Abstract

Most company or industrial libraries emerged during the years immediately prior to World War I, often with the assistance of the Young Men's Christian Association. Many of these libraries and reading rooms were vital components of company welfare plans that eased the difficulties of factory work and life for countless industrial employees and their families. This article focuses on the southern textile industry to explore the tension between welfare benevolence and the subordination of industrial workers. Through a case study of one of the largest textile districts in the American South, it examines how company libraries and reading rooms helped create worker compliance and loyalty under the guise of corporate benevolence.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-3033
Print ISSN
2164-8034
Pages
pp. 308-326
Launched on MUSE
2008-09-10
Open Access
No
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