|Our fundraising page– click here to donate|
Langsdale Library Special Collections is thrilled with the love shown to The White Lung Association Collection! Our link to the White Lung Preservation Project went live this week, and within two days, we met our initial fundraising goal, and then some ($4500 as of this writing– and our new goal is to reach the 7 grand mark.)
The WLA Records preserve the history of not only a nationally prominent–now shuttered– nonprofit, but tells the story of how Baltimore laborers challenged workplace safety standards when it came to asbestos exposure.
The Association was formed in 1979 to protect workers in the steel, auto, and shipyard industries. They advocated for laborers exposed to this deadly, naturally-occurring silicate used in building and manufacturing since the Industrial Revolution.
|Ephemera from the WLA Records— including a pamphlet done in a style
reminiscent of EC horror comics of the 1950s
The WLA Collection came to Special Collections earlier this year via the auspices of former WLA Executive Director and National Secretary, Jim Fite. Containing 157 boxes of–among other things– correspondence, outreach ephemera, case files, and audiovisual materials, this documents the blue collar struggle for occupational health and safety in The U. S., and Baltimore in particular.
With the help of Fite and Head of Special Collections Aiden Faust, the safeguarding of this at-risk trove is already underway, but the bulk of the work is still ahead of us. Contributions to the White Lung Preservation Project will move us forward by helping to establish a preservation fund for ongoing care of the collection. We hope you’ll join friends of the Library and The White Lung Association in saving this important part of regional and Labor history.