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Labor and Unions

Our labor collections include the AFL-CIO records and personal papers of union leaders. This material spans various formats and covers decades of American history. These resources are wonderful for the study of labor, unions and the individual players in this history. These materials also help researchers better understand pivotal social movements in this country, including those to gain rights for women, children and minorities.

Collection Strengths

  • History of AFL-CIO
  • AFL-CIO administration, organization, constituent groups and programs
  • Local labor organizations
  • North American 20th century labor movements
  • Memorabilia (posters, fliers, buttons, etc)


This material is non-circulating and only accessible in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library. Some material is available digitally. 


Portrait of Benjamin Blake

Benjamin Blake

Special Collection Librarian for Labor Studies (Librarian II)


Digitized Resources

  • The Carpenter Magazine

    A publication produced by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America of newsworthy events within the union.

  • AFL-CIO News

    A publication produced by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Volumes 1-25 (1956-1980) are available; each volume can be searched separately by keyword.


Visit our galleries in the Hornbake and Michelle Smith Performing Arts Libraries for current exhibitions and explore digital exhibitions online.


Support Special Collections and University Archives by contributing to one of our unique gift funds or by donating material. 

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