Tuesday, April 17, 2012

America's First Credit Union Periodical: The Bridge

First edited together as a small newsletter in June of 1924 by Roy Bergengren, the Credit Union Bridge served as the movement's primary "journal of record" for decades before it became the present Credit Union Magazine. In that time, the Bridge was both a clearing-house for practical information about how to run a credit union in addition to being a forum in which early credit unionists in the United States and Canada debated the direction of the movement.

Needless to say, such a publication is an incredibly rich and useful primary source for anyone interested in the history of credit unions, and it had long been a dream of mine to travel to the CUNA archives in Madison, WI and spend a week or two reading as many back issues as I possibly could. Therefore, I was floored when, a few weeks ago, Jeremiah Cahill, the Associate Editor of Credit Union Magazine, sent me an email inquiring whether I'd be interested in an almost complete set of issues stretching from the mid-1930s to the end of 1962. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity, and last week I came home to two heavy boxes sitting on my front stoop filled with bound volumes of the Bridge!