Clark Kerr Collection Donated to U.C. Berkeley
Institute of Industrial Relations Library

Clark Kerr, who created the blueprint for public higher education in the United States while president of the University of California system in the 1950s and 1960s, died December 1, 2003 at the age of 92.

The U.C. Berkeley Institute of Industrial Relations Library recently received a generous donation of more than 500 books from his personal collection. These titles represent a lifetime of study, scholarship, and publishing in several fields associated with labor and industrial relations. Clark Kerr, 92, received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California in 1939, served in various capacities on the War Labor Board from 1942-1947, and was the first director (1945-1952) of the Institute of Industrial Relations at U.C. Berkeley where he kept an office until his death. Kerr went on to serve as Berkeley chancellor (1952-1958) and UC President (1958-1967). According to his editorial assistant Maureen Kawaoka, "Despite the fact that his career path took him in the direction of higher education administration, his true passion has always been the study of labor economics and industrial societies."

Dr. Kerr also had a long career working directly in union issues, including serving as the Impartial Chairman of the Pacific Coast and International Longshoremen's and Warehouseman's Union 1946-1947, Contract Arbitrator between the California Processors and Growers and the California State Council of Cannery Unions 1953-1958, the Public Review Board of the United Auto Workers of America 1957-1959, and Chairman on the Board of Arbitrators between the United Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union in 1984. He also received the Labor-Management Award in 1989 from the Work in America Institute.

His labor-related publications started in 1934 with journal articles on self-help cooperatives coauthored with Paul S. Taylor and went on to include such standards as Unions, Management and the Public (Harcourt Brace, 1948, 1960, 1967), Industrialism and Industrial Man (with John T. Dunlop, Frederick H. Harbison, and Charles Myers, Harvard University Press, 1960), and How Labor Markets Work: Reflections on Theory and Practice (with John Dunlop, Richard Lester, and Lloyd Reynolds, Lexington Books, 1988).

To acknowledge this gift, the IIR library designed and printed a special bookplate created by librarian Lincoln Cushing. The image was adapted from a 1920s plate Cushing found while researching the collection of the Jose Marti National Library in Havana.

Designed by Lincoln Cushing
former Electronic Outreach Librarian
Institute of Industrial Relations Library, UC Berkeley

return to Lincoln Cushing's Library Culture page

updated 4/23/2021