Manuscript Collections - Karl Baarslag Papers


The Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum is now open daily to the public for viewing of the permanent galleries on the life and times of Herbert Hoover, tickets are available in person or online.

The Research Room is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00-12:00, and 12:30-4:15. Appointments are encouraged and can be made by calling (319) 643-5301 or via email:


3 linear feet, 1 linear inch (7 manuscript boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


Karl Baarslag was born November 25, 1900. He left high school after his sophomore year and worked as a messenger, clerk, and laborer. While a postal clerk in Brooklyn in the early 1920s Baarslag organized local 251 of the National Federation of Post Office Clerks. From 1925 to 1941 Baarslag worked as a radio officer and noticed that unions representing these workers included communist sympathizers. He became an anti-communist activist involved with private and Congressional investigations during the 1950s and early 1960s. Baarslag died in 1984.


The papers primarily document the American Radio Telegraphists Association (ARTA) and the National Maritime Union (NMU). The ARTA files primarily contain minutes from 1934 to 1939, but include reports and publications. The NMU materials contain minutes, correspondence, administrative files, and a 13 page history written in 1943 detailing communist involvement in the NMU. There are folders on AWARE, a political screening organization working with the entertainment industry. Other materials include American Communist Party minutes and printed materials from leftist groups in the early 1960s. The papers are arranged alphabetically by subject. 


Box      Contents


American Radio Telegraphists Association, 1934-July 1938 (10 folders)


American Radio Telegraphists Association, 1938-1949 and undated

(1940-1949 includes American Communication Association, 6 folders)

American Radio Telegraphists Association – Official Organ, 1939
American Radio Telegraphists Association – Clippings, 1938-1942 (3 folders)



Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations, 1954
National War College, 1959 (2 folders)
Printed Materials, 1950-1957 (3 folders)
World Wide Communist Propaganda Activities, 1955


AWARE, Incorporated, 1953-1956 (2 folders)
Congress of Industrial Organization, Publication, 1945-1946
Commercial Radio Journal, 1935-1939
Communist Party
Minutes, 1927-1946 and undated (3 folders)
Searchlight, undated


National Lawyers Guild Quarterly, 1938-1939
National Maritime Union, 1937-1943

The Assignment System by Wayne P. Paschal, undated
Ballot, undated (oversize)
A Brief Historical Summary of the National Maritime Union by Karl Baarslag, May 13, 1943
By-laws, undated
Convention delegate list, 1941
Correspondence, 1941-1943, and undated
Minutes, 1937-May 1938 (5 folders)


Minutes, June 1938-Mar 1940 (7 folders)


Minutes, Apr 1940-1941, 1943 (5 folders)
Pilot (newspaper), Mar-June 1938
Unity Program, 1942, and undated
Printed Materials

National Guardian, 1962, 1964
New America, 1962-1964 (2 folders)
New Horizons for Youth, 1961-1962
People’s World, 1961, 1963
Social Questions Bulletin, 1964
The Worker, 1961