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Joseph Jacobs papers

Identifier: L1998-07

Scope and Content of the Papers

The collection contains documents and artifacts that cover the span of Joseph Jacobs activities during the twentieth century. The Administrative/Office files consist mainly of appointment books and financial records from the 1920s through the 1990s. The labor papers include cases and papers from Jacobs work as a labor lawyer and as a regional director and attorney for the United Textile Workers of America in the early 20th century. Also in the labor files are some items about the Southern Labor Archives at Georgia State University, which Jacobs helped establish, as well as the Uprising of '34, a documentary about the southern textile strike in 1934 in which Jacobs was involved.

Jacobs was a member and official of the Workmen's Circle, a Jewish fraternal aid/culture society for many years. The Workmen's Circle papers contain correspondence, conference, and Yiddishkite education information as well as some artifacts. There are also papers and publications written solely in Yiddish.

The Georgia Humanities Council series contains files pertaining to the case of Dr. Frank Hubby v. the Historic Savannah Foundation, Inc.; Georgia Endowment for the Humanities, Inc.; and the Georgia Semiquincentennial Commission. Other GHC papers pertain to the Southern Labor Archives and the Joseph Jacobs Foundation scholarship. Also in the collection are Jacobs papers and artifacts that reflect his activities in the Georgia Democratic Party, especially between 1988 and 1992. Photographs in the collection, numbering over 400 images, consist mostly of events of the Workmen's Circle and the labor movement in the South.


  • Creation: 1929-1998


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.

Oversized materials stored off-site. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Biography of Joseph Jacobs

Joseph Jacobs, born in 1908, was a graduate of the Atlanta Law School. He served as a labor lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia and the southern United States for many years. Also, he was a union organizer during the 1934 Textile Strike and the 1936 Lakewood-General Motors Strike.

Jacobs served as a Southern Regional Director for the United Textile Workers of America in the southeast and worked with many other local unions as their attorney. He served as an officer and member of the Workmen's Circle for over fifty years. In fact, he would become the first recipient of the Organized Labor and Workmen's Circle Award Banquet award in 1969.

Jacobs served as president of the Atlanta Orchid Society and was involved in the city planning of Sandy Spring and its surrounding area during the 1970s. Jacobs served locally in the Georgia Democratic Party for many years. He was elected three times to the Democratic National Convention and as chairman of the Fulton county Democratic Party. He also was an active member of the Georgia Humanities Council and was one of the key founders of the Southern Labor Archives at Georgia State University. Mr. Jacobs passed away in 1998.


62 Linear Feet (in 141 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection contains materials related to attorney and union organizer Joseph Jacobs's work in the labor and civic community. Specifically, the papers cover his activities in the fields of labor, the Workmen's Circle (Arbeiter Ring), the Georgia Humanities Council and the Georgia Democratic Party.

Organization of the Papers

  • Series I. Administrative files
  • Series II. Labor files
  • Series III. Workmen's Circle
  • Series IV. Georgia Humanities Council
  • Series V. Georgia Democratic Party
  • Series VI. Photographs
  • Series VII. Artifacts
  • Series VIII. Labor
  • Series IX. Labor Cases
  • Series X. Jacobs and Langford Legal Cases

Off-Site Storage

Oversized materials stored off-site. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joseph and Temaly Jacobs in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1998 and 2001.

Processing Information

Collection received in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1998 and 2001. Materials donated in 1976-1978 were originally processed in 1980. In 2002, DeAnna Janecek processed the 1998 and 2001 additions, adding them to the collection. Processed at the file level. Multiple finding aids combined into a single collection guide. The 1998 and 2001 additions make up boxes 1-85. The earlier donations are in boxes 679, 684-688, 1027-1070, and 1428-1433.

Joseph Jacobs:
A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
July 2002
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)