Scope and Contents
The collection consists of negatives and photographs from Ms. Joseph's career as staff photographer for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. There are also images taken in Mexico, and some photographs of a White House event in 1938, featuring Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; images of American workers on the home front during World War II; correspondence and travel notes.
Series 1, Historical Background, 1941, undated, consists of correspondence and travel notes from a photojournalistic trip to Mexico in 1941.
The correspondence is organized into three sections, Tayoltita in Northwest Mexico, the 1941 Colima, Mexico earthquake, and Thelma Goldman. In addition to the correspondence there are typescript captions for some of the photographs and annotated drafts of travel notes detailing the Mexico trip.
Series 2, Photographic Negatives and Prints, [1941?] and undated, consists of negatives and prints for garment workers and the photojournalistic trip to Mexico. The negatives and prints are housed together in 4" x 5" envelope enclosures. Captions and other information about the negative/print is provided on the envelope. The majority of negatives and prints are undated, and there is no arrangement.
Series 3, Photographic Prints, 1938, 1941 and undated, is further divided into four subseries topically: Subseries 1, International Ladies Garment Workers Union; Subseries 2, Labor; Subseries 3, Mexico and Subseries 4, Subjects. The photographs are 8" x 10" black-and-whites taken by Katherine Joseph and some by Harry Rubenstein, another journalist. The photographs are arranged topically. Some of the photographs have captions and/or annotations, and almost all bear a stamp "photo by Katherine Joseph."
Series 4, "Pins and Needles" (audio disc), 1962, consists of one (1) 33 1/3 RPM audio disc from the Pins and Needles twenty-fifth anniversary. Pins and Needles was originally produced by the Cultural Division of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union under the leadership of Louis Schaffer. The music and lyrics for Pins and Needles was composed by Harold Rome in 1936–1937. The revue had its public debut on November 27, 1937 at the New York Labor Stage, which had been created when the ILGWU leased the Princess Theater and renovated the space for union cultural performances. Because of their factory jobs, cast and crew could rehearse only at night and on weekends, and initial performances were presented only on Friday and Saturday nights. The original cast was made up of cutters, basters, and sewing machine operators. Pins and Needles satirized current events and cultural trends from a pro-union standpoint. Pins and Needles went on to become the longest-running musical of the 1930s, with 1108 New York performances and multiple national tours.