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Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 Collection

Overview

Abstract

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839

Federation of Screen Cartoonists

Walt Disney Studios Strike

Terrytoon, Inc., Strike



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Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 Collection, 1937-1951 | Special Collections & Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 Collection, 1937-1951Save to your list.

ID: URB/SCG

Primary Creator: Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, I.A.T.S.E. (1937-)

Extent: 4.26 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Series I: Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839, 1937-1951

Series II: Federation of Screen Cartoonists, 1939-1941

Series III: Walt Disney Studios' Strike, 1941-1946

Series IV: Terrytoon, Inc., Strike, 1945-1948

Date Acquired: 00/00/1980. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Animators, Labor unions - Animators - United States, Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, I.A.T.S.E., Strikes and lockouts - Animators - United States, Terrytoons, Inc., Walt Disney Productions

Forms of Material: Paper records, Photographic material, Scrapbooks

Languages: English

Abstract

The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild was a professional guild and labor union of cartoonists and animators. The Guild, then known as the Hollywood Screen Cartoonists, held their first union meeting in 1937. Throughout its existence the Guild represented animators at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the Walter Lantz Studios, Walt Disney Studios, and Terrytoon, Inc. The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild Collection contains historical records relating to the organization of the Guild, jurisdictional disputes, and its support and involvement in union strikes.

Biographical Note

The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, then known as the Hollywood Screen Cartoonists, held their first union meeting in 1937. A formal constitution was drafted in 1939, and the name Screen Cartoonists Guild (SCG) was adopted. In 1940, William Littlejohn became the Guild's president. After their first year as a union, the SCG represented cartoonists at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and the Walter Lantz Studios. The Guild then consisted of approximately 115 members. Through successful collective bargaining, the SCG was able to significantly raise the average wage paid to the industry's animators.

Walt Disney Studios, with its 700 potential members, soon became the SCG's major organizing target. Disney employees belonged to the Federation of Screen Cartoonists (FSC), an organization which the SCG identified as a "company union." The FSC and the Disney Studios' management vehemently denied these allegations by the SCG. The Guild's successful organizing drive of Disney cartoonists quickly lead to the 1940/1941 Disney strike. The strike resulted in a bitter defeat for Disney and the Federation, while becoming a decisive victory for the SCG.

The SCG cast their lot with the Painters Union (International Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America), an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor (A.F. of L.), but had to fight a jurisdictional battle with the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) for union recognition. The Hollywood Cartoonists then became Local 852 of the Painters Union.

Having successfully organized the Hollywood industry, the SCG soon tackled the New York animation industry. In 1944, the SCG sent its organizers to New York City to form Screen Cartoonists, Local 1461. This move also proved to be a successful venture, although in 1951, Local 1461 became involved in a tough jurisdictional dispute with the I.A.T.S.E., which was then led by Roy Brewer.

In 1947, the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild would face one of its first major defeats. Cartoonists in New Rochelle were asking for salaries comparable to those paid by other major studios. Not receiving satisfaction, the SCG organized a strike at Terrytoons, Inc. The cartoonists lost their fight in the strike, which lasted over twenty-eight weeks. Striking animators received support funding from other unions, but Terrytoons, Inc. was able to continue operating by hiring New Rochelle high school students to work during the strike.

In 1952 the Screen Cartoonists Guild changed its name to the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, and in 2002 changed to The Animation Guild.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 Collection contains historical records relating to the organization of the Guild, jurisdictional disputes, and its support and involvement in union strikes. The bulk of the material found in the collection consists of by-laws, cartoons and sketches, correspondence, memorabilia, minutes, newspaper clippings, newsletters, notes for speeches, organizational leaflets and strike photographs. Of particular significance are the handbills, leaflets and photographs from the Walt Disney Strike of 1940/1941, extensive correspondence between union organizers Herb Sorrell and Pepe Ruiz, and records detailing the Terrytoon Strike of 1947. The collection has been divided into four series: Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839 (1937-1951), Federation of Screen Cartoonists (1939-1941), Walt Disney Studios' Strike (1941-1946), and Terrytoon, Inc. Strike (1945-1948).

Series I, Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839, consists of the Guild's by-laws, constitutions, correspondence, leaflets, pamphlets and printed material. The series is arranged in alphabetical order by type of material and chronologically within each grouping.

Series II, Federation of Screen Cartoonists, includes memorandums, printed material, organizational plans and statements. The material is arranged in chronological order.

Series III, Walt Disney Studios' Strike, consists of by-laws and leaflets pertaining to the Disney strike. Also included is a speech given by Mr. Disney (circa 1941) to studio employees. Leaflets are arranged in chronological order.

Series IV, Terrytoon, Inc. Strike, documents the strike's history through contracts, correspondence, financial records, minutes, newsletters and press releases. The series is arranged alphabetically according to the nature of the material and chronologically thereafter.

Subject/Index Terms

Animators
Labor unions - Animators - United States
Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839, I.A.T.S.E.
Strikes and lockouts - Animators - United States
Terrytoons, Inc.
Walt Disney Productions

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & Archives

Accruals: 1981

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions: Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been dedicated to the public. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Acquisition Source: Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild

Original/Copies Note: Digital reproductions of selected items in this collection are available electronically as a part of the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library. For more information please see https://digital-library.csun.edu/.

Preferred Citation: For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials guide.

Processing Information: Dr. Leonard Pitt, 1981

Finding Aid Revision History:

Robert G. Marshall and Cathy Kay, 2005

Special Collections and Archives staff, 2012


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series I: Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839, 1937-1951]
[Series II: Federation of Screen Cartoonists, 1939-1941]
[Series III: Walt Disney Studios Strike, 1941-1946]
[Series IV: Terrytoon, Inc., Strike, 1945-1948],
[All]

Series III: Walt Disney Studios Strike, 1941-1946Save to your list.
Box 1Save to your list.
Folder 27: By-Laws, ca. 1941Save to your list.
Folder 28: Leaflets, December 1941-June 1946Save to your list.
Folder 29: Leaflets, June 1946Save to your list.
Folder 30: Leaflets, June 1946Save to your list.
Folder 31: Leaflets, July 1946Save to your list.
Folder 32: Leaflets, July 1946Save to your list.
Folder 33: Leaflets, July 1946Save to your list.
Folder 34: Leaflets, July 1946Save to your list.
Folder 35: Leaflets, July 1946-December 1946Save to your list.
Folder 36: Speech: Walt Disney, 1941 February 10Save to your list.
Box 3Save to your list.
Folder 5: Walt Disney Studio StrikeSave to your list.
Box 4: Scrapbook, 1941-1942Save to your list.
Box 5Save to your list.
Folder 17: Photos - Walt Disney StrikeSave to your list.
Folder 18: Photos - Walt Disney StrikeSave to your list.
Folder 19: Photos - Walt Disney StrikeSave to your list.
Folder 20: Photos - Walt Disney StrikeSave to your list.
Folder 21: Photos - Walt Disney StrikeSave to your list.
Folder 22: Negatives - Walt Disney Strike and Terrytoon Incorporated StrikeSave to your list.

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Screen Cartoonists Guild, Local 839, 1937-1951]
[Series II: Federation of Screen Cartoonists, 1939-1941]
[Series III: Walt Disney Studios Strike, 1941-1946]
[Series IV: Terrytoon, Inc., Strike, 1945-1948],
[All]


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