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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.


  • 1970-1974


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

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.

Related Archival Materials

Related Materials in This Repository

  1. Atlanta Printing Specialties and Paper Products Union, Local 527 (Atlanta, Ga.) records, 1954-1972 (L1977-22)
  2. Atlanta Printing Specialities and Paper Products Union, Local 527 (Atlanta, Ga.) records, circa 1960s-1970s (L1983-02)

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

Revision Statements

  • May 2001: EAD finding aid created by Apex Data Services.
  • 2005, 2007: EAD revised by William Hardesty.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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