New episode of Labor Archives of Washington’s radio segment radio segment on Seattle labor, peace, feminist activist Irene Hull

 

The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment on the KSVR radio show We Do the Work is now streaming online via KSVR and Public Radio International’s Exchange.
Irene Hull (1913-2011) was a working woman and labor leader, a communist, and a peace activist. Hull was a shipyard worker in World War II, who pushed for legislation for child care for working women, was a lifelong labor activist, a sister in the Brotherhood of Bookbinders Local 87. She was a peace and anti-nuclear activist. Hull also co-founded the Seattle chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) in 1973 and the Seattle chapter of Jobs With Justice (JWJ) in the 1980s. Her service to the labor movement of Washington State was legendary and she was honored by both the King County Labor Council and the Washington State Labor Council which gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2002 convention. A member of she was recipient of the 2008 Mother Jones Award. Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, the city’s first African American mayor, proclaimed Sept. 7, 1996 “Irene Hull Day.”

The regular segment, called “Learn Yourself”, features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections) being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own.

Links to Other Episodes in the Series [Listen here: https://beta.prx.org/series/33458%5D:

 

The regular segment, called “Learn Yourself”, features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections) being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own.

Links to Other Episodes in the Series:

  1. Labor Archives of Washington Overview
  2. Everett Massacre, also called Bloody Sunday, where a confrontation caused 7 to 12 people to be murdered on November 5, 1916.
  3. SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage Campaign and History Project
  4. Filipino American Cannery Workers’ Unionism and the Murder of Domingo and Viernes
  5. Farmworkers’ History: The Chateau St. Michelle Grape Boycott and the Labor Archives of Washington’s second annual event Preserving Solidarity Forever: Washington State Farmworkers’ Struggles.
  6. Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Life and Art of Richard V. Correll
  7. Author, Poet, Worker: Carlos Bulosan’s Collections at the Labor Archives of Washington and Eva Urcia’s Quest to Uncover and Preserve Bulosan Family History
  8. The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration
  9. The 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike
  10. The Seattle General Strike of 1919 and its Legacy
  11. Pablo O’Higgins, Chicano Student Activists, and the Ship Scalers’ Mural Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Gigi Peterson, Author & Historian, Part 1
  12. Pablo O’Higgins, Chicano Student Activists, and the Ship Scalers’ Mural: Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Gigi Peterson, Author & Historian, Part 2
  13. Conor Casey and Crystal Rodgers, archivists for the Labor Archives of Washington, Part 1 [Crystal Rodgers reports on LAW’s “Women in the Trades Exhibit”]

  14. Labor Journalist and Activist Anna Louise Strong
  15. Seattle labor unionist and labor, peace, feminist activist Irene Hull

For more information, click on the following links:


 

 

Primary Source Collections

Irene B. Hull papers, 1933-2006. Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collection. http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv45401/op=fstyle.aspx?t=k&q=WAUHullIreneB3783.xml

Hull, Irene. “Irene Hull Oral History,” Communism in Washington State History and Memory Project

http://depts.washington.edu/labhist/cpproject/hull_interview.shtml

Newspaper Articles

Seattle Times “Irene Hull: 60-plus years of avid political activism”  http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20010705&slug=irenehull05m

Obituaries

Seattle Times “Irene Hull, longtime labor-rights advocate, dies at 98”

www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/irene-hull-longtime-labor-rights-advocate-dies-at-98/

People’s Daily World. “Labor stalwart Irene Hull dies at 98”

http://www.peoplesworld.org/article/labor-stalwart-irene-hull-dies-at-9/

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New episode of Labor Archives of Washington’s radio segment on journalist and activist Anna Louise Strong

The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment on the KSVR radio show We Do the Work is now streaming online via KSVR and Public Radio International’s Exchange.

This ‘Learn Yourself’ will focus on Anna Louise Strong, a 20th-century American journalist, activist, and supporter of the labor movement who participated in the Seattle General Strike of 1919. Strong’s papers are one of the highlights of the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

The regular segment, called “Learn Yourself”, features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections) being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own.

Links to Other Episodes in the Series:

  1. Labor Archives of Washington Overview
  2. Everett Massacre, also called Bloody Sunday, where a confrontation caused 7 to 12 people to be murdered on November 5, 1916.
  3. SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage Campaign and History Project
  4. Filipino American Cannery Workers’ Unionism and the Murder of Domingo and Viernes
  5. Farmworkers’ History: The Chateau St. Michelle Grape Boycott and the Labor Archives of Washington’s second annual event Preserving Solidarity Forever: Washington State Farmworkers’ Struggles.
  6. Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Life and Art of Richard V. Correll
  7. Author, Poet, Worker: Carlos Bulosan’s Collections at the Labor Archives of Washington and Eva Urcia’s Quest to Uncover and Preserve Bulosan Family History
  8. The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration
  9. The 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike
  10. The Seattle General Strike of 1919 and its Legacy
  11. Pablo O’Higgins, Chicano Student Activists, and the Ship Scalers’ Mural Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Gigi Peterson, Author & Historian, Part 1
  12. Pablo O’Higgins, Chicano Student Activists, and the Ship Scalers’ Mural: Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Gigi Peterson, Author & Historian, Part 2
  13. Conor Casey and Crystal Rodgers, archivists for the Labor Archives of Washington, Part 1 [Crystal Rodgers reports on LAW’s “Women in the Trades Exhibit”]

  14. Labor Journalist and Activist Anna Louise Strong

For more information, click on the following links:

Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

Anna Louise Strong Papers, 1885 1971. 24.11 cubic feet (43 boxes, 3 packages, 3 folders). 14 microfilm reels. http://lib.washington.edu/specialcollections/laws Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington].

University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

Strong Family Papers. 1832–1994. 1.46 linear feet. http://digital.lib.washington.edu/findingaids/view?docId=Strongfamily0958.xml

Sydney Strong Papers. 1860–1938. 5.75 linear feet plus 4 ephemeral items. Contains material collected by Sydney Strong about his daughter, Anna Louise. http://digital.lib.washington.edu/findingaids/view?docId=StrongSydney0959.xml

Clayton Van Lydegraf Papers.1944–1991. 46.74 linear feet, including 2 sound cassettes. Contains correspondence between Van Lydegraf and Strong from 1967–1970. http://digital.lib.washington.edu/findingaids/view?docId=VanLydegrafClayton1341.xml            

Digital Archives of Primary Sources

Labor Archives Portal of the UW Libraries Digital Collections contains hundreds of letter and writings by Strong and correspondence between her and family members. We digitized it several years ago. http://content.lib.washington.edu/portals/law/index.html

Anna Louise Strong Archive at marxists.org  https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/strong-anna-louise/index.htm

Autobiography

(1935). I Change Worlds: the Remaking of an American. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Secondary Sources:

Andrews, Mildred. “Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)” HistoryLink.org  http://www.historylink.org/File/255

“Witness to Revolution: The Story of Anna Louise Strong” https://www.kanopystreaming.com/product/witness-revolution

Jackson, Rebecca, “The Politics of Gender in the Writings of Anna Louise Strong,” Seattle General Strike Project, 1999. http://depts.washington.edu/labhist/strike/jackson.shtml

O’Connor, Harvey. “Revolution in Seattle: A Memoir” (Monthly Review Press, 1964; Haymarket Books, 2009)

Strong, Tracy B. and Helene Keysser, “Right in Her Soul: The Life of Anna Louise Strong” (Random House, 1983)

Primary Source Collections

Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

Irene B. Hull papers, 1933-2006. Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collection. archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv45401/op=fstyle.aspx?t=k&q=WAUHullIreneB3783.xml

Hull, Irene. “Irene Hull Oral History,” Communism in Washington State History and Memory Project

http://depts.washington.edu/labhist/cpproject/hull_interview.shtml

Newspaper Articles

Seattle Times “Irene Hull: 60-plus years of avid political activism”  http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20010705&slug=irenehull05m

Obituaries

Seattle Times “Irene Hull, longtime labor-rights advocate, dies at 98”

www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/irene-hull-longtime-labor-rights-advocate-dies-at-98/

People’s Daily World. “Labor stalwart Irene Hull dies at 98”

http://www.peoplesworld.org/article/labor-stalwart-irene-hull-dies-at-9/

New episode of Labor Archives of Washington’s radio show on women’s labor history, “Women in the Trades” exhibit

The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment on the KSVR radio show We Do the Work is now streaming online via KSVR and Public Radio International’s Exchange.

This ‘Learn Yourself’ will be about the women’s labor history, woman workers and leaders. In this segment, special guest Assistant Labor Archivist Crystal Rodgers reports back about a pop-up exhibit she curated on “Women in the Trades”, employing LAW’s collections relating to working women in the building trades.

Special guest Crystal Rogers, assistant archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Part 1 [Crystal Rodgers reports on LAW’s “Women in the Trades Exhibit”]

The regular segment, called “Learn Yourself”, features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections) being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own.

Links to Other Episodes in the Series:

  1. Labor Archives of Washington Overview
  2. Everett Massacre, also called Bloody Sunday, where a confrontation caused 7 to 12 people to be murdered on November 5, 1916.
  3. SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage Campaign and History Project
  4. Filipino American Cannery Workers’ Unionism and the Murder of Domingo and Viernes
  5. Farmworkers’ History: The Chateau St. Michelle Grape Boycott and the Labor Archives of Washington’s second annual event Preserving Solidarity Forever: Washington State Farmworkers’ Struggles.
  6. Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Life and Art of Richard V. Correll
  7. Author, Poet, Worker: Carlos Bulosan’s Collections at the Labor Archives of Washington and Eva Urcia’s Quest to Uncover and Preserve Bulosan Family History
  8. The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration
  9. The 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike
  10. The Seattle General Strike of 1919 and its Legacy
  11. Pablo O’Higgins, Chicano Student Activists, and the Ship Scalers’ Mural Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Gigi Peterson, Author & Historian, Part 1
  12. Pablo O’Higgins, Chicano Student Activists, and the Ship Scalers’ Mural: Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Gigi Peterson, Author & Historian, Part 2
  13. Conor Casey and Crystal Rodgers, archivists for the Labor Archives of Washington, Part 1 [Crystal Rodgers reports on LAW’s “Women in the Trades Exhibit”]

New episodes of Labor Archives of Washington’s radio show on Pablo O’Higgins Mural, UW Student Activists, and Ship Scalers Union now streaming online

The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment on the KSVR radio show We Do the Work is now streaming online via KSVR and Public Radio International’s Exchange.

This ‘Learn Yourself’ will be about the Ship Scalers Union, UW student activists, and the Pablo O’Higgins mural “The Struggle Against Racial Discrimination”, which hangs in Kane Hall at the UW Seattle campus.

For more information, go Pablo O’Higgins and Ship Scalers Union or read Becoming Pablo O’Higgins by Susan Vogel or to learn more about Gigi Peterson, go to http://www2.cortland.edu/departments/history/faculty-staff-detail.dot?fsid=%20263200 , to read her older article in Labor, https://www.lawcha.org/labor-studies-in-working-class-history.

The regular segment, called “Learn Yourself”, features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections) being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own.

Links to Other Episodes in the Series:

  1. Labor Archives of Washington Overview
  2. Everett Massacre, also called Bloody Sunday, where a confrontation caused 7 to 12 people to be murdered on November 5, 1916.
  3. SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage Campaign and History Project
  4. Filipino American Cannery Workers’ Unionism and the Murder of Domingo and Viernes
  5. Farmworkers’ History: The Chateau St. Michelle Grape Boycott and the Labor Archives of Washington’s second annual event Preserving Solidarity Forever: Washington State Farmworkers’ Struggles.
  6. Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Life and Art of Richard V. Correll
  7. Author, Poet, Worker: Carlos Bulosan’s Collections at the Labor Archives of Washington and Eva Urcia’s Quest to Uncover and Preserve Bulosan Family History
  8. The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration
  9. The 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike
  10. The Seattle General Strike of 1919 and its Legacy
  11. Pablo O’Higgins, Chicano Student Activists, and the Ship Scalers’ Mural Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Gigi Peterson, Author & Historian, Part 1
  12. Pablo O’Higgins, Chicano Student Activists, and the Ship Scalers’ Mural: Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the Labor Archives of Washington, Gigi Peterson, Author & Historian, Part 2

Latest Episode of Labor Archives’ TV Segment Focuses on Intersection of Labor, Civil Rights, and Art

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In Fall 2016, the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections, launched a 10-episode segment on UW360, a University of Washington television program.  These stories, which highlight LAW’s collections and researchers, air on KOMO, UWTV, and are available on various online media channels thereafter.  Each segment in designed to highlight the collections and activities of the Labor Archives and of the UW Libraries Special Collections, as well as the students, researchers, and communities we serve.

The most current episode focuses on the story of Mexican muralist Pablo O’Higgins mural “The Struggle Against Racial Discrimination” on the second floor of Kane Hall and how it relates to the racially progressive Ship Scalers’ Union and Chicano activists at UW. Follow one researcher’s dive into the Labor Archives of Washington to uncover the story of how a mural came to hang in UW’s Kane Hall.

Featuring: Gigi Peterson, associate professor, History, SUNY Cortland
Erasmo Gamboa, associate professor, American Ethnic Studies, adjunct professor, History, UW

See full list of episodes below!

List of Episodes
Labor Archives of Washington Overview

The UW library system is ranked in the top ten of all public research universities in the country with more than five million users every year. So when it comes to researching life in our region, there’s no better place to learn than a UW library.

This story takes us to one small area of UW Special Collections that’s dedicated to the rich history of the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest and is devoted to preserving the records of working people.

Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, Cannery Workers Scholarship [Segment Starts at 00:13:00]
The Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers Union has been a powerful voice for working people since 1933. And the fight for fair employment hasn’t always been peaceful. UW alumnus Silme Domingo found himself, along with fellow labor organizer Gene Viernes, at the center of a tragic event that shook Seattle in 1981. Now a scholarship from the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies is carrying forward their legacy and turning a tragic loss into a potential future for a UW Student.

The Everett Massacre Centennial [Segment Starts at 00:13:37]
Washington state has a rich history of progressive activism – and that history has just hit a significant milestone. Relive the one hundredth anniversary of the Everett Massacre and learn how that tragic event helped shape the labor history of Washington.

Labor Archives: Minimum Wage Archivists  (The SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage History Project)

Grunge, espresso carts, fiberglass skis and international companies like Boeing and Microsoft were of course all home-grown. Seattle is also getting a lot of credit for another movement that’s gaining ground around the country: the battle to raise the minimum wage. Meet a group of UW student researchers who are recording the detailed history of this idea that may be coming to a ballot box near you.

Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer, graduate student researcher, SeaTac & Seattle Minimum Wage History Project, UW
Rod Palmquist, graduate teaching assistant, Geography, graduate student researcher, SeaTac & Seattle Minimum Wage History Project, UW
Labor Archives: Progressive Art (Pablo O’Higgins and the Ship Scalers’ Mural in Kane Hall)

Dozens if not hundreds of works of art are displayed throughout the UW campus. Each one has a story to tell and many tell a story from Washington’s history. In the case of one piece, that story is also a bit of a mystery. In this UW 360 story, follow one researcher’s dive into the Labor Archives of Washington to uncover the story of how a mural came to hang in UW’s Kane Hall.

Gigi Peterson, associate professor, History, SUNY Cortland
Erasmo Gamboa, associate professor, American Ethnic Studies, adjunct professor, History, UW

 

For a full list of Labor Archives of Washington press coverage, publicity, and events, please click here.

New episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s radio segment on the WTO Protests in Seattle airs May 30; streaming online thereafter

The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment on the KSVR radio show We Do the Work will air May 30 and stream online via KSVR and Public Radio International’s Exchange thereafter.

This “Learn Yourself” will be about the World Trade Organization Protests in Seattle in 1999. The so-called “Battle of Seattle” formed new coalitions between labor, environmental, and social justice activists protesting the lack of transparency or oversight in multilateral trade institutions like the WTO.  Planned protests erupted into police overreactio to a minority of protesters who damaged private property, while many activists and Seattle citizens were caught in the middle.

The regular segment, called “Learn Yourself”, features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections) being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own. Links to Other Episodes in the Series: Full list: https://tinyurl.com/loff3l:

  1. Labor Archives of Washington Overview
  2. Everett Massacre, also called Bloody Sunday, where a confrontation caused 7 to 12 people to be murdered on November 5, 1916.
  3. SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage Campaign and History Project
  4. Filipino American Cannery Workers’ Unionism and the Murder of Domingo and Viernes
  5. Farmworkers’ History: The Chateau St. Michelle Grape Boycott and the Labor Archives of Washington’s second annual event Preserving Solidarity Forever: Washington State Farmworkers’ Struggles.
  6. Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Life and Art of Richard V. Correll
  7. Author, Poet, Worker: Carlos Bulosan’s Collections at the Labor Archives of Washington and Eva Urcia’s Quest to Uncover and Preserve Bulosan Family History
  8. The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration
  9. The 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike

Related Episodes

  1. Former LAW intern Senteara Orwig on the collections she worked on in the Labor Archives of Washington “The Songbird and the Martyr: Katie Phar, Joe Hill, and the Songs of the Industrial Workers of the World”

For more information, go to the following sites and links:

Articles

“1999 Seattle WTO protests” Wikipedia.org <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Seattle_WTO_protests>

“WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION PROTESTS IN SEATTLE” Seattle Municipal Archives <https://www.seattle.gov/cityarchives/exhibits-and-education/digital-document-libraries/world-trade-organization-protests-in-seattle>

Barker, Debi, and Jerry Mander. 1999. Invisible government: the World Trade Organization : global government for the new millennium? : a primer. San Francisco, CA: International Forum on Globalization.

Digital Collections

WTO History Collection <http://content.lib.washington.edu/wtoweb/>

Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

WTO History Project <https://depts.washington.edu/wtohist>

Documentary Films:

30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

This is What Democracy Looks Like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBUZH2vCD_k

Bibliography

  • Aaronson, Susan A. Taking trade to the streets: The lost history of public efforts to shape globalization. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; 2001
  • Anderson, SarahViews from the South: The Effects of Globalization and the WTO on Third World countries. Oakland, Calif., Chicago: Co-published by Food First Books and the International Forum on Globalization. Distributed by LPC Group; 2000
  • Barker, Debi, and Jerry Mander. 1999. Invisible government: the World Trade Organization : global government for the new millennium? : a primer. San Francisco, CA: International Forum on Globalization.
  • Danaher, Kevin and Burbach, RogerGlobalize This! The Battle Against the World Trade Organization and corporate rule. Monroe, Me: Common Courage Press; 2000.
  • Guilloud, Stephanie, ed.Voices from the WTO: An anthology of writings from the people who shut down the World Trade Organization: Stories & photos from November 30–December 3, 1999. Olympia, WA: The Evergreen State College Bookstore distributor; 2000
  • Wallach, Lori and Sforza, MichelleWhose trade organization? Corporate globalization and the erosion of democracy : An assessment of the World Trade Organization. Washington, D.C: Public Citizen; 1999.
  • Thomas, JanetThe Battle in Seattle: The Story Behind and Beyond the WTO Demonstrations. Golden, CO; Fulcrum Publishing; 2000.

Primary Source Collections:

Special Collections

Seattle Municipal Archives

“Putting History to Work: The Labor Archives of Washington as a Model for Forging Stronger Connections between Labor and the Academy”

Recently published article by Labor Archivist Conor Casey from the Labor and Working Class History Association’s journal, Labor: “Putting History to Work: The Labor Archives of Washington as a Model for Forging Stronger Connections between Labor and the Academy”

Putting History to Work:

The Labor Archives of Washington as a Model for Forging Stronger Connections between Labor and the Academy

In 2008, labor history in the Pacific Northwest was facing a crisis. Collections were being thrown away or were decaying in basements, attics, sheds, and boiler rooms. Records creators needed a place to save their treasures from age, mildew, and insects. Even collections that were retained and stored in good conditions were inaccessible to scholars, remaining unstudied. Reduced in staff due to the recession, the University of Washington’s Special Collections library division was unable to accept new collections or process existing ones. Two thousand cubic feet of labor-related holdings existed in various states of preservation and description; many collections lacked online finding aids, and those with them often lacked detailed inventories. No online topical listing of labor collections existed, so remote or inexperienced researchers had to either visit in person or rely on remote reference queries to understand UW’s labor holdings. The labor community had no place to donate their records even if those materials survived moves, mergers, or leadership changes. Researchers had very limited ability to understand the significance, scope, or intellectual contents of collections.

That year, a group affiliated with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) approached the chair of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the UW (James Gregory) about this crisis. Together, they formulated a bold solution: found a labor archives. The Bridges Center group approached UW’s libraries about partnering to found the Labor Archives of Washington (LAW). The resulting fundraising campaign was a surprising success. The ILWU’s Longshore Division provided critical and sustained funding; the Washington State Labor Council provided the go-ahead, fundraising help, and a convention resolution of support. Dozens of other unions and organizations and hundreds of individuals have donated close to $700,000 since 2008. [End Page 9]

In 2010, the organizers had sufficient funds to hire a labor archivist. In that position, I have focused on curating collections, managing the processing of new and legacy collections, and increasing online access via enhanced description and digitization projects. All labor collections now have online finding aids, all legacy finding aids have been scanned and attached to online versions, and these are in the process of being improved so that they will be keyword-searchable and indexed by search engines. An online listing points researchers to labor collections, and a digital portal allows them to see highlights and, in some cases, entire digital collections. I have curated exhibits and created events highlighting LAW collections and taught workshops on the importance and methods of preserving labor records to the labor community. I also teach orientations for students and faculty of local colleges and universities on how to conduct research in our collections, and I promote the archives at conferences of professional and stakeholder organizations.

In 2015, the Washington State Labor Council lobbied for state funding for LAW. Surprisingly, we got funding, which covers the salary of the labor archivist, a part-time student curatorial assistant, and processing supplies. State funding enabled hiring a full-time assistant archivist to work directly with the labor community, helping with a regional labor-records survey and day-to-day archival processing operations.

The creation of LAW proved to be an organizing tool for closer connections between the academy and the labor and social justice communities. As such, it offers a model for similar projects to preserve labor history and bring together various stakeholder communities. As James N. Gregory detailed in his Labor article,

Nothing has done more to build the scholar-union relationship than the Bridges Center’s decision . . . to create a labor archives at the University of Washington. . . . [The] Organizing Committee, which includes most prominent union leaders in Washington State, has strengthened ties and trust while it raises money. Our experience in building [LAW] affirms the old axiom that the best way to organize people is to ask them to work on a project. Every state deserves a labor archives, and the project of building one is a great way to advance campus-labor-community partnerships.1

The Labor Archives began as a temporary three-year project but now seems well positioned to operate at increased capacity in the future. The lessons of the past six years present a repeatable organizing model that may help labor scholars and the labor movement to collaborate on projects that advance their agendas and to find areas of overlap and collaboration.

________

LAW will play a role at LAWCHA’s Seattle conference at the UW in June of 2017. Please join us at our annual event, “Past Forward: The Legacy of the ILWU and Progressive Unionism on the West Coast” on the evening of Saturday, June 24, 2017. [End Page 10]

Conor M. CaseyCONOR CASEY is the founding labor archivist of the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. From 2001 to 2008, Casey worked at the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University, becoming archivist and visual collections curator. A member of the Academy of Certified Archivists, Casey holds a master’s degree in US History from San Francisco State University and a master’s of library and information science from San José State University. He is co-chair of the Society of American Archivists’ Labor Archives Roundtable and a trustee of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association. Casey first became interested in labor history through researching his grandfather’s experience as a striking longshoreman during the 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike.

Reference

Gregory, James N. 2014. “Advancing the Ivory-Collar/Blue-Collar Partnership.” Labor 11, no. 3: 13–14. [End Page 11]

Footnotes

1. Gregory, “Advancing,” 14.

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/655175https://muse.jhu.edu/article/655175