San Francisco State University, Labor Archives and Research Center
Few regions can rival the rich, lively labor history of the San Francisco Bay Area. This history is preserved in primary source and vintage history materials at the Labor Archives and Research Center. Founded in 1985 by trade union leaders, historians, labor activists and university administrators, the Labor Archives is a unit of the J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University.
The Labor Archives collection includes materials from the counties surrounding San Francisco Bay, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. More than 6,000 feet of primary source material is available for research. From the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, a wide scope of Bay Area labor activity is represented. Many unions have made the Labor Archives the official repository for their historical records -- minutes, office correspondence, membership files, publications and contracts. Labor leaders, attorneys, arbitrators, and rank-and-file workers have donated their personal papers. Personal memorabilia, photographs, ephemera, and oral histories document the lives and stories of working men and women. Visual material, in addition to photographs, includes cartoons, banners, posters, prints, handbills, picket signs, and buttons.
The Labor Archives digital collection at California Revealed consists of still images, moving images, and audio recordings from the 1950s to the 2000s. The collection includes extensive oral histories, political advertisements produced by the California Labor Federation, and photographs documenting the California Labor School, a cultural hub for the Bay Area's progressive and labor communities during the 1940s and 1950s.