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Pins and Needles Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Title: Pins and Needles Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1938-1940
Quantity: 2 folders (SC)
Abstract: Printed material and manuscripts from productions of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union satirical musical revue.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

In 1937 a group known as the Players of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union wrote, produced and starred in Pins and Needles, a "witty and tuneful" musical revue satirizing organized labor in general and the ILGWU in particular. Numbers include "Sing us a song with social significance," Doin' the reactionary," and "One big union for two." The play was so successful that it was given a regular run at the Labor Stage in New York, with new skits and songs added periodically to keep the production fresh and topical. More than one performance was standing room only.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Pins and Needles Collection contains printed material (programs and published music scores) from various productions of the musical revue, and manuscripts (an original score for the song "Mene, Mene, Tekel" by Harold Rome).

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Arrangement of the Collection

Printed material is arranged chronologically where possible but many items are undated.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Belfer Audio Archive has numerous sound recordings of Pins and Needles performances. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

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Subject Headings


Arent, Arthur.
Blitzstein, Marc.
Eisenberg, Emanuel.
Friedman, Charles.
Gregory, David.
Latouche, John, 1914-1956.
Rome, Harold, 1908-1993.

Corporate Bodies

International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Labor Stage, Inc.

Associated Titles

Pins and needles.


Labor unions and the arts.
Political plays, American.
Radicalism in literature.
Revues -- United States.
Socialism and literature -- United States.
Socialism and theater.
Theater -- Political aspects.

Genres and Forms

Programs (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Pins and Needles Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Harold Rome score gift of George and Lena Arents.

Other items purchase, 2007, 2009.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 30 Oct 2007
Revision history: Jul 2009 - additions (MRC); May 2010 - sheet music (MRC); May 2010 - Harold Rome score (MRC); 18 Jun 2012 - LCSH updates (MRC)

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SC 213 "Mene, Mene, Tekel" 1939 - original score by Harold Rome
Printed material
SC 213 Programs, music 1938-1940

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