3 1989.82.16: Delegate Reports 1954-56
10a.3.3 1989.82.17: Delegate Reports 1957-60
10a.3.3 1989.82.18: Delegate Reports 1961-64
10a.3.3 1989.82.19: Delegate Reports 1971-77

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Corporate Minutes and Correspondence

These binders contain the minutes of weekly meetings and correspondence of the AFU headquarters in Seattle, as well as union hall branches in Portland, Astoria, Bellingham, San Francisco, Ketchikan and Monterey. Correspondence includes election rosters, telegrams, lists of new, retired and deceased members, and documents concerning political involvement in terms of issues relevant to the union.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
shelf
10a.3.3 1989.82.20: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1928 Oct.-1934 Feb.
10a.3.3 1989.82.21: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1929 Feb.-1933 Feb.
10a.3.3 1989.82.22: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1933 Feb.-1935 March
10a.3.4 1989.82.23: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1933 Feb.-1935 Nov.
10a.3.4 1989.82.24: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1935 March-1936 Nov.
10a.3.4 1989.82.25: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1935 March-1937 Feb.
10a.3.4 1989.82.26: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1938 Feb.-1938 Oct.
10a.3.4 1989.82.27: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1940 April-1939 Oct.
10a.3.4 1989.82.28: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1940 Feb.-1940 Nov.
10a.3.4 1989.82.29: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1940 Nov.-1941 April
10a.3.4 1989.82.30: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1941 April-1942 April
10a.3.4 1989.82.31: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1942 April-1944 April
10a.3.4 1989.82.32: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1949 Jan.-1949 Nov.
10a.3.4 1989.82.111: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1950 Jan.-1950 Dec.
10a.3.4 1989.82.33: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1951
10a.3.4 1989.82.34: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1952
10a.3.4 1989.82.35: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1953
10a.3.5 1989.82.36: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1954
10a.3.5 1989.82.37: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1955
10a.3.5 1989.82.38: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1956
10a.3.5 1989.82.39: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1957
10a.3.5 1989.82.40: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1958
10a.3.5 1989.82.41: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1959
10a.3.5 1989.82.42: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1961
10a.3.5 1989.82.43: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1962-1963
10a.3.5 1989.82.44: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1964-1965
10a.3.5 1989.82.45: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1966-1967
10a.3.5 1989.82.46: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1968-1969
10a.3.5 1989.82.47: Corporate minutes and correspondence 1970-1971

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Constitution and By-Laws

This pocket-sized volume, detailing the constitution, procedures and bylaws of the Alaska Fishermen's Union, was published for the use of the union's members.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
1 1989.82.48: Constitution and By-Laws of the Alaska Fishermen's Union 12.5 cm. x 7.5 cm. 1972 April

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Boxed Items
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
1 1989.82.49: Correspondence regarding the "Law of the Sea" 1958-60
1 1989.82.50: Correspondence regarding closure of the Public Health Service Hospital 1971
1 1989.82.51: Correspondence regarding Pacific fisheries treaty negotiations 1963
1 1989.82.52: Correspondence regarding the Conference of Japanese and United States Fishing Unions 1959
1 1989.82.53: Correspondence regarding Alaska fishing 1950-1960
1 1989.82.54: Correspondence regarding Washington State fishing legislation 1958-1959
1 1989.82.55: Correspondence regarding national and international fishing regulations 1962-1976
1 1989.82.56: Correspondence and reports of the AFU Trial Committee 1950-1951
1 1989.82.57: Miscellaneous correspondence (including correspondence related to a resolution concerning Blaine Harbor and a proposed merger with the International Longshoremen's and Warehouser's Union) 1950-1951
1 1989.82.58: Negotiation correspondence 1946-1951
1 1989.82.59: Negotiation correspondence 1952
1 1989.82.60: Negotiation correspondence 1954
1 1989.82.61: Negotiation correspondence 1955-1956
1 1989.82.62: Negotiation correspondence 1960-1965
1 1989.82.63: Termination notices 1951-1953
1 1989.82.64: Pension correspondence and lists 1951-1965
1 1989.82.65: Shipping lists 1951-1952
1 1989.82.66: Shipping lists 1954
1 1989.82.67: Shipping lists 1955
1 1989.82.68: Financial statement 1949 December 29
1 1989.82.69: Financial statement 1950 December 31
1 1989.82.70: Financial statement 1951 December 31
1 1989.82.71: Financial statement 1952 December 31
1 1989.82.72: Financial statement 1953 June 30
1 1989.82.73: Financial statement 1953 December 31
1 1989.82.74: Audit report 1954 December 31
1 1989.82.75: Audit report 1958 December 31
1 1989.82.76: Report on examination (of financial statements) 1959 December 31
1 1989.82.77: Report on examination (of financial statements) 1960 December 31
1 1989.82.78: Report on examination (of financial statements) 1961 December 31
1 1989.82.79: Report on examination (of financial statements) 1962 December 31
1 1989.82.80: Report on examination (of financial statements) 1963 December 31
1 1989.82.81: Report on examination of financial statements 1964 December 31
1 1989.82.82: Report on examination of financial statements 1965 December 31
1 1989.82.83: Report on examination of financial statements 1966 December 31
1 1989.82.84: Report on examination of financial statements 1967 March 31
1 1989.82.85: Report on examination of financial statements 1967 June 30
1 1989.82.86: Report on examination of financial statements 1967 September 30
1 1989.82.87: Report on examination of financial statements 1967 December 31
1 1989.82.88: Report on examination of financial statements 1968 March 31
1 1989.82.89: Report on examination of financial statements 1968 September 30
1 1989.82.90: Report on examination of financial statements 1968 December 31
1 1989.82.91: Report on examination of financial statements 1969 March 31
1 1989.82.92: Report on examination of financial statements 1969 June 30
1 1989.82.93: Report on examination of financial statements 1969 September 30
1 1989.82.94: Report on examination of financial statements 1969 December 31
1 1989.82.95: Report on examination of financial statements 1970 March 30
1 1989.82.96: Financial statements 1970 June 30
1 1989.82.97: Financial statements 1970 December 31
1 1989.82.98: Financial statements 1971 June 30
1 1989.82.99: Financial statements 1971 December 30
1 1989.82.100: Financial statements 1972 June 30
1 1989.82.101: Financial statements 1972 December 31
1 1989.82.102: Financial statements 1973 June 30
1 1989.82.103: Financial statements 1974 June 30
1 1989.82.104: Financial statements 1974 December 31
1 1989.82.105: Financial statements 1975 June 30
1 1989.82.106: Minutes -- AFU Astoria 1969-1971
1 1989.82.107: Minutes -- AFU California 1957-1959
1 1989.82.108: Minutes -- AFU California 1969-1974
1 1989.82.109: Minutes -- AFU Bellingham 1948-1949
1 1989.82.110: Minutes -- AFU Bellingham 1957-1959
1 1989.82.112: Minutes -- AFU Portland 1947-1948
1 1989.82.113: Minutes -- AFU Portland 1949
2 1989.82.114: Minutes -- AFU Portland 1950
2 1989.82.115: Minutes -- AFU Portland 1951-1952
2 1989.82.116: Minutes -- AFU Portland 1953-1954
2 1989.82.117: Minutes -- AFU Portland 1955-1956
2 1989.82.118: Minutes -- AFU Portland 1957-1959
2 1989.82.119: Minutes -- AFU Portland 1970
2 1989.82.120: Minutes -- AFU California 1950-1951
2 1989.82.121: Minutes -- AFU California 1947-1950
2 1989.82.122: Minutes -- AFU Alaska 1949-1950
2 1989.82.123: Minutes -- AFU Cannery 1944
2 1989.82.124: Minutes -- AFU Cannery 1946
2 1989.82.125: Minutes -- AFU Cannery 1950
2 1989.82.126A: Minutes -- AFU Cannery 1961-1964
2 1989.82.126B: Minutes -- AFU Cannery 1965-1975
2 1989.82.127: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1947
2 1989.82.128: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1948
2 1989.82.129: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1949
2 1989.82.130: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1950
2 1989.82.131: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1951
2 1989.82.132: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1952
2 1989.82.133: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1953
2 1989.82.134: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1954
2 1989.82.135: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1955
2 1989.82.136: Minutes -- AFU Seattle 1956
2 1989.82.137: Minutes -- AFU Alaska 1954-1957
2 1989.82.138: Minutes -- AFU Bellingham (steno pad) 1951-1952
2 1989.82.139: Minutes -- AFU Bellingham (steno pad) 1952-1953
2 1989.82.140: Minutes -- AFU Bellingham (steno pad) 1954-1955
2 1989.82.141: Minutes -- AFU Bellingham (steno pad) 1955-1956
2 1989.82.142: Minutes -- AFU Bellingham (steno pad) 1957
2 1989.82.143: National Marine Fisheries Service Documents related to Alaska fishing 1973-1977
2 1989.82.144: Miscellaneous Documents related to Alaska Fishing 1957-1977
2 1989.82.145: 1st and 2nd Law of the Sea Conference documents 1959-1961
3 1989.82.146: 3rd Law of the Sea Conference, multiple sessions 1974-1976
2 1989.82.147: 15 articles about Pacific fishing 1959-1974

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Maps
Container(s)
Description
Dates
drawer
VII19 1989.82.148: Areas and species of major foreign fisheries
56cm x 78cm
1974 June 16
1989.82.149: Pacific Ocean. Washington D.C.
85.5cm x 116cm
Hydrographic Office (with additional information added on Japanese fishing areas in the north Pacific and areas needing protection for North American salmon.
1947

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Subjects

  • Geographical Names :
  • Anchorage (Alalcshska)
  • Astoria (Or.)
  • Bellingham (Wash.)
  • Ketchikan (Alaska)
  • Monterey (Calif.)
  • Portland (Or.)
  • San Francisco (Calif.)
  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Subject Terms :
  • Fisheries--Records and correspondence
  • Labor unions-- Records and correspondence

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