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University Cellar records: 1958-1989 (Majority of material found within 1969-1986)
Summary Information
Title: University Cellar records
Creator: University Cellar.
Dates: 1958-1989 (Majority of material found within 1969-1986)
Extent: 5 linear feet (in 6 boxes)
Abstract:
Student-controlled bookstore at the University of Michigan (established 1970, ceased operation in 1987.) Minutes and memoranda of board of directors, financial records, labor negotiation files, and other subject files; and photographs.
Call number: 87469 Bimu F10 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Jim Flury (1987); Karen Mason (1989)

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The records of the University Cellar (donor no. 7434) were received from Jane Self, the last manager of the bookstore, on April 28, 1987. Additional records were donated by former University Cellar employees Ken Garber (donor no. 7731), in October 1989 and Lisa Blake (donor no. 7434) in November 1989.

Access Restrictions:

The record group is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Copyright to the Ann Arbor Observer draft is retained by Ken Garber. Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to other records 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, University Cellar records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


History

On September 25, 1969, more than a hundred demonstrating students occupied the University of Michigan's University Administration Building (now the Literature, Science and the Arts Building) and demanded that the University establish a student-controlled bookstore. Michigan state police were called to the campus for the first time in history to break up the demonstration and the protesters were arrested.

In response to this, and as a result of meetings held with leaders of various student organizations, the Board of Regents approved the creation of a student-controlled bookstore in September 1969. The bookstore was capitalized at $200,000, with $100,000 transferred to the store by the Board of Regents from the Student Vehicle Fund, and an additional $100,000 to be raised by way of a one-time assessment of five dollars per student to be collected in the fall of 1970.

The University wished to insulate itself from any financial liabilities the bookstore might incur, and so a separate and non-controlled corporation, The Board for the Student Bookstore, Inc., was established on April 13, 1970. The corporation was also authorized by the Regents to take over the University Discount Store, which had opened in the Student Activities Building in January 1969, and to assume that organization's liabilities.

The bookstore operated on the first floor of the Michigan Union until September 1970, when it moved to the basement. At this time the official name of the organization was changed to University Cellar, Inc.

The composition of the University Cellar's Board of Directors reflected its student origins. Of the ten-member board, six were to be students, three faculty members, and one an administrator. This arrangement proved troublesome in that it was sometimes difficult to obtain a quorum (four students and two faculty), particularly at summer meetings.

In 1974 the University Cellar outbid several companies for the right to establish a bookstore in the North Campus Commons to serve the School of Music, the College of Engineering, and the College of Architecture and Design. This also marked the last year that the bookstore received any type of financial assistance from the University.

In 1979 the hourly workers of the University Cellar voted in favor of representation by the Industrial Workers of the World. Local 660, the University Cellar's union, was the largest IWW local in the world during its existence; its members constituted approximately ten percent of the total worldwide membership of the IWW.

The Michigan Union underwent significant renovations beginning in 1980. As part of the project the University Cellar was to help assume part of the cost of the basement renovations. Initially the Board of Directors agreed to this, but membership on the board changed while the project was underway, and the new membership rejected the assumption of any renovation costs. Furthermore, the store was to face a rent increase of approximately sixty-five percent in the remodeled Union. These factors, combined with clauses in the lease agreement between the University Cellar and the Michigan Union which prohibited the former from selling any items that would place it in competition with the latter, such as insignia items of the University of Michigan, caused the University Cellar to seek a new location. An agreement was reached with the owner of the Handicraft Furniture building on the corner of Liberty and Division streets in Ann Arbor, and the bookstore left the Union for its new location in the spring of 1982.

At the Liberty Street location the bookstore was free to sell any items it deemed fit, but the store's financial picture, which had usually shown a modest profit while in the Union, darkened considerably after the relocation. Expenditures for renovations to the store, along with a location now several blocks away from the central campus area, combined to produce financial losses in every year except one. In the fall of 1986 the bookstore was refused a new line of credit, and a tentative buyout offer was accepted from the Barnes and Noble bookstore chain, which had taken the University Cellar's place in the Michigan Union. The lease on the North Campus store was transferred to Barnes and Noble, but further negotiations regarding the transfer of the main store's lease broke down. The University Cellar closed permanently on December 24, 1986. In mid-February 1987 an agreement was signed with Nebraska Books, parent company of Ulrich's Bookstore in Ann Arbor, to take over the Liberty Street location, which was subsequently reopened as Michigan Book and Supply.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The records of the University Cellar have been arranged into three series: History and background; Administrative records; and Former employees files. The bulk of the records concerns the administration of University Cellar with extensive documentation of its financial operations and labor negotiations with the Industrial Workers of the World. Included are board of directors minutes and minutes of the Store, Retail, and Operations Councils.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Booksellers and bookselling.
  • Business records.
  • Collective bargaining -- College employees -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Bookstores.
  • Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Business enterprises.
  • Bookstores -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Business enterprises -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Division Street (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Interiors.
  • Liberty Street (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Photographs.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Societies, etc.
  • Michigan Union.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1971-1980.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1981-1990.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
History and background [series]

Within the History and background series is documentation of the student protest leading to the establishment of University Cellar bookstore.

Box   1  
Background 1957-1958, 1965
Box   1  
Student Book Exchange 1958-1966
Box   1  
Student Bookstore Proposal and Strike 1969-1970
Box   1  
University Cellar 1970-1984 (scattered)
 
Administrative records [series]

Administrative records include files for the organization's board of directors and its various councils and departments. Other records pertain to labor negotiations. These records came from two principal sources, first from the bookstore itself and later, from former employees. Most of the material from the former employees filled gaps in the collection and was therefore interfiled with the existing records of the University Cellar. In those instances where the records reflected the hand of their creator, such as the drafts of council minutes written by Lisa Blake, they have been integrated into the existing series, but maintained as separate folders, with the individual's name in parentheses as part of the folder title. The remaining material was filed in the Former Employees series under the name of the individual who created or collected the material.

Box   1  
Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws 1970-1986 (2 folders)
 
Board of Directors
 
Committees
Box   1  
Finance Committee 1971, 1981, 1984
Box   1  
Joint Committee 1979, 1986
Box   1  
Correspondence 1970-1971
 
Minutes 1971-1986
Box   1  
1970-1971
Box   1  
1971-1977 (5 volumes)
Box   1  
1975-1977 (2 folders)
Box   1  
1977-1978

(Larry Pulkownik)

Box   1  
1980-1981 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1983-June 1986
Box   1  
October-December 1986

(Ken Garber)

Box   1  
Personnel and Membership 1972-1986
Box   1  
Reports to Board 1970-1971
 
Councils
 
Store Council
Box   2  
Financial Committee 1981, 1983-1984
Box   2  
Financial Subcommittee 1982-1984
Box   2  
Memoranda and Reports 1980-1983 (3 folders)
 
Minutes
Box   2  
1979-1980
Box   2  
1980

(Lisa Blake)

Box   2  
1981-1984 (2 folders)
Box   2  
Self Evaluation 1980
 
Operations Council
 
Minutes
Box   2  
1985-1986
Box   2  
1986

(Lisa Blake)

 
Retail Council
 
Minutes
Box   2  
1985-1986
Box   2  
1985-1986 (2 folders)

(Lisa Blake)

 
Retail and Operations Councils: Joint Meetings
 
Minutes
Box   2  
1985-1986
Box   2  
1986

(Lisa Blake)

 
Departments
Box   2  
Memoranda 1983-1985
 
Reports
Box   2  
Art Department 1980-1985 (scattered)
Box   2  
Textbook Department 1984, 1986
 
Financial
Box   3  
Annual Financial Report 1972-1986 (2 folders)
Box   3  
Annual Report to Board of Directors 1981-1985
Box   3  
Audit Report 1971
Box   3  
Book Buyback 1984-1986
 
Budget
Box   3  
1970-1971
Box   3  
1979-1981
 
Budget Monitoring
Box   3  
1982-1984
Box   3  
1984-1985
Box   3  
1985-1986
Box   3  
October-December 1986
Box   3  
Cash Flow Projections 1986-1987
Box   3  
History 1971-1986
 
Inventory Calculations
Box   3  
1982-1985
Box   3  
1986
Box   3  
Loan Negotiations 1977-1986
 
Monthly Statements
Box   3  
1980-1981
Box   3  
1982-1983
Box   3  
1983-1984
Box   3  
Operations Review 1980
 
Payroll
Box   3  
1977
Box   3  
1982-1986
Box   3  
1986-1987
Box   3  
Payroll Negotiations 1986-1987
Box   3  
Reports 1983-1986

(located in box 4)

Box   3  
Purchases 1985-1986
Box   3  
Statements 1969-1971
Box   3  
Student Assessment Fee 1970
Box   3  
Tax Case 1975 (3 folders)
Box   3  
Tax Exempt Status 1970-1984 (scattered)
 
Reports
Box   4  
1983-1984
Box   4  
1984-1985
Box   4  
1985-1986
Box   4  
June-December 1986
 
Labor Negotiations
Box   5  
Bonus Plan 1984-1985
Box   5  
Labor Contract 1979-1986 (4 folders)
Box   5  
Management Services Group 1980-1985
Box   5  
Meetings 1979-1981 (3 folders)
Box   5  
Miscellaneous 1974-1986 (2 folders)
Box   5  
New Structure Proposal 1985
Box   5  
Proposals for Contract 1979-1980 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Publicity 1979
Box   5  
Trade Book Department Dissolution Discussions 1981
Box   5  
Legal Opinions 1969-1970
 
Marketing
Box   5  
General 1971-1985 (scattered)
Box   5  
Advertising 1978, 1985-1986
Box   5  
Calendars
Box   5  
Customer Service 1984, 1986
Box   5  
Marketing Research Survey 1986
Box   5  
Publicity 1984-1987
Box   5  
Miscellaneous
Box   5  
Miscellaneous--Student Papers on the University Cellar 1975, 1987
Box   5  
National Association of College Stores 1981 undated
 
Newsletters
Box   5  
1977-1978
Box   5  
1979-1986
Box   5  
Newspaper Clippings 1968-1987 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Operations 1982
 
Personnel
Box   5  
General 1971-1985 (scattered)
Box   5  
Job Applications--Bookstore Manager 1969-1970, 1976, 1982
Box   5  
Job Descriptions 1970
Box   5  
Job Descriptions of Salaried Employees 1970-1971
 
Policies
Box   5  
1970-1971
Box   5  
1973-1986 (scattered)
Box   5  
Photographs
 
Policies
Box   5  
Buying 1981
Box   5  
Pricing, Refunds, Security, Cash Handling 1981-1986, undated
Box   5  
Self-Analysis and Evaluation 1978
 
Stores
 
Michigan Union
Box   6  
1972-1974
Box   6  
1975-1979
Box   6  
1980-1982
Box   6  
Renovation--Floor Plan 1981
 
North Campus Commons
Box   6  
1974, 1982-1986
Box   6  
1985-1986

(Lisa Blake)

 
Relocation to East Liberty
Box   6  
General 1980-1982
Box   6  
Publicity 1970, 1981-1982
Box   6  
Renovation of East Liberty Street Store 1981-1983
Box   6  
Suspension of Operations and Trustees' Final Report 1986-1988
Box   6  
Warehouse 1980
 
Former employees files [series]

The Former Employees series includes records collected by Ken Garber, a former University Cellar employee, in the course of researching and writing an article on the University Cellar for the Ann Arbor Observer. The article was published in two parts in the October and November 1989 issues of the Observer; copies of the article are included in the collection. In addition to Garber's own papers from his years at the Cellar, this series includes miscellaneous records of University Cellar employees Jane Queller, who worked at the store from 1980 to 1986; Lisa Blake, an employee from 1976 to 1986; and Larry Pulkownik, a University of Michigan student who served on the University Cellar board of directors from 1976 to 1980.

Box   6  
Lisa Blake 1984-1986, undated
 
Ken Garber
Box   6  
Ann Arbor Observer article--draft July 1989
Box   6  
Ann Arbor Observer article October-November 1989
Box   6  
"Where Are They Now?"
Box   6  
Jane Queller 1979-1985