Skip to main content

Oregon Commonwealth Federation records

Identifier: Bx 033

Scope and Contents

The Oregon Commonwealth Federation Records include articles of incorporation, meeting minutes, correspondence, press releases, financial records, and publications, 1936-1942. Also included is an embosser with the seal of the OCF.


  • Creation: 1936-1942


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

In 1936, Oregon labor unions were frustrated by a reactionary anti-New Deal Democratic governor, and thus were looking for either new candidates or a new party to support. The genesis of the Oregon Commonwealth Federation (OCF) grew out of the ideas being discussed at labor conventions that year. Leaders from labor groups filed articles of incorporation for OCF in 1936. They hoped that this new group would achieve farm worker and labor unity. It was believed that this unity would increase support for New Deal policies.

At the first OCF convention in 1937, Monroe Sweetland was elected executive secretary (later changed to Director). He held this position until 1941. The OCF worked to bring more farm interests into the Federation by supporting public power projects. The OCF unfortunately had to deal with intra-labor strife that sapped much of its energy and funds.

The OCF did win increased support for New Deal policies in Oregon, but the group withered when a large labor union withdrew its monetary support in 1941, and OCF could no longer afford an executive secretary. The group was mostly inactive after that until it finally disbanded completely in 1943.

[Source: Herzig, Jill Hopkins. The Oregon Commonwealth Federation : the rise and decline of a reform organization. Master's thesis, University of Oregon, 1963.]


10.5 linear feet (21 containers)

Language of Materials



The Oregon Commonwealth Federation was a progressive political group that campaigned to support New Deal policies and politicians in Oregon, between 1936 - 1942. Monroe Sweetland was elected executive secretary/director of the group at its first convention in 1937, and served until 1942. The collection (1936-1942) contains articles of incorporation, by-laws, meeting minutes, press releases, financial records, and correspondence.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Monroe Sweetland in 1953.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Tanya Parlet.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Oregon Commonwealth Federation Records
Revise Description
Tanya Parlet and Linda Long
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA