New Digital Collection: The Richard V. Correll prints and papers


Richard_V_Correll_in_studio_1953 (1)
Richard Correll in his studio painting Paul Bunyan, a part of a series of paintings created for the Federal Art Project of the WPA, ca. 1938-1940.

The Labor Archives of Washington is excited to announce that the prints and papers of famous West Coast artist, Richard V. Correll, are now viewable (almost) in its entirety, on the UW Libraries Digital Collections site! Consisting primarily of original artwork created by Correll, including a variety of prints, original drawings, and paintings, the collection contains nearly the full body of his work! This collection truly demonstrates the expansiveness of his artistry both in technique and subject matter, encompassing themes of working people, civil rights, and social justice as well as nature scenes, figure drawings, Paul Bunyan, and a scrapbook of holiday cards spanning over 39 years.


Fire Hose/Fight Back, 1971 (linocut print)
“No Wars For Big Oil”, 1979 

In 2012-2013, the Labor Archives spotlighted Correll’s work in the exhibit, Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Art of Richard V. Correll. You can now view a digital version of this exhibit as well as access a web portal to the full digital collection on the Labor Archives of Washington’s Digital Resources Guide. (We even have a portable version of the physical exhibit, enabling us to take Images of Labor and Social Justice on the road!)

Our portable Correll exhibit on display at the WA State Labor Council Convention in July 2017! (Feat. Labor Archivist, Conor Casey, and Assistant Labor Archivist, Crystal Rodgers)

The collection also includes several sketchbooks and audio recordings of an oral history interview with Correll from 1979, to be digitized, as well as books and a small series of paper ephemera, photographs, and other published material about Correll’s life and artwork. Three cd-roms donated to us with the collection contain photographs of Correll as well as additional digital photographs of his prints and illustrations. Want to learn more about the collection in its entirety? Check out the online finding aid on Archives West!

Divers, 1986 (woodcut/collage print)

And if you’d like more background information about this prolific artist, Labor Archivist Conor Casey talks about Correll’s life and work in the May 2013 interview on KUOW and KBCS during the Northwest Folklife Festival as well as July 2016’s “Learn Yourself”, a segment of KSVR Studio’s We Do The Work radio show. Seattle’s weekly publication, the Stranger, also spotlighted the collection in an article published in February 2013!

For any specific questions about the Correll prints and papers or other labor collections at the LAW, contact Labor Archivist Conor Casey! Interested more generally in conducting research at the UW Libraries Special Collections? View our website for more information about hours and how to prepare for your visit!


“Past Forward”: Labor Archives latest exhibit on display at the LERC!


The exhibit I curated for the Harry Bridges Labor Center for Labor Studies and the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center partnership is titled Past Forward: Snapshots of Social Justice Labor Organizing and looks at ten moments throughout the history of labor organizing in the Pacific Northwest. Organized around four progressive issues, the exhibit covers a wide range of both organized labor and labor activists’ social justice victories. To gather the stories that are told in the exhibit, I explored collections suggested by Conor Casey, the Labor Archivist and Director of Labor Archives of Washington, UW Libraries Special Collections; spoke with other labor researchers at the UW; and read up on labor history in our area using resources such as the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project. The exhibit drew heavily on the collections of the Labor Archives. There are so many interesting stories to be told, and I was very excited to be able to highlight one of the earliest multicultural coalitions which fought the anti-miscegenation laws introduced in our state in the 1930s as wells as to bring the exhibit all the way to this year by including the Seattle Womxn’s March in January. Researching, curating, and writing this exhibit has contributed to my education, and it has been truly inspiring to learn about and re-visit the struggles of labor activists around race, gender, wage, and international human rights here in our region. rachel exhibit 3

– Post by Student Curator, Rachel Townsend

You can view the exhibit at the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center, located on the South Seattle College Georgetown campus (6737 Corson Ave. S, Building B, outside of Room 106). 

The Wonderful World of Pop-Up Books

Dr. Michelle H. Martin, the Beverly Cleary Professor for Children and Youth Services in UW’s Information School, taught an elective this spring, The History of Children’s and Young Adult Literature (LIS 598) and asked her students to contribute to the Special Collections blog as a class assignment. Because this class made extensive use of the historical children’s literature collections in the library, Dr. Martin asked them to delve more deeply into a few texts in composing these blog posts. Impressed with the pop-up books, the students chose to focus on this collection. The following posts are the results of their wonderful efforts.

An Old Oz, A New Oz
by Katrina Belton

L. Frank Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900 by George M. Hill Company, illustrated originally by W.W. Denslow. This piece of children’s literature has transcended generations through film, theater and even the opera. The book itself has been adapted into shorter versions for younger readers. Two such versions can be found in the Special Collections of the University of Washington. The first is a moveable adaptation illustrated by Julian Wehr [Book Arts Collection, Call# PS3503.A923 W5 1944], and the second is a pop-up by Robert Sabuda [Book Arts Collection, Call# Z1033.T68 S258 2000]. Movables and pop-up children’s books have been around for over 700 years. Manipulative books for children that were meant for entertainment were first developed out of paper dolls. According to A Concise History of Pop-up and Movable Books, pop-ups and movables did not begin to flourish until the 19th Century, when a company called Dean & Son began publishing.

Wehr created movables during the 1940’s and 50’s in the United States. A century later than Dean & Sons, Wehr’s books were considered toys. Since tin was scarce for toy manufacturers during WWII, the need arose for books that could also be toys. Wehr illustrated several children’s books–some movables, some not; however one of his more popular books was The Wizard of Oz, which was published in 1944 by Saalfield Publishing Company. Saalfield, an Akron, Ohio company, published from 1899 to 1977 (Kent State University). This wonderful book held by Special Collections is in great condition but should be handled with care because of all of the moving parts and spiral binding. Wehr’s illustrations capture the friendship between Dorothy, the Lion, the Tin Man and Scarecrow, but none of the illustrations is more terrifying than that of the Wizard, whose great head looms at readers from the cover. In my opinion, one of Wehr’s best pages to manipulate is when the lion is crying. The pull tab allows the reader to open and close the Lion’s eyes as he cries. Wehr’s simple illustrations, paired with moving parts, really make Dorothy’s story come to life and the land of OZ even more fantastical.

Wehr_Wizard of Oz resize

Compared to Wehr’s simple illustrations, Sabuda’s The Wizard of Oz  is much more extravagant. It was published in 2000 by Little Simon (an offshoot of Simon & Schuster). Sabuda uses every device to create his masterful pop-ups. From noise makers, to 3D glasses, Sabuda uses textures and colors to draw in the eyes of the reader. Each page contains one large pop-up, as well as several hidden within the text flaps. Sabuda is a more contemporary illustrator but has been creating pop-ups since childhood. The book is in excellent condition but should be handled with care. One of the best pages to see is the entrance into the Emerald City. The page requires 3D glasses to see all of the layers, but it really is spectacular. Sabuda’s interpretation of L. Frank Baum’s work is dazzling and presents Dorothy and friends in a shiny new way for a new generation.

Please contact Rare Book and Modern Book Arts curator Sandra Kroupa at if you would like view this book in person.


Saalfield Publishing Company publications | Kent State University Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2017, from

Concise History of Pop-up and Movable Books. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2017, from

Kubašta and the Bison Hunt
by Le Button


The Day of the Bison Hunt tells an adventure story for children, illustrated and designed by Vojtĕch Kubašta (1914-1992). The edition held by University of Washington’s Special Collections [Rare Book Collection, Call# PZ7 .D33844 1962] was published by Westminster Books in 1962. It is brief–only seven pages long–and tells the story of Silent Step and Siwa, a Native father and son who are waylaid by a sudden storm and must take shelter with a tribe that is preparing for a bison hunt. The story is thrilling, if a bit dated, powerfully evoking nature imagery. However, the book truly shines on its final page, a pop-up tableau depicting the illustrator’s concept of a Native village. In striking colors and with intricate detail, the illustration shows men, women, and children engaged in activities of daily life – weaving, saddling horses, even smoking a peace pipe. The tableau is composed of a mixture of parallel and angle folds, resulting in a deceptively complex scene made all the more eye-catching by the vibrancy of the illustrations. The imagery is far from historically accurate, representing a hodgepodge of elements from disparate cultures. Teepees and totem poles stand alongside war bonnets and canoes, and the story refers to the tribesmen as “wild,” “ferocious,” and “chaotic.” The mid-1960s saw a trend of pop-ups depicting Native and First Nations scenes such as Going West (1962) and The Indians (1963), both from the Wagner Company.

Kubašta was born in Vienna but moved with his family to Czechoslovakia when he was 4 years old. He studied to be an architect but made his living as a commercial artist and graphic designer. His career in children’s illustration began in the late 1950s, and from 1960 to 1989, he designed and illustrated more than fifty pop-up books, including fairy tales, bible stories, and historical exploits. Most of these were initially put out by ARTIA, a Czech publisher, but his work was often translated and distributed worldwide. Between 1961 and 1964, Kubašta produced a number of Tip and Top books which featured the adventures of a pair of young boys and their dog, Tap, as they journey to the moon, visit the zoo, and do battle with a dragon. Some of Kubašta’s titles have pop-up tableaux like Bison Hunt while others have more extensive movable illustrations. His contributions to the field of pop-up and movable books have been recognized worldwide, including via gallery shows in Chicago and Prague in 2006.

Kubasta_center redux

Kubasta_right redux

Please contact Rare Book and Modern Book Arts curator Sandra Kroupa at if you would like view this book in person.

The Jolly Jump-Ups and their New House
by Michael Hajostek

This book, published in 1939 by McLoughlin Bros., Inc. of Springfield, Massachusetts) is part of the Jolly Jump-Ups series of pop-up books by Geraldine Clyne. The series focuses on the Jolly Jump-Ups, a middle-class family with six children. In The Jolly Jump-Ups and their New House [Rare Book Collection, Call# PZ7.C6274 Jol], the family moves into a new house, with the story and the pop-up illustrations reflecting a comforting, idealized view of middle-class American life in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Despite the current fragile nature of the pop-up illustrations and the book’s spine, this copy has held up remarkably well over the years.

Jolly_Moving Day redux

The publisher, McLoughlin Bros., Inc., originally founded in 1858, pioneered the systematic use of color printing techniques and technologies in children’s books. Over the years, the firm’s publications served to popularize several popular illustrators like Thomas Nast, Palmer Cox, and Ida Waugh. In 1920, the company was sold to Milton Bradley and was moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, after which the company enjoyed some success with the Jolly Jump-Ups series in the 1930s and 1940s. The McLoughlin division of Milton Bradley ultimately stopped production during World War II. Sadly, faced with the threat of liquidation, the McLoughlin line of children’s books was sold to Grosset & Dunlap in 1954.

Jolly_Mothers Day redux

Geraldine Clyne, whose real name was Goldie J. Klein, is notable for being the first woman illustrator to receive credit on the cover of a pop-up book. Even though she was the only one credited on the cover (under her pseudonym), she worked collaboratively with her husband, Benjamin Klein, on the Jolly Jump-Ups series. Goldie and her husband, who were inspired by German pop-up books, designed a new paper engineering process for the series, which utilized a single sheet that was cut and folded to create 3-dimensional images. Before the Kleins developed this new technique, pop-up books had been made from die-cut sheets that were glued onto flat pages. Each Jolly Jump-Ups illustration, however, was printed on a single sheet, which was die-cut and folded to form a 3-D scene. The flat portions of the illustration were glued to stiff boards so the pop-up would stand as the page opened. As a result, the books were formatted horizontally, with the text printed parallel to the spine. The Kleins produced the artwork for each book at three times its finished size; Benjamin drew the houses and cars, and Goldie drew the people (their daughter, Judy, even posed for some of the illustrations of Judy Jump-Up and the character’s many siblings). Despite the fact that Benjamin patented their pop-up book design, many publishers imitated it in the production of pop-up books.

Ultimately, The Jolly Jump-Ups and their New House reflects the Kleins’ pioneering work in the production of pop-up books–the influence of which was felt in the industry for years to come.

Please contact Rare Book and Modern Book Arts curator Sandra Kroupa at if you would like view this book in person.


Montanaro, A. R. (2004). Geraldine Clyne (1899-1979). In J. DuLong (Ed.), A celebration of pop-up and movable books. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Movable Book Society.

Wasowicz, L. (n.d.). McLoughlin Bros Collection. American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved from

The Speaking Picture Book:
A Forerunner to “See & Say” Toys

by Victoria Comer

This showpiece of any moveable or toy collection was originally produced in Nuremberg, Germany, by publisher Theodore Brand (c. 1893). Stored in an archival box, in the University of Washington’s Special Collections department [Rare Book Collection, Call# 099 Sp31], the book is one of two copies in the collection donated by Pamela Harer. Covered in a rich red cloth, with rich gilded sides with nine ivory pull strings (one pull string was damaged and has been repaired), the book has light rubbing and wear from the many years of use. On the front, readers can see a mother showing her children how to handle the book with care, as children would have been taught to do.


Inside there are eight story vignettes that go together with nine sound pull strings (“Momma and Papa” are one story with two separate pull strings). Chromolithographic illustrations on the left pages, the first of which appears across from the title page, are accompanied by a page of text in verse on a large yellow panel, on the right and inside a rounded-edged rectangle. The book’s intricately detailed illustrations indicate that this toy book would have been made available only to the wealthiest of families at the time. The short poetic verses are silly little rhymes about animals and the children’s parents. The text was created with letter press technique. A small arrow, pointing to the corresponding sound pull string, shows the users which pull string to use to make the animal and parental sounds. Made with a series of paper bellows, the sounds are produced when a user pulls a pull string.

The user then can hear a fairly authentic animal voice for “The goat,” or an early rendition of the “Charlie Brown adult” (who are as unintelligible as all adults are in Charlie Brown videos) for Mama and Papa. The Speaking Picture Book is an item of such fascination that it is sure to delight, as users can’t help but be captivated by its charm.

The Speaking Picture Book must be delicately removed from its archival box and the spine supported prior to a user looking at the book. Please contact Rare Book and Modern Book Arts curator Sandra Kroupa at if you would like view this book in person.

Dean’s New Book of Magic Illuminations
by Melissa Slocum

Dean & Son, one of the most well-known children’s book publishers of the era, began operating circa 1800 in London at Threadneedle Street (Kroupa, 2008). For more than a century, Dean & Son was at the cutting edge of children’s toy, pop-up and moveable books.

Dean and sons 2







According to Egoff and Hagler, the term ‘toy book’ came into use in the middle of the nineteenth century to describe a large-format picturebook published with paper covers and selling for a sixpence (a sturdier linen-reinforced edition sold for a shilling)” (1998). Dean & Son were inventors in this new area of publishing and began to add more and more toy and moveable books to their catalog, “creating over sixty movable titles from 1850 – 1900” (Baron et al, 2004). They quickly dominated the market and “[b]y the middle of the nineteenth century, Dean & Son had established a virtual monopoly on all forms of movable books” (Baron et al, 2004). However, by the 1880s, Dean & Son began producing other types of toy books as well (Baron et al, 2004).

Dean and sons 4







This particular book is an excellent example of the toy books Dean & Son produced in addition to the traditional pop-ups and other movables. Dean’s New Book of Magic Illuminations was published circa 1862 and can be used with a light source to illuminate the illustrations (Plunkett, 2007). While the book shows wear, the illustrations are remarkably bright and clear. The Victorian fascination with the industrial revolution and the modern age is evident in many of the illustrations. With beautifully detailed, colored illustrations paired with very short, lively text describing each illustration, this book offers a fascinating peek into what entertainment could be like during the Victorian period.

Please contact Rare Book and Modern Book Arts curator Sandra Kroupa at if you would like view this book in person.


Baron, A., Boehm, A., Montanaro, Ann R., Rubin, Ellen G. K., Sabuda, R., & Ziegler, R. (2004). Dean & Son. In J. DeLong (Ed.), Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Movable Book Society. Movable Book Society.

Egoff, S., & Hagler, Ronald. (1998). Toy Books, Transformations, Moveable Books, Pop-Ups And Other Curiosities. In Books that shaped our minds: A bibliographical catalogue of selections chiefly from the Arkley Collection of Early & Historical Children’s Literature in the Special Collections and University Archives Division, the University of British Columbia Library (Occasional publication (University of British Columbia. Library); no. 3). Vancouver: University of British Columbia Library.

Plunkett, J., (2007). Moving Books/Moving Images: Optical Recreations and Children’s Publishing 1800-1900. 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. (5). DOI:

Kroupa, Sandra, curator (2008). Uncle Buncle’s Visit to Little Johnny Green. In Looking Glass for the Mind: 350 Years of Books for Children. Children’s Historical Literature Collection. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from

A Delightful Red Riding Hood
from Another Time

by Michelle H. Martin

This vibrantly-illustrated pop-up book by Austrian-born, Czech artist Vojtĕch Kubašta (1914-1992), tells a version of the Little Red Riding Hood story most closely resembling the Grimms’ version.  The whole book has a vertical orientation, and even the front cover has a manipulative feature: readers can make the wolf’s red tongue move in and out, which also makes Red hide further behind a tree.

Riding Hood cover resize 1

One of the most interesting aspects of this pop-up book is that Kubašta made nearly all of the pop-ups from a single sheet of paper that he cut and folded in interesting ways, making them pop out from the page.  In the opening double-page spread, Red Riding Hood and her father, both pop-outs, appear on opposite sides of the page.  He carries a wheelbarrow of wood on the left, and a lamb follows Red on the right as she carries the basket to Granny’s. Readers can see Red’s white dog behind an open door while ducks and chickens wander the yard, clearly pointing to this family’s agrarian lifestyle.  As readers turn the pages, they can see the yellow string that holds the book together in the middle of the page.  In this version, Red’s mother warns her about the “big bad wolf” who “would eat you.” The way Granny will know it’s Red is she’ll knock at the door three times—a signal Granny will recognize.

Red redux 1

Unfortunately, when Red meets the wolf, she doesn’t recognize him, though the narrator does: “It was the Big Bad Wolf, of course, but Little Red Riding Hood had never seen one before and so she did not know this.”  She then gives him Too Much Information, including the secret knock, enabling the Big Bad Wolf to trick Granny when he arrives at the cottage ahead of Red, further enabled by Granny’s poor eyesight.  After Red tells him, “What Big teeth you have,” and he gobbles her up, he eats all the food and drinks the bottle of wine she has brought for Granny—hence, it comes as no surprise that the forester (walking by with his gleaming knife), hears the wolf “snoring away” as he also dreams of another sumptuous meal—as if two humans and a basket of food were not enough.

The story ends happily (at least for the humans), but to absorb those details, you’ll have to request the book in the UW Special Collections and see it for yourself.  Though some of the pull-tabs are worn and the copy is somewhat delicate, Kubašta’s colorful art, with a Czech flair, and the pop-ups that were once flat pieces of thick paper, will still provide wonder and enjoyment to contemporary readers. Kubašta* must also have had a lively sense of humor, for the back cover will make any reader smile.

Red_back redux

*For additional information on Kubašta, see Le Button’s blog post on Kubašta The Day of the Bison Hunt.

Please contact Rare Book and Modern Book Arts curator Sandra Kroupa at if you would like view this book in person.

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:

  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:


“1999 Seattle WTO protests” <>


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 <>

Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

WTO History Project <>

Documentary Films:

30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

This is What Democracy Looks Like


  • 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.


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


1. Gregory, “Advancing,” 14.

Latest Episode of Labor Archives of Washington’s TV Segment Airs on UW360, Now Streaming Online

LaborArchives_banner header final SMALLER

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.

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.

Future Episodes:
Pablo O’Higgins and the Ship Scalers’ Mural in Kane Hall
The SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage History Project

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Save the Date: “Past Forward: The Legacy of Left Coast Militant Unionism and Lessons For Today’s Struggles” Reception and Labor Archives of Washington Annual Event

Labor Archives Event 2017 poster draft (002)


“Past Forward: The Legacy of Left Coast Militant Unionism and Lessons For Today’s Struggles”

Reception and Labor Archives of Washington Annual Event

Free Event

5:30-7:30 PM, June 24, 2017

Mary Gates Hall, University of Washington Seattle Campus

An evening devoted to the dramatic and powerful labor history of the West Coast waterfront, the importance of preserving that history, and the inspiration it can provide us in our present political moment. This three-part program features segments with labor archivists, ILWU activists, and political scientists putting the history and present into perspective.

Part 1: Labor Archives History Panel

“Under the Hook, in the Hall, on the March, and upon the Shelves: ILWU-Related Collections at Pacific Coast Labor Archives”


  •          Robin Walker, Librarian and Archivist,    ILWU Library and Archives
  •          Catherine Powell, Director, Labor Archives and Research Center, SFSU
  •          Conor Casey, Labor Archivist/Director, Labor Archives of Washington, UW

In this panel, labor archivists will talk about the ILWU’s rich and often colorful history preserved in archives in California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.

Featuring the directors of three labor archives — the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University, the Labor Archives of Washington at the University of Washington, Seattle; and the Anne Rand Library at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in San Francisco — this panel will discuss the ways in which unions, universities, scholars, and activists have worked together to preserve and promote the legacy of the left coast maritime labor movement.  The presentations will highlight collections from this history, which relate directly to today’s struggles for workers’ rights, immigrant rights, social justice, civil rights, and other causes. Topics will include the Harry Bridges Deportation trials, the deportation and defense of progressive Filipino American cannery union officers and members, and other episodes in the union’s long history of activism.

Part 2: ILWU Activists Panel

“How History Informs Current Struggles”


  •          Rich Austin, Jr., President of ILWU, Local 19
  •          Dean McGrath, President of ILWU , Local 23
  •          Terri Mast, National Secretary Treasurer Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific
  •          George Lovell, Harry Bridges Center Chair (Moderator)

ILWU officers consider how the militant history and guiding principles of the union relate directly to today’s struggles and how those lessons can help suggest a path for current and future efforts.

Part 3: “The Legacy of ILWU Activism in the Current Political Context”


  • Michael McCann, Harry Bridges Center Director

Professor of Political Science and Harry Bridges Center Director Michael McCann will consider the history of the ILWU and social justice unionism on the Pacific Coast with issues such as immigration, civil rights, and social justice history and current struggles within the current political context. What lessons from the ILWU’s history inform current can and future actions?  
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