Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 3, Department of Labor, 1945-1954

3 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 2: Subject Files, Subseries 3: Department of Labor (1945-1954) consists of material relating to Morse's tenure as Assistant, Under, and Acting Secretary of Labor in the Truman administration between July 1946 and August 1948. For the most part, the contents of this subseries can be divided into three broad categories: intra-departmental material, inter-departmental material, and extra-departmental material. It is important to note that most of this material takes the form of copies of records held in the National Archives rather than papers held in Morse's files. Their character tends to be impersonal, not that the human dimension is entirely absent. Morse's dealings with Secretary Lewis Schwellenbach and the upper echelons of the department convey a clear sense of the style and substance of his administrative role. The topics covered in this subseries are varied, ranging from the contentious Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, to the family budget of urban workers to the equitable participation of minorities in the programs and services of the department.

The bulk of the material in this subseries is intra-departmental, including budget reports, general orders establishing policies and procedures for various activities, draft legislation, statutes describing the purpose of departmental units, and plans for the department's 35th anniversary. This category also contains material relating to programs and services within the jurisdiction of the department such as the United States Employment Service, the Women's Bureau, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the Veterans Employment Service. The activities of the department itself are documented in large part through reports on the progress of various domestic and international programs and through memoranda between officials suggesting changes within or alternatives to such programs.

The inter-departmental material in this subseries consists of documents exchanged between the department and other governmental offices and officials, including reports on joint programs and issues of departmental concern. For example, the Department of Labor, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Agriculture were all involved in the Food Conservation Program established by President Truman. The White House, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Atomic Energy Commission were also among the department's correspondents.

For its part, the extra-departmental material consists of correspondence and associated documents exchanged between Morse or his colleagues and external bodies such as the International Labour Organisation, the Merrill-Stevens Dry Dock and Repair Company, United States Steel, and the University of California's Institute of Industrial Relations. A number of congratulatory letters and telegrams from Morse's friends and relations on the occasion of his appointment as Assistant and Under Secretary of Labor inject an element of personal warmth into this subseries.


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent or topic.

Collection History


Duplicates were separated from the April 2008 accession. No information about appraisal is available for the other accessions associated with this collection.


These papers were processed with the generous support of Mildred H. Morse, wife of the late David A. Morse, and the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged and described by John S. Weeren with the able assistance of Fifi Chan and Tina Wang in 1995. Mildred Morse provided invaluable help in identifying photographs and contextualizing portions of this material. Additions received since 1995 were integrated into the collection by Adriane Hanson in 2008. Finding aid written by John S. Weeren in 1995. A subsequent accession in March 2011 was added to the collection as its own series, and the finding aid was updated at this time.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Subseries 3, Department of Labor; David A. Morse Papers, MC097, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 68-70