Labor Links

Labor Links

Labor Archives & Research Center, San Francisco State University

LARC collects materials from the counties surrounding San Francisco Bay, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. Its holdings available for research now amount to 6,000 linear feet. In addition to the records of unions and the personal papers of labor leaders, attorneys, arbitrators, and rank-and-file workers, the collection includes memorabilia, photographs, ephemera, and oral histories of working men and women.

San Francisco Public Library

From the home page of the SFPL users can access an abundance of material on San Francisco history, including more than 20,000 photographs in the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection.

Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco

It’s scandalous that a city with as rich a history as San Francisco doesn’t have a museum dedicated to its own history, though plans exist to locate in a renovated Old Mint at Fifth and Mission. In the meantime, this outstanding site includes a host of on-line resources on San Francisco, most notably photographs and transcriptions of newspaper stories. Good coverage of Dennis Kearney and the anti-Chinese movement, the 1906 earthquake, the 1934 General Strike, Harry Bridges, and Japanese relocation during World War II.

Oakland Museum of California

Devoted to the art, history, and natural sciences of California, the Oakland Museum has presented exhibitions on labor topics, including the 1946 Oakland General Strike, and has extensive holdings of the work of photographer Dorothea Lange.

Shaping San Francisco

A sophisticated multimedia alternative history, Shaping San Francisco includes sections on the city’s neighborhoods, labor, ecology, the city’s gay history, African Americans, and women. The CD-ROM is even better.

California Digital Library

Sponsored by the University of California, the California Digital Library provides access to a host of library catalogs, databases, and other digital resources. A core component is the Online Archive of California (OAC) which provides access to materials such as manuscripts, photographs, and works of art held in libraries, museums, archives, and other institutions throughout California.

California Historical Society

The CHS site includes virtual exhibits, a California timeline, educational outreach, and descriptions of its archival holdings and photographic collections.

California State Library

Access here a wealth of information on the state’s history and public policy issues.

International Longshore and Warehouse Union

One of the most dominant unions in San Francisco labor, the ILWU retains a strong sense of its own history. Its monthly paper, The Dispatcher, regularly carries articles about the union’s history plus oral histories of members.

United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO

The official site of the UFW, it includes news of current actions, links, and extensive historical resources on Cesar Chavez and the farmworkers’ struggles.

The Jack London Collection

Located at the University of California, Berkeley, this site represents an enormous archive of materials about the Bay Area writer – a short biography, documents, writings, images, and bibliographical and research aids among many other elements.

The Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

One of the premier archives for labor history in the United States, the Reuther Library is the official repository for the records of a number of important labor unions, including the UAW and, most notably for those interested in California agriculture, the United Farm Workers.

Labadie Collection, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Established in 1911 when Detroit anarchist Joseph Labadie donated his library to the university, the Labadie Collection has grown to embrace material on, among other topics, the labor and women’s movements, student protest, gay liberation, the IWW, the Spanish Civil War, and civil liberties. The web site includes finding aids, on-line exhibits, and a searchable database of images.

Labor Archives of Washington State, University of Washington

Established in 2010 by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the University of Washington Libraries, the Labor Archives of Washington State houses collections of labor history primary sources of regional, national and international scope. LAWS includes more than 200 separate collections of labor related materials. In volume, the collections exceed 3,000 cubic feet of documents, photographs, and other archival material. The earliest records are from locals of the Typographers' Union, dating from 1882. Other holdings include records documenting the Everett Massacre of 1916, the Seattle General Strike of 1919, the great union building campaigns of the 1930s, the importance of Boeing and the International Association of Machinists District 751, Dave Beck and the Teamsters, Harry Bridges and the ILWU, teachers unions (WEA and WFT), public sector unions, and the 1999 WTO "Battle of Seattle" demonstrations.

Tamiment Institute Library, New York University

The Tamiment Library is a center for scholarly research on labor and radical history with a non-circulating book collection of more than 20,000 titles, 5,000 non-current periodical titles, and 300 manuscript collections. The site includes finding aids, on-line exhibits, and information about events.

Department of Labor

History at the Department of Labor history website is outstanding and incorporates research on DOL agencies and issues; notable DOL documents; published articles, conference papers, and unpublished monographs produced by the history office on such topics as workers’ safety and health, federal labor law, and government policies toward African Americans; biographical sketches and portraits of the Secretaries of Labor; an extensive list of history links; and a hypertext DOL timeline.

International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam

The IISH is one of the largest archives of labor and radical history in the world, and its web site includes engaging virtual exhibitions, digital resources, and a catalogue of its holdings.

Labor and Working Class History Association

LAWCHA is an organization of scholars, union members, students and citizens promoting a wider understanding of the history of working class people, their communities, and their organizations in the United States.

Pacific Northwest Labour History Association

The web site of a sister organization, the PNLHA covers British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon and organizes an annual labor history conference.

Southern Labor Archives

The largest accumulation of labor records in the Southeast, the Southern Labor Archives include organizational records, pamphlets, periodicals, photographs, personal papers of labor leaders, oral histories, collective bargaining agreements, constitutions and bylaws, and convention proceedings from 1888 to the present. 

Wisconsin Labor History Society

Includes news and events, milestones in Wisconsin labor history, and a bibliography.

Illinois Labor History Society

Includes labor history sites in Illinois, labor history curriculum and articles, and a union hall of honor.

Anarchy Archives

The creation of Dana Ward of Pitzer College, this is one of the largest and most accessible on-line sources of Anarchist writings. It includes works by and about many important figures in the American movement – Alexander Berkman, Murray Bookchin, Noam Chomsky, Voltairine de Cleyre, Emma Goldman, Lucy and Albert Parsons, and Rose Pesotta to name a few.

AFSCME Labor Links

A vast collection of links to a wide variety of topics including collective bargaining, employee benefits, health care, labor history and culture, occupational health and safety, public policy, and women’s resources.

Payday: Working Class Life and Art

Created by Cheryl Cline, Payday includes useful bibliographies of North American Working Class Autobiographies and Fiction by Contemporary American Working Class Authors.

One-stop guide to global protest demonstrations, actions, and alerts.

Labor Arts

Excellent site for the traditionally powerful visual aspects of labor culture.