Skip to main content

Don McKee papers

Identifier: L1991-14

Scope and Content of the Files

The bulk of this collection is divided between photocopies of McKee's Weekly Organizing Reports, 1939-1949, and Organizing Campaign Publicity Materials, 1939-1949. The typed, chronologically arranged, organizing reports detail McKee's activities in the South and were submitted with his Weekly Expense Reports to the Atlanta, Georgia, Southeastern Office of the TWOC, and later to the TWUA. The organizing reports not only detail McKee's seven day per week, late night union activities but include his own projections and thoughts about the union efforts. In addition to canvassing workers as they entered and left mills, McKee made radio broadcasts, met with civic and church groups and leaders, attended union social functions, and sought out prospective union members wherever he could. Copies of McKee's pay slips and check stubs are also included. The gap in these folders for 1943-1945, is accounted for by McKee's military service.

The folders of Organizing Campaign Publicity Materials comprise copies of sheets urging union membership, meeting announcements, and illustrations of the contract process, with much in the mimeograph format with line drawings and directed to workers at specific mills in North and South Carolina. The folders are in chronological order with North Carolina's materials first, and then the folders are arranged alphabetically by city name within the state. The folders for South Carolina that follow are arranged as above. The last two folders in the collection include publicity materials for Alabama, Christmas cards sent by McKee, and correspondence including that related to McKee's decision to remain with the TWUA and not become a national CIO worker.

There are also publications and a copy of McKee's manuscript, "Organizing Southern Textile Workers: Early Days with the CIO."


  • 1939-1953, 1999


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.

Biography of Don McKee

A native Southerner, Don McKee was born in 1916. He began his career as a union organizer in 1937 with the Textile Workers Organizing Committee (TWOC). When TWOC became a full-fledged union in 1939 with the name Textile Workers Union of America-CIO, McKee became one of its first staff members. Except for a time spent in military service during World War II, McKee served as an organizer for TWUA from 1939 until his departure from the labor movement in 1949. When McKee left the labor movement in 1949, it was to attend graduate school at Columbia University in New York City. After finishing at Columbia, McKee obtained a teaching position at Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey, where for the next 32 years he taught government, political philosophy, and constitutional law.


4.38 Linear Feet (in 11 boxes)

Language of Materials



Don McKee, born in 1916, was a union organizer for the Textile Workers Union of America and a professor at Upsala College. Don McKee's Textile Workers Union of America Organizing Files consist of organizer reports from 1939 to 1949, organizing campaign publicity materials, union literature and a copy of his manuscript, "Organizing Southern Textile Workers: Early Days with the CIO."

Acquisition Information

Donated by Don McKee, July 1991, May 1999, and January 2000.

Processing Information

Inventoried by Robert Dinwiddie and Anne Tilden at the file level, January 1998. 1999 and 2000 accessions, processing information unknown. Multiple finding aids were combined into a single collection guide.
Don McKee:
A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University
Georgia State University Library
January 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • November 2001: EAD tagging by Pam Hackbart-Dean and Aubrey Underwood.
  • 2006, 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)