Guide to the Birmingham Union Collection, 1893-1977 AIS.1978.10

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Birmingham Union Collection
Creator
Birmingham Union (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Collection Number
AIS.1978.10
Date
1893-1977
Extent
2.35 linear feet (3 boxes, 9 oversize files, 2 reels microfilm)
Abstract
The Birmingham Union began when a group of concerned citizens decided to promote the revitalization and historic preservation of the South Side in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This collection contains information gathered by this group concerning the historic development and attempted revitalization of the South Side. The collection includes publications, news clips, histories, and photographs that contain information on churches, organizations, societies, institutions, and individuals in the South Side. The historic material covers the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, and the focus then moves to South Side events during the 1950's - 1970's.

Preferred Citation

Birmingham Union Collection, 1893-1977, AIS.1978.10, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The Birmingham Union was a community organization began in 1976 in order to promote the historical and cultural significance of Pittsburgh's South Side (formerly called Birmingham). The organization worked with the South Side Local Development Company, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, the South Side Community Council, and the South Side Chamber of Commerce to save the Victorian character of the South Side's shopping and entertainment district. They produced several promotional publications and organized community events. Through their efforts, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated East Carson Street as a "Great American Main Street." Mary Jane Schmalstieg and Dr. Bosanka Evosevic served as directors for the organization during the 1970s.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection includes information about Pittsburgh's South Side during the late-nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries. The collection includes documents in several formats, including paper, photographs, negatives, slides, and microfilm. The information in the documents consists of family mementos, church bulletins, South Side publications, special events commemorative materials, newspaper clippings, labor information, and correspondence. The first series includes the research and organizational information of the Birmingham Union. This information was used by the Union to promote South Side development and community awareness. The second series contains the two reels of microfilmed materials included in this collection. The third series includes the photographs, negatives, and slides of places and people of the South Side during the nineteenth-century. Please note that the microfilmed information supplements the materials retained in the paper documents in the collection. Many of the same topics are documented on both paper and microfilm, but there is no overlap of specific documents in both microfilm and on paper.

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Arrangement

Series I. Organizational/Research Files

Series II. Microfilm

Series III. Photographs, Negatives and Slides

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, November 2004

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Description of oversize material added to the finding aid. December 2010.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Birmingham Union, 1978.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jamie Peretich in November 2004.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Charles Stanford in November 2005. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID numbers 1458996 and 1459000.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Birmingham Union (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

Genre(s)

  • Church records

Geographic Name(s)

  • South Side (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Subject(s)

  • Associations, institutions, etc. -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Church buildings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Societies
  • Societies -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Birmingham Union Collection, 1893-1977, AIS.1978.10, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Organizational/Research Files 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains information on paper media that was gathered by the Birmingham Union about the South Side's churches, infrastructure, institutions, individuals, schools, and correspondence. Also included are flyers, publications, newspaper clippings, South Side history information, and programs generated and publicized by the Birmingham Union. The materials in this collection exist in paper form; however, additional microfilmed materials supplement each subseries.

Subseries  1. Churches 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains information from several ethnic churches located in the South Side, limited to Catholic and Protestant faiths. Bulletins, newspaper clippings, event flyers, publications, memorial booklets, rosters, histories, and directories are included. See also Series II, microfilm reels one and two, under the target entitled "Churches."

  BoxFolder
St. Peter's Church Special Events, 1911-1974 11
  Folder
St. Peter's Church Bulletins, 1978-1992 2-7
  Folder
Holy Cross Church, 1950-1976 8
  Folder
St. John the Evangelist, 1978, 1992 9
  BoxFolder
St. Matthew Directory, no date 21
  Folder
St. Matthew Bulletins, 1978-1982 2-4
  Folder
St. Henry's Church, 1970-1978 5
  Folder
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran, 1929, 1949 6
  Folder
St. Paul's Monastery 7
  Folder
Cobden Street Baptist Church, 1973 8
  Folder
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, History by William A. Powers, no date 9
  Folder
Roman Catholic Church History 10

Subseries  2. Institutions and Infrastructure 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains information about South Side institutions, such as hospitals, community organizations, businesses, government bodies, and newspapers. The subseries also contains information about the South Side's infrastructure and its development. These documents deal with the Incline and the Birmingham Bridge and Tunnel. See Series II, microfilm reel two, under the targets "Miscellaneous," and "Brashear Association" for additional information.

  Folder
Inclines, PAT brochure, no date 11
  Folder
Birmingham Tunnel and Bridge, 1909-1933 12
  Folder
South side Hospital, 1909 13
  Folder
New South Side Markethouse Reopening, 1978 14
  Folder
Brashear Association, April 1940 15
  Folder
birmingham Union Newsletter, "Closer Look," 1976-1977 16
  Folder
South Side Chamber of Commerce, 1974-1992 17

Subseries  3. Education/Schools 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries consists of information relating to South Side schools. Improving the schools and sports activities is the main focus of this subseries. See Series II, microfilm reel two under the target "Schools" for additional information.

  Folder
Wickersham School Kindergarten, 1935 18

Subseries  4. Correspondence 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains handwritten letters. The first two are in Croatian, and the final letter is in English and is about sharing memories of the historic South Side. See Series II, microfilm reel two, under the "Miscellaneous" target for correspondence between D.H. Brown and M.J. Schmalstieg.

  Folder
Cemas to Cindich, 1948 19

Subseries  5. Birmingham Union Introspective files 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries consists of information gathered by the Birmingham Union related to or supporting their role as a community organization attempting to revitalize the South Side. Some information about historic events affecting the South Side is also included. The types of materials include newspaper clippings, brochures, event flyers, history reports, and maps. Additional information can be found in series II, microfilm reel two, under the target "Miscellaneous."

  Folder
South Side Revitalization Documentation, 1978-1991 20
  Folder
South Side Events, 1959-1986 21
  Folder
South Side newspaper clipping photocopies, no date 22
  Folder
South Side History reports and slide presentation scripts, 1902-1956 23
  Folder
World War II in the South Side, c 1940s 24
  Folder
Steel Strike, 1937 25
  Folder
Maps, c 1920 26

Subseries  6. Individuals 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries covers information concerning several specific individuals and their families. These individuals were influential in the South Side. Information includes photographs (on microfilm), personal information, newspaper clippings, and articles. See also microfilm reel two under the targets "Miscellaneous" and "Photo Album."

  Folder
John Filkovich, 1913-1978 27
  Folder
Anna Zgurich, no date 28

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Series  II. Microfilm 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains two reels of microfilm composed of materials removed from the Birmingham Union collection of paper documents because of their brittleness. The materials span the range of the collection, covering information on churches, schools, community organizations, correspondence, pictures, newspapers, and individuals. Directories, books, newspaper clippings, and photographs are represented on these microfilm reels. Targets are included on the microfilm reels to ease research for the user. Targets and the materials contained within the target groupings are listed here.

Subseries  1. South Side Community Council, 1963-1978 

  Microfilm-cabinetDrawerReel
Newsletter, "South Side Lights," 1971-March 1978 231
  Reel
City Planning Commission Public Hearing 1
  Reel
Position Statements 1
  Reel
Events - News clippings 1
  Reel
Project Proposals 1
  Reel
Reports 1
  Reel
Correspondence 1
  Reel
Brochures/Publications 1
  Reel
Photographs 1

Subseries  2. South Side Community Education Committee 

  Reel
Meeting Notes and Minutes 1
  Reel
South side High Questionnaire 1
  Reel
Reports and Recommendations 1

Subseries  3. Churches 

  Reel
Presidents and Secretaries of PTG organization in 16th and 17th Ward Catholic schools, 1963 1
  Reel
Church Contacts 1
  Reel
South Side Community Council Church Tour, 1975 1
  Reel
Our Lady of Fatima, High Latin Mass Broadcast Announcement 1
  Reel
Clergy Luncheon 1
  Reel
Bingham Street Methodist Church 1
  Reel
Holy Trinity Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church 1
  Reel
St. Adalbert's Church (Sw. Wociecha R.K. Church), History 1
  Reel
St. Casimir's Church 1
  Reel
St. Henry's Church 1
  Reel
St. Joseph's Church 1
  Reel
St. Josephat (Ukrainian Catholic), "Album pa miatkowy zlotego jubileuszu parafje Sw. Joszafit" 1
  Reel
St. John the Baptist Church 1
  Reel
St. John the Evangelist 1
  Reel
St. Mary's Church (Russian Orthodox) 1
  Reel
St. Matthew's Church, St. Matthew Golden Jubilee, 1955 1
  Reel
St. Michael's Church 1
  Reel
St. Michael's Church Continued 2
  Reel
"Spomen Kniiga" 2
  Reel
St. Peter's Church 2
  Reel
Walton Methodist Church 2
  Reel
Bingham Street Methodist Church 2
  Reel
Second Primitive Methodist Church 2
  Reel
St. James Lutheran 2
  Reel
South Side Catholic Elementary Schools 2

Subseries  4. Schools 

  Reel
Committee for a Comprehensive South High 2
  Reel
School Board Meeting Notes and Minutes 2
  Reel
Improvement Proposals 2
  Reel
Orioles Football and Stadium 2
  Reel
Newspaper Clippings 2
  Reel
Library Floor Plan 2

Subseries  5. Miscellaneous 

  Reel
South Side Chamber of Commerce 2
  Reel
South Side Hospital 2
  Reel
Police-Citizens' Council News 2
  Reel
Inclines 2
  Reel
South Side News clips 2
  Reel
Brashear Association, Background Material, Study of Brashear Association in Southwest Pittsburgh, 1967 2
  Reel
John A. Brashear 2
  Reel
South Side Revitalization Documentation 2
  Reel
Pittsburgh Historic and Landmarks Association Funding Campaign 2
  Reel
Thaddeus Moseley, 1977 2
  Reel
Bicentennial Reporter, June 29, 1976 2
  Reel
New South Side Markethouse Dedication and Opening Souvenir Booklet, 1893 2
  Reel
Pittsburgh Historic and Landmarks Association, The Stones of Pittsburgh #7, "Birmingham, Pittsburgh's South Side" 2
  Reel
"Birmingham (South Side)" Text by Robert K. Hayden and sketches by South Side Catholic Middle School students 2
  Reel
Letter: Mr. D. H. Brown to Mary Jane Schmalstieg, December 1977 2
  Reel
South Side Community Church Tour, 1979 2

Subseries  6. Brashear Association 

  Reel
Health and Welfare Association of Allegheny County 2
  Reel
Report on the Brashear Association, 1969 2

Subseries  7. Photo Albums 

  Reel
Anna Zgurich, family photo albums 2

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Series  III. Photographs/Negatives/Slides 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains photographs, negatives, and slides that document the places and people living in the South Side, mostly during the early-twentieth century. The first group of photographs deals with scenery and activities on the South Side. Individual and family photographs are contained in the second group, and photographs of larger groups and organizations are contained in the final grouping. Most folders contain several photographs in several formats, including prints, photocopies, and originals. Many of the people pictures in and the dates for these photographs are unknown. Additionally, the photographs are located in several distinct areas, including the oversize files. For the photo albums of Ms. Anna Zgurich, see microfilm reel one. Finally, many of the photographs in this collection exist as duplicates and as the same picture in different formats, such as photocopies, prints, originals, and negatives.

  BoxFolder
Homes restored by Pittsburgh Historic and Landmark Association, 2800 Jane St., 1964 31
  Folder
Beer Delivery Wagon, 1920 2
  Folder
John Brashear, home, office, and portrait, no dates 3
  Folder
Brashear Association, Building, no date 4
  Folder
South Side stores, c 1900-1920 5
  Folder
South Side Presbyterian Church and Church Interiors 6
  Folder
St. Mary's Church, no date 7
  Folder
St. Peter's Church Fire Damage and New Construction, 1954 8
  Folder
St. Michael's Church, no date 9
  Folder
Manger Scenes, 1920 10
  Folder
Carson and Sterling Street Scenes, c 1900-1920 11
  Folder
Street Scenes, Restored Homes, 1962-1964 12
  Folder
Views of Pittsburgh from the South side, c 1910 13
  Folder
12th Street Incline, South side, c 1900-1920 14
  Folder
South Side Streetcars 15
  Folder
Theater, Maybe Warner 16
  Folder
Industrial Scenes, "Flying High in Pittsburgh," and Airport Grove Farm, 1936 17
  Folder
Unknown Scenes 18
  Folder
Philips Mine and Mill Supply Co., 1880s 19
  Folder
Labor/Workers, Blooming Mill, 1912, c 1930 20
  Folder
Mill Workers, no date 21
  Folder
Striking Miners, Local Union 5301, Beech Bottom, West Virginia, July 29, 192 22
  Folder
Musical Groups, 1910-1920 23
  Folder
Tamuraski Zbor "Hrvatska Mladost" Ustrojen, March 27, 1938 24
  Folder
Baseball, no dates 25
  Folder
School Groups, c 1900-1920 26
  Folder
St. Peter's Church School, 1888, 1922 27
  Folder
South High Basketball Team, c 1930-1940 28
  Folder
Group Portraits 29
  Folder
Pittsburgh Company with donkey, no date 30
  Folder
Children, no dates 31
  Folder
Anton Cindrich Family, c 1920, 1922 32
  Folder
Sister Marie Charles, Teacher at Holy Cross, 1931-1938 33
  Folder
Father Kevin Keelan: rolling change; in group picture, 1950 34
  Folder
Jan Vucic Cindrich, no date 35
  Folder
Paul John Menzel, 1900 36
  Folder
Mary Jane Schmalstieg, First Communion, 1924 37
  Folder
Ks. O. Stanislaw, no date 38
  Folder
Wake, no date 39
  Folder
Wake, A. Zurich Family (in Croatia?), no date 40
  Folder
Marriage Portraits, 1920-1921, 1938 41
  Folder
Wedding Scenes 42-44
  Folder
First Communion Pictures 45
  Folder
Casual Individuals 46
  Folder
Unidentified family portrait, no date 47
  Folder
South side gatherings, c 1950 48
  Folder
Individuals - Croatia? 49
  Folder
Individuals, Yugoslavia 50
  Folder
Yugoslavia, June 1976, 1970 51
  Folder
World War II individuals 52
  Folder
World War I soldiers, unidentified 53
  Folder
George Cindrich and the Croatian Club, c 1940s 54
  Folder
Individuals, Canada, c 1900-1950 55
  Folder
Individuals, c 1900-1950 56-59
  Folder
Negatives and Slides 60

Section: Oversize 

  Map-caseDrawer
 1. St. Peter's Church, South Side, Pittsburgh, no date 73
 2. Mine equipment produced by Phillips mine and mill supply (9 prints) 
 3. German Beneficial Union - unidentified gathering, Unidentified Musician/Dance group, outdoors, no date February 1924 
 4. Jno. Phillips, with signature 
 5. Picture of fraternal group, 1947 
 6. Picture, “Testimonial Dinner for Dr. Ivan Subacicium of Croatia,” 1941 
 7. Picture of a wedding party 
 8. Picture of Musicians/Dance Team 

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