University of Texas Arlington

Ruth Allen Papers:

A Guide

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Allen, Ruth Alice, 1889-1979.
Title: Ruth Allen Papers
Dates: 1923-1963
Abstract: Ruth Allen (1889-1979) was an economics professor at the University of Texas from 1923 until 1959. Her research focused upon the labor history and working people of Texas and she authored several influential works in the area of labor studies. The Ruth Allen Papers contain research materials pertaining to labor studies and include notes, clippings, reports, and photographs.
Identification: AR31
Extent: 2 boxes (0.63 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Biographical Note

Ruth Alice Allen was an economics professor whose research and writings focused on the working people and labor history of Texas. She was born in Cameron, Texas in 1889 and earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 1918 and 1921, respectively. Allen broke traditional gender barriers and began teaching economics at the University of Texas in 1923 and continued to do so until 1959. Her dissertation, The Labor of Women in the Production of Cotton, earned her a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1933. Texas workers and labor organizations continued to be the focus of her research and writings throughout her career. Influential publications authored by Allen include Chapters in the History of Organized Labor in Texas (1941) and The Great Southwest Strike (1942). Ruth Allen died in 1979.

Scope and Contents

The Ruth Allen Papers document Ruth Allen's research activities and interests in labor studies. The papers are comprised primarily of research materials such as notes, clippings, reports, drafts, correspondence, and photographs. Handwritten and typed notes pertain to labor organizations and strikes, transcriptions of articles, and bibliographies. Photocopies of legislative acts pertaining to labor issues are also included. Two reports concerning labor issues submitted to Ruth Allen by students as well as a bound report by Ruth Allen entitled The Minimum Wage in Theory and Practice (1923) are present. Photographs of the collection depict Texas cotton field workers, their families, and their homes. Clippings are comprised of photocopies of news items pertaining to labor organizations, strikes, labor violence, and economics. Also includes a copy of Chapters in the History of Organized Labor in Texas by Allen.


Materials are arranged in 14 folders by document type and therein chronologically.



Open for research.

Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Allen, Ruth Alice, 1889-1979--Archives.
Labor movement--Texas--History--Sources.
Labor unions--Texas--History--Sources.
Labor laws and legislation--Texas--History--Sources.
Alternate Titles
Texas Labor Archives

Administrative Information


Ruth Allen Papers, AR31, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.



Administrative Information

Grant Support

The retrospective updating and conversion of this finding aid was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Special Collections "Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records" project, 2014-2015.

Container List

Box Folder
1 1 Labor Strikes - Research materials, undated
2 Ruth Allen -Notes, undated
3 Ruth Allen - Correspondence, 1941-1963
4 The Minimum Wage in Theory and Practice, 1923
5 Public Law 101, Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, undated
6 Labor Legislation Affecting Texas, 1847-1925,
photocopy, original in 31-OS2-5
6a Alvin Scaff, "A Running Account," Field Report form Houston, June 10-14, 1936
7 Photographs, undated
8 Newspaper Clippings, 1937
9 Term Paper, "The Working Force Adjustment of the Freedom," 1865-1880

Box Folder
2 1 Newspaper Clippings, 1938-1939
2 Newspaper Clippings, 1939
3 Newspaper Clippings, 1940
4 Chapters in the History of Organized Labor in Texas by Ruth Allen, 1941