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Joseph Nelson collection

Identifier: L1975-45

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Joseph Nelson Collection, 1970-1974 comprises correspondence, legal documents, contracts, and newspapers concerning unsuccessful strikes against the Nabisco and Mead Corporations of Atlanta in 1972. The bulk of the Collection is composed of material produced by the Atlanta branch of the October League, a Maoist-oriented Communist group to which Nelson belonged, and which led the agitation in the plants that resulted in the strike actions. A smaller segment of the Collection relates more directly to the authorized bargaining agents for the workers involved, Bakery & Confectionery Workers Union Local 42 and Atlanta Printing Specialties & Paper Products Union Local 527.


  • Creation: 1970-1974


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Historical Note on the October League

The October League (Marxist-Leninist), founded in 1971, was an outgrowth of the Student for a Democratic Society movement (SDS). The League took a more radical, anti-revisionist stance that put them at odds with the rest of the political left in the United States. During the 1970s they established links with established civil rights organizations as well as developing a relationship with their ideological kin in the Maoist People's Republic of China.


0.25 Linear Feet (in 6 folders)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of papers collected by Joseph Nelson from 1970-1974 documenting a wildcat strike in 1972 against the Mead Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia by the "Mead Caucus of Rank and File Workers" as well as similar unsuccessful efforts by Atlanta, Georgia workers at Nabisco, Inc. and the Regency Hyatt House Hotel. Also contained in the collection are materials pertaining to the Printing Specialists and Paper Products Union, Local 527 (Atlanta, Ga.), the official representatives for the Mead workers, and the October League, a Maoist-oriented communist group.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joseph Nelson, December 1975.

Separated Materials

During processing, Printed material was separated to other Southern Labor Archives collections. Material must be requested separately; consult archivist for access. For periodicals, see the Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection finding aid or catalog.

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Agreements Collection

  1. Bakery & Confectionery Workers Union Local 42, (Atlanta, Ga.) 1971
  2. Atlanta Printing Specialties and Paper Products Union, Local 527, 1970

Separated to Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection

  1. B & C News, 1973
  2. The Miner's Voice, 1971
  3. Mead Progress Report, February, May, August 1972
  4. Nabisco Magazine, 1972-1974

Processing Information

Inventoried by Mary Froehlich at the file level, March 24, 1977.


Joseph Nelson:
A Guide to His Collection at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
May 2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)