Published: May 16, 2018

Established in 1852 as the National Typographical Union, this was the oldest labor union in continuous existence. It was renamed the International Typographical Union (ITU) in 1869. Members worked in composing, printing, press rooms throughout the newspaper industry. The ITU was headquartered in Colorado Springs, along with the ITU Printers' Home, a retirement and medical facility for infirm ITU retirees. These glass lantern slides show the building and and spaces for work and leisure at the ITU.

The ITU Papers date back to its origins as the National Typographical Union in the 1850s. The Union attempted to defend the wages, conditions, pay and skills of typographers, while also being stalwart defenders of the freedom of the press, as they performed the mechanized side of the press. Their position was consistently undermined by technological change after the 1950s, as typography became ever more mechanized, then digitized and computerized.

An ITU Seal A painting of the ITU grounds. An promotional image from the ITU showing the billiards room at the ITU headquarters. An promotional image from the ITU showing the sun porch room at the ITU headquarters.

The logo of the 100 Stories for 100 years of Archives. The University of Colorado Boulder Libraries will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Archives on June 6, 2018. This is story #79 in our series: 100 Stories for 100 Years from the Archives!