Inter-Cooperative Council (Ann Arbor, Mich.) records, 1932-2015
Using These Materials
- The collection is open to research.
- Inter-Cooperative Council (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
- The Inter-Cooperative Council at Ann Arbor is an organization established to coordinate the activities of cooperative houses founded and operated by University of Michigan students. Their records are comprised of minutes, office files, and newsletters, as well as organization-level topices and related research. The collection also contains records of student cooperative, the Socialist House.
60 linear feet (in 60 boxes)
9 oversize volumes
31.72 GB (online)
- Call Number:
- 87199; Bimu F54 2
- Finding aid created by Bentley Historical Library staff. Gideon Goodrich updated the finding aid with newly processed accruals in July 2023.
- Scope and Content:
The records of the ICC at Ann Arbor cover the years 1932 to 2012 and are divided into ten series: Minutes, Office Files, Printed Materials, Events and Programs, Organizational Topical Files, Correspondence Files, Collected Research Materials, House Records, External Organizations, and Audio-Visual Materials.
Researchers should note that because of the differences between ICC office organizational systems and the individual processing archivists working on the collection, topics and materials might be found in multiple series.
- Biographical / Historical:
The Inter-Cooperative Council at Ann Arbor (hereafter ICC) was created to coordinate the activities of student-founded cooperative houses. The cooperative houses were first organized during the Depression to provide University of Michigan students with an inexpensive alternative to university operated or privately owned rental properties.
The Student Socialist Club organized the first cooperative house in 1932, named Michigan Socialist House. It was joined in 1936 by Rochdale House, a cooperative organized with the active assistance of Rev. H. L. Pickerill, student pastor of the Ann Arbor Disciples Church. In 1937 a third house, Alice Freeman Palmer House, organized itself. Both Rochdale and Palmer houses were organized along Rochdale principles, which included democratic operation, opposition to discrimination on the basis of race or religion and a neutral political position.
In 1937 the three independent houses decided to form a joint body to enable them to purchase items in quantity. The organization formed was the Inter-Cooperative Council. Increasingly the ICC took on additional tasks. By 1941 the organization was responsible for all the houses' financing and the assignment of personnel to the various houses.
In 1941 the ICC reached a pre-World War II peak of 12 houses. The war witnessed a decline in the number of affiliated houses, reflecting the overall decline in the student population. By war's end only 5 houses were still functioning.
During World War II the ICC made a major policy change regarding the ownership of its constituent houses. Originally the structures occupied by ICC houses were rented. Difficulties regarding leases led the ICC to adopt, in 1944, a policy that the organization obtain legal title to all of the properties which constituent houses occupied. The decision to buy rather than rent property was quickly and successfully implemented. In 1950 of the six houses affiliated with the ICC, the organization held title to five of them and plans were well underway to purchase the sixth.
Throughout the postwar period and continuing into the 1950s the ICC was plagued by slow growth and internal disputes. The most pressing internal difficulty involved a proposal to hire a full-time executive secretary to work for the ICC. Proponents saw the plan as a simple necessity in light of the ICC's acquisition of much property. Opponents argued that a full time, non-student employee would fatally compromise the Rochdale principle of democratic decision making. In 1951 the organization conducted a referendum in which the proposal to hire a full-time executive secretary narrowly passed. Opposition to the idea, however, continued throughout the 1950s. Luther Buchele was selected as first executive secretary of the ICC. He would serve in this capacity until 1985.
In the early 1950s the ICC expressed an interest in obtaining property on the University of Michigan's North Campus for eventual expansion. Long and troubled negotiations with the University ensued, with many ICC members coming to believe that the University was purposely delaying the project. Specifically they felt the University Housing authorities and those responsible for student regulations saw the ICC as a competitor in the housing market and as an often effective source of opposition to student regulations. In any event, the long negotiations between university officials and the ICC culminated eventually in the construction of a large cooperative housing complex on North Campus, ground being broken for the project in 1969. In addition to the North Campus project, the ICC purchased several new properties in the central campus area during the 1960s and early 1970s. In 1979 the ICC owned 13 properties in the central campus area, as well as the North Campus complex. The next three decades would see further expansion and house reorganization.
Further information about the organization's history will be found in the volume In our own hands; a history of student housing cooperatives at the University of Michigan (1994). This volume is located in the collection.
- Acquisition Information:
- This record group was the gift of the Council (donor no. 3815 ) and came to the library in several accessions beginning in 1961. Additional materials have come from the U-M Office of Student Affairs (donor no. 2948 ).
- Processing information:
The Inter-Cooperative Council at Ann Arbor is an active organization and, as such, periodically donates additional materials to the Inter-Cooperative Council (Ann Arbor, Mich.) records. The collection as a whole have been processed by a number of different project and processing archivists over time. The collection largely follows the orginial order of the records, as divided in to three series: Minutes, Office Files, and Printed Materials. As the collection grew, additional series for Events and Programs; Organizational Topics; Correspondence; Collected Research Materials; House Files; and External Organizations. Audio/Visual materials have been given their own series, as well, and house all A/V and born-digital materials.
Due to the different filing schema across different interations of the ICC offices and the structure imposed on the collection by previous processing archivists, topics are often spread across series. Where possible, the processing archivists have included additional notes to aid researchers in locating material.
A series of accruals to this collection was processed by Gideon Goodrich in June, 2023. Where possible, they put the contents of the accruals into the existing intellectual arrangement. The physical arrangement largely reflects the orginial order of the materials as donated.
Periodic additions to the records are expected.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
- Additional Descriptive Data:
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Cooperative societies -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
Cooperatives -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
Dwellings -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
Digital file formats.
University of Michigan -- Student housing.
Socialist House (University of Michigan)
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1931-1940.
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1941-1950.
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1951-1960.
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1961-1970.
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1971-1980.
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1981-1990.
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1991-2000.
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 2001-2010.
Inter-Cooperative Council (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
University of Michigan -- Student housing -- 1971-1980.
University of Michigan -- Student housing -- 1981-1990.
University of Michigan -- Student housing -- 1991-2000.
University of Michigan -- Student housing -- 2001-2010.
University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs.
- Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Dwellings.
Using These Materials
The collection is open to research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.
- PREFERRED CITATION:
[item], folder, box, Inter-Cooperative Council (Ann Arbor, Mich.) records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
[item], [URL] Inter-Cooperative Council (Ann Arbor, Mich.) records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.