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Web-Based Digital Collections
Bureau of Statistics of Labor and Industries of New Jersey Annual Reports, 1878-1917
A precursor of the Dept. of Labor, the New Jersey Bureau of Statistics was established in 1878 to prepare statistics on the industries of New Jersey so that the state might fully develop its manufacturing and industries, create wealth for the benefit of all classes, advance the material interests of the state and its workers, and seek progressive industrial legislation. New Jersey was the 5th state to establish a Bureau of Statistics. These state bureaus are vital to the understanding of early industry and work in America as there was no federal bureau of statistics until 1902. Through narrative and statistics this collection tells a story, year by year, of the rising and declining fortunes of various industries and their employees in New Jersey. Each annual report contains both statistics and essays. A unique aspect of the reports is that of the "open-ended queries" asked of both employers and employees to questions about the equitable sharing of profits, the use of convict labor and the establishment of an eight hour work day.
Digital Public Library of America
DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free and immediately available in digital format.
Labor and Workplace Studies: University of Maryland Libraries
Based at the University of Maryland, this remarkable digital collection brings together a range of special items related to labor in America. The digitized items within the collection document a range of specific labor unions, such as the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, and offer insight into the development of the labor movement from colonial days to the present. A great variety of resources related to WPA projects and union labor throughout Maryland can be found here. An introduction to the collection by subject is a great place to start; after that, users can search around by subject heading, topic, or date of creation. [internet Scout Project]
Labor Archives of Washington State
Recently the Special Collections Division of the University of Washington Libraries collaborated with the Harry Bridge Center for Labor Studies to create this rather special digital collection of materials related to Pacific Northwest labor history. It's an impressive endeavor, and visitors can make their way through eight topical areas here. The areas include "The I.W.W. in the Pacific Northwest" and "Labor and the New Deal". Each area features a brief introductory essay with embedded links to primary sources relevant to each topic, such as historic photographs, documents, pamphlets, and so on. A search engine and a list of additional resources round out the site. [internet Scout Project]
National Child Labor Committee Collection
Working as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), Lewis Hine (1874-1940) documented working and living conditions of children in the United States between 1908 and 1924. The NCLC photos are useful for the study of labor, reform movements, children, working class families, education, public health, urban and rural housing conditions, industrial and agricultural sites, and other aspects of urban and rural life in America in the early twentieth century.
Oral History Project in Labor History
NOTE: From the opening screen, select the "Browse by Collection" link and then select "Labor Oral History Project" from the list. Labor history is a field that has enjoyed a resurgence of interest, including significant attention from journalists, scholars, and curious members of the general public. This particular set of labor history documents is primarily concerned with oral histories compiled by Elizabeth Balanoff in the early 1970s. Three decades later, several librarians at Roosevelt University received a $10,000 grant from the Illinois State Library to digitize these interview transcripts. Interviews include Irving Abrams, who was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, and Joseph Keenan, who served as the secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This fascinating collection is rounded out by a number of interview transcripts from conversations with faculty members at Roosevelt University on the subject of faculty participation in university government. [internet Scout Project]
U.S. Labor and Industrial History World Wide Web Audio Archive
Maintained by Professor Gerald Zahavi of the University at Albany, this site contains a developing archive of Labor and Industrial History audio recordings. Currently the site features two groups of recordings. The first are from a Columbia University Labor Teach-In in October 1996, "The Fight for America's Future: A Teach-In with the Labor Movement." The second group contains nine historical recordings arranged chronologically. Speakers include Eugene V. Debs, William Jennings Bryan, William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Tom Mooney, and Fiorella LaGuardia. More recordings are expected in the near future. [Internet Scout Project]
Wirtz Labor Library
The US Department of Labor (DOL) Library, established in 1917, is one of the oldest Cabinet-level libraries and internationally recognized for its excellent collection of labor history materials. Recently dedicated as the Wirtz Labor Library, it has also been placed online. At the site, users can read about the library's history, holdings, and special collections, and most importantly, search the library's card catalog system. Other resources include links to related research resources, a few select bibliographies, and a listing of library events. [internet Scout Project]
Women’s History at AFSCME: Women in Unions
In honor of Women's history month, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has posted on their Website an annotated directory of Websites devoted to women's labor history. This includes a number of sites on famous women agitators and labor advocates including Mary Kenney O'Sullivan (co-founder of the Women's Trade Union League), Florence Kelley (who agitated for reform of the women's sweatshops of Chicago), Jane Addams, Mother Jones, and others. Historical sites dedicated to key periods in women's labor history are also listed as well as a section of general women's labor history links. [internet Scout Project]
Working in Paterson: Occupational Heritage in an Urban Setting
This collection presents 470 interview excerpts and 3,882 photographs from the Working in Paterson Folklife Project of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The four-month study of occupational culture in Paterson, New Jersey, was conducted in 1994. The documentary materials presented in this online collection explore how Paterson's industrial heritage expresses itself in Paterson: in its work sites, work processes, and memories of workers. Included are interpretive essays exploring such topics as work in the African American community, local foodways, the ethnography of a single work place (Watson Machine International), business life along a single street in Paterson (21st Avenue), and narratives told by retired workers.