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Van Amberg Bittner (1885-1949), Labor Leader, Papers

Collection Number: A&M 1698


UMWA international representative and organizer, member of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, director of the CIO Organizing Committee, and vice-chairman of the CIO Political Action Committee Correspondence, legal papers, diaries, clippings, and other papers relate to Bittner's early career in the western Pennsylvania coal fields; his presidency of District 5, UMWA, 1911-1916; and his organizational activities in southeastern Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, northern West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kansas, 1916-1928. Subjects include labor strife and strikes in West Virginia, 1912-1913, 1924-1928, Alabama, 1920-1921, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1911, and Oklahoma and Kansas, 1922; UMWA intra-union affairs; relief for striking miners; Kansas Industrial Court; Workers Communist Party; Red International of Labor Unions; American Association for Labor Legislation; National League of People's McAdoo Clubs; labor trouble in Montana, 1920; the railway assigned coal car problem; and Bittner's activities on various state and national labor boards and committees. There are photographs of mining towns, camps, and tent colonies, labor parades, conventions, demonstrations, and strikes; portraits of labor leaders; and pictures of the Irwin, Pennsylvania coalfield strike of 1911, the Ludlow Massacre of 1914, and the northern West Virginia strikes of 1924-1926. Frank Farrington, William Green, Frank J. Hayes, John L. Lewis, John Mitchell, Philip Murray, and John P. White are included among the correspondents. A detailed listing of the correspondence in boxes 1-7 is available upon request.


  • Creation: 1908-1961


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Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please see the Permissions and Copyright page on the West Virginia and Regional History Center website.


6.42 Linear Feet (6 ft. 5 in. (13 document cases, 5 in. each; 1 document case, 3 in.; 1 small flat storage box, 3 in.; 1 large flat storage box, 3 in.; 1 unboxed scrapbook, 3 in.))

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:

Separated Materials

6 photos separated to A&M 4168, Panoramic Photos Collection:

District 17 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), Golden Jubilee Convention, Columbus, OH, 1940 January 23-1940 February 01; 1940 January-February

5th Constitutional Convention, Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), Boston, MA.; 1942 November 09

Members Policy Committee, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), Hollenden Hotel, Cleveland, OH; 1922 August 07

6th Annual Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) Convention, Bellevue Stratford Hotel, Philadelphia, PA; 1943 November 01

1st Constitutional Convention Banquet, United Steelworkers of America, Public Auditorium, Cleveland, OH; 1942 May 20

2nd Constitutional Convention, United Steelworkers of America, Cleveland, OH, 1944 May 09-1944 May 13; 1944 May

Van Amberg Bittner (1885-1949), Labor Leader, Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US