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E. T. Kehrer papers

Identifier: L1989-22

Scope and Content of the Papers

The papers of E.T. "Al" Kehrer, 1940-1989 include academic course notes, unpublished college writings, correspondence, pocket calendars, expense reports, artifacts (largely union or political buttons plus framed plaques), a modest amount of printed materials, and one videocassette recording.


  • Creation: 1940-1989


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.

Biography of E. T. Kehrer

Born in 1921 near Brighton, Michigan, Elmer Thomas "Al" Kehrer received his BA degree in 1947 from Olivet College, a liberal arts institution in Olivet, Michigan. In 1948, Kehrer obtained his MA degree in economics from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Kehrer had apparently interrupted his studies at Olivet to enter the Maritime Service from 1943 to 1946. Before attending Olivet and Yale, Kehrer had been a student organizer for the United Auto Workers (1936) and had done field work for the Ship's Clerk Association in Los Angeles (1944). After completing his master's at Yale, Kehrer worked as a field representative for the American Federation of Labor's Worker's Education Bureau. The employees of the bureau were members of Local 189 of the American Federation of Teachers, and Kehrer served as the Secretary-Treasurer of Local 189. From 1950 to 1953 Kehrer served as the Assistant Director of the Officer's Training Institute of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union.

Relocating to Atlanta from New York in 1953, Kehrer became the Southeastern Regional Director of the ILGWU, remaining at that post through 1964. In 1965, Kehrer became the Southern Director for the AFL-CIO's Civil Rights Department, remaining there until his retirement in 1989.

Kehrer's civic and political interests encompassed activity in the Georgia Democratic Party, where he served on the Executive Committee; as a board member of the Southern Regional Council; and on the Southeastern Advisory Council of the American Red Cross. In 1966 Kehrer helped to form and serve as an officer of the Georgia Democratic Party Forum and the Ellis Arnall Write-In Campaign, efforts aimed at electing a slate of Loyalist national Democrats as delegates to the 1968 Democratic National Convention and electing Ellis Arnall Governor of Georgia. Kehrer also participated in activities of the Organized Labor and Workmen's Circle banquet committee, and served as President of the Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger. Kehrer has been a long-time member of Atlanta's Central Presbyterian Church, and has been active in lay organizations in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). He died in 1996.


2.5 Linear Feet (in 6 boxes)

Language of Materials



E.T. (Edward Thomas) "Al" Kehrer (1921-1996) was a labor union official born near Brighton, Michigan. Kehrer served as the Southeastern Regional Director of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) (1953-1964) and Southern Director for the AFL-CIO Civil Rights Department (1965-1989). His papers, 1940-1989, include records relating to educational activities (1940-1950); professional activities files (1953-1980) containing correspondence, expense reports, and weekly calendars (1955-1980, minus 1973) pertaining to Kehrer's work with the ILGWU and the AFL-CIO, Civil Rights Department; and personal files (1951-1989) containing printed material, correspondence and financial information.

Organization of the Papers

Series List

  1. Series I: Educational Activities, 1940-1950
  2. Series II: Professional Activities, 1953-1979
  3. Series III: Personal Papers, 1951-1989

Acquisition Information

Donated by E. T. Kehrer, July 6, 1989.

Online Availability

The photographs in this collection may have been digitized and are available online at Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.

Related Archival Materials

The Southern Labor Archives holds numerous AFL-CIO collections. These collections include State level organizations (Virginia State AFL-CIO, Mississippi AFL-CIO, Florida State AFL-CIO, Georgia State AFL-CIO, South Carolina State AFL-CIO, and North Carolina State AFL-CIO). In addition, the SLA has a number of regional office collections (the designations and locations have changed over time) including: AFL-CIO. Region 5, AFL-CIO. Region 6, AFL-CIO. Region 8 (Knoxville, Tenn.), and AFL-CIO. Region 10 (Nashville, Tenn.) as well as the AFL-CIO. Civil Rights Department. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Separated Materials

During processing, materials were separated to other Southern Labor Archives Collections. For photographs, see the Southern Labor Archives Photographs Collection finding aid. For pamphlets, see the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection finding aid (note that this collection has been weeded over time). For audiovisual materials and artifacts, consult Special Collections for access.

Separated to the Southern Labor Archives Audiovisual Collection

  1. One videocassette recording (VHS), "It's Time to Say Yes - Dukakis," AFL-CIO and Labor Institute of Public Affairs, 10 minutes, 1988

Separated to the Southern Labor Archives Photographs Collection

  1. 2 Photographs

Separated to the Southern Labor Archives Pamphlet Collection

  1. Pamphlets relating to Labor Publications and Labor Songs

Separated to the Southern Labor Archives Artifacts Collection

  1. One framed "American Red Cross Certificate of Appreciation to E.T. Kehrer - Member Southeastern Field Office Advisory Council - Atlanta, Georgia - 1981 - 1982"
  2. One framed "American Red Cross Certificate of Appreciation to E.T. Kehrer for volunteer services as a member of the Eastern Operations Advisory Council - 1981 - 1984"
  3. One plaque "American Red Cross Certificate of Appreciation to E.T. Kehrer Member Southeastern Field Office Advisory Council Atlanta, Georgia 1981 - 1983"
  4. One plaque "American Red Cross Presented to E.T. "Al" Kehrer This Special Award to an Outstanding Individual for Your Leadership and Continuing Support 1981 - 1989"
  5. One curved lucite freestanding award "Organized Labor and Workmen's Circle Award Presented to Past Honoree E.T. "Al" Kehrer 1974 on the 20th Anniversary of the Awards Atlanta, Georgia April 29, 1989"
  6. One plaque to E. T. "Al" Kehrer from District 6 NAACP Conference of Branches, October 3, 1981
  7. One plaque to E. T. "Al" Kehrer from Southeastern Building Trades Conference, November 3, 1973
  8. One plaque to E. T. "Al" Kehrer American National Red Cross' Disaster Coastline Project to Help Alleviate Human Suffering Caused by Disasters, June 7, 1985
  9. One plaque to E. T. Kehrer from National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, November 1997
  10. One plaque to Al Kehrer from GA NAACP Conference, 1984
  11. One plaque to E. T. Kehrer from Southern Christian Leadership Conference, August 24-27, 1988
  12. One plaque to E. T. Kehrer from Max Cleland, Secretary of State, the State of Georgia, June 28, 1989
  13. One plaque to E. T. Kehrer from Ad Hoc Labor Committee NCNW, April 12, 1989
  14. One plaque to E. T. (Al) Kehrer from E. L. Abercrombie Scholarship Fund, 1982
  15. One plaque to E. T. "Al" Kehrer from North Georgia Building Trades Council, February 2, 1979
  16. One plaque to E. T. Kehrer from Organized Labor and Workingmen's Circle, April 27, 1984
  17. One plaque to E. T. Kehrer from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., January 14, 1983
  18. Buttons, 66 union plus 27 duplicates
  19. Buttons, 43 campaign/political plus 60 duplicates
  20. Badges, 18 name ribbon (E.T. Kehrer)
  21. Ribbons, 2 union (no name badges attached)
  22. Decals, 4 union
  23. Decal/sticker, 1 "Mondale"
  24. Magnets, 1 equal sign (=)
  25. Donkey keychain, 1
  26. Soap, 1 Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  27. J.P. Stevens annual shareowners meeting stubs for 1978 and 1980 (1 for each year)
  28. The plaques listed here have been de-accessioned.

Processing Information

Inventoried by Anne L. Tilden, M. Lee Sayrs, and Robert C. Dinwiddie at the file level, April 23, 1992.

E. T. Kehrer:
A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
April 1992
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)