Collection Number: 40191

Collection Title: Janitors' Association of the University of North Carolina Records, 1933-1941

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 1 volume
Abstract The Janitors' Association was established in 1930 through the efforts of several janitors at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Soon after its establishment, the university required all janitors to join the association. Most of the members were African Americans. The association's stated purpose was to promote cooperation between the janitors and the university administration and to "advance the moral standards and ideals of the janitors." Meetings were devoted to the discussion of job-related issues, such as salaries and uniforms, and the planning of social events. Records of the Janitors' Association consist of a single volume containing minutes of meetings, membership lists, and other information for the years 1933-1941.
Creator Janitors' Association of the University of North Carolina.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Janitors' Association of the University of North Carolina Records #40191, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mary Morrow in March 1994.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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The Janitors' Association of the University of North Carolina was organized in 1930 through the initiative of Kenon Cheek, Frank Hairston, Elliott Washington, and Melvin Rich, who were all then employed as janitors at the university. The association's purpose, as described in its constitution, was to promote "better cooperation between the authorities of the University and the Janitors . . . [and] to advance better moral standards and ideals of the Janitors." The university administration not only approved the association, but made membership a requirement for all its janitors. Names of those delinquent in attending meetings and paying dues were reported to the Superintendent of Buildings. Continued delinquence could jeopardize a janitor's job.

The Janitors' Association functioned, in part, as a social organization, providing janitors with a means to meet and discuss many issues. Among the subjects discussed at meetings were salaries, uniforms, and other job-related agenda, as well as annual banquets and barbeques. Dues ranged from around $.05 monthly in 1934 to $.30 per month in the 1940s. Much of this money went towards organizing social events.

During the early years of the Janitors' Association, janitors not only provided cleaning services, but also painted, did repair work and carpentry, ran errands, and delivered campus mail. Janitors were assigned to specific sites, for which they were responsible. Pay was low; most of these men were supporting families on $10 a week while working over 50 hours per week.

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Records of the Janitors' Association consist of a single volume containing minutes of meetings, membership lists, and other information for the years 1933-1941.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Janitors' Association of the University of North Carolina Records, 1933-1941.

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Processing Information

Processed by: University Archives Staff

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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