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Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University

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 (LARC). 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.

Contact Information:

Labor Archives and Research Center
J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
Room 460 - 4th floor
1630 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94132
Telephone: (415) 405-5571
Email: larc@sfsu.edu

Hours and Directions

Monday - Friday, 1 - 5 PM, or by appointment.
Please call (415) 405-5571 at least two days in advance to arrange an appointment.

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California Revealed
American Libraries
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Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Regional Director, Women's Bureau, Department of Labor (based in San Francisco), 1962-1996, except for two years in mid-1980s; recalls classes from Clark Kerr, UC Berkeley, and work for UC's Heller Committee for research in social economics; contains rich assessment of Women's Bureau leadership in Washington, D.C., 1960s-1970s, and in-depth coverage of own pioneering advocacy of non-traditional job training and placement for women, 1972-1996....
Topics: californialightandsound, Labor laws and legislation--California, Occupational training for women,...
Source: 10 Tapes of 10: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
by Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Former agricultural worker; recalls killing of unionists by growers in Pixley, California, during 1933 Central Valley cotton strike; describes harsh living and working conditions of Central Valley's Mexican American cotton pickers, 1930s, and impact of mechanization, 1938-1941; employed as Richmond shipyard worker, World War II, then union molder, and finally International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers member with PG&E. Collection...
Topics: californialightandsound, Agricultural laborers--California--1930-1940, Agricultural...
Source: 2 Tapes of 2: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
by Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Community activist, champion of underdogs and labor rights; professor, Social Work, San Francisco State University; describes posts with Avalon-Carver Community Center, Los Angeles; Center for Community Development, Fresno; and National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), Washington, D.C.; Administrative Director, NWRO, 1967-1970; analyzes techniques of successful community organizing; recalls Cesar Chavez, Saul Alinsky, and George A. Wiley;...
Topics: californialightandsound, Community organization--California, Political...
Source: 7 Tapes of 7: 1/8 inch audio cassette