Skip to main content

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.

PART OF
California Revealed
American Libraries
More right-solid
More right-solid
SHOW DETAILS
up-solid down-solid
eye
Title
Date Published
Creator
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Member, ILWU Local 6 for thirty-four years; recalls student life at UC Berkeley and part-time waterfront work, 1938-1941; Left politics in East Bay, 1940s to early 1990s; serving as steward in Office and Professional Employees Union, CIO, 1945-1950; and activist career and work-life in Local 6, 1950-1984. Collection Guide : Terry Green Oral History Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by Labor Archives and Research Center (LARC), J. Paul...
Topics: californialightandsound, Schwartz, Harvey, Green, Terry, 1920-, Labor union...
Source: 2 Tapes of 2: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Service Employees International Union (SEIU) research director; received a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley in 1942; became staff member of the Labor Bureau and Building Service Employees International Union (later renamed the Service Employees International Union) beginning in 1943; describes his work with the War Labor Board during World War II, his four decades with the SEIU, and the first Kaiser strike in 1968. Collection Guide :...
Topics: californialightandsound, Bakalinsky, Adah, Liebes, Richard, 1912-, Labor unions--United...
Source: 3 Tapes of 3: 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
eye 41
favorite 1
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Central figure in labor movement of Vallejo, California, from World War II until retirement, 1968; organizer for Vallejo Plasterers Union, early 1930s to 1941; in 1941 revitalized Retail Store Employees Union Local 373 of Solano and Napa counties; led Local 373 for twenty-seven years; greatly expanded local's membership and influence while taking central role in civic affairs and Democratic Party politics. Collection Guide : Stanley Lathen...
Topics: californialightandsound, Clerks (Retail trade)--California--Labor unions, Labor...
Source: 3 Tapes of 3: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Employee, State Conciliation Service, 1948-1976; describes a variety of San Francisco strikes, including Machinists Union Local 68 in 1946, asparagus pickers in 1947-1948, and nurses and farmworkers in 1966; reflects on California Governor Reagan's administration, the effects of the Wagner Act, and his impressions of a variety of local labor leaders. Collection Guide : Tom Nicolopulos Oral History Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by...
Topics: californialightandsound, Arbitration, Industrial--California--History, Labor...
Source: 5 Tapes of 5: 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
eye 49
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Member, Pile Drivers Local 34; discusses childhood in Scotland and Denmark, arrival in U.S. in 1943, and working on the construction of the Carquinez Bridge; joined Pile Drivers Union when twenty-eight years old; lifelong Socialist; describes battle over Communists in the Union; retired in 1985. Collection Guide : Carl T. Anderson Oral History Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by Labor Archives and Research Center (LARC), J. Paul Leonard...
Topics: californialightandsound, Bakalinsky, Adah, Anderson, Carl T., 1926-, Piling (Civil...
Source: 1 Tape of 1: 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
eye 50
favorite 0
comment 0
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
Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
by Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
eye 51
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : President, Bay Area Typographical Union (BATU) Local 21, 1969-1987; born in 1929, Olson moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1939; worked on Treasure Island during World's Fair; joined ILWU in early 1940s; joined BATU Local 21 in 1951 and elected president in 1969; describes the anti-Hearst newspaper strike of 1968; San Rafael Independent Journal strike, ca. 1970s; the shrinking number of newspapers, 1970s-1980s; and the impact of new...
Topics: californialightandsound, Labor leaders--California--Interviews, Labor unions--California--History,...
Source: 5 Tapes of 5: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Retired from Local 10, ILWU, 1993, after sixty years on the San Francisco waterfront; veteran of 1934 strike; remembers boxing days, early 1930s; longshore work, 1933; witnessing S.F. police shooting workers during 1934 strike, being arrested for own union activity in 1934, meeting Henry Schmidt, Local 10 pioneer, and Harry Lundeberg, SUP leader; SUP schooner sailor, World War II; and Relief Business Agent, Local 10, ILWU, 1960. Collection...
Topics: californialightandsound, Longshoremen's Strike, San Francisco, Calif., 1934, Labor union...
Source: 3 Tapes of 3: 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
eye 74
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Avelino "Abba" Ramos retired in 1997 after long career as ILWU activist, organizer, business agent, and International Representative; describes youth in Hawaii as son of Filipino sugar worker, coming of ILWU to Islands in 1940s, CIO organizing work in Hawaii, and career in California with Local 6, ILWU, 1962-1997, including rich exploration of the closing of the Colgate plant, East Bay, 1981; interview formed basis for an oral...
Topics: californialightandsound, Filipino Americans--California--Interviews, Filipino...
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
eye 76
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Retired as Librarian and Archivist, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Library, San Francisco, 1986; employed at ILWU for twenty-three years; insightful reflections on politically active mother, Left and communist politics in California during 1940s-1950s, California Labor School, and International Longshore and Warehouse Union; an archivist at Labor Archives, since 1992. Collection Guide : Carol Cuénod Oral History Rights :...
Topics: californialightandsound, Schwartz, Harvey, Cuénod, Carol, 1929-,...
Source: 8 Tapes of 8: 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
eye 77
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Longtime labor activist and consultant to unions in California and Hawaii; recalls U.C. Berkeley; labor organizing, 1930s; discusses career as Research Director, California CIO Council, late 1930s-late 1940s; represented International Fishermen & Allied Workers of America (IFAWA) and Marine Cooks and Stewards (MCS) at their CIO purge trials, 1950; consultant to ILWU specializing in employee benefit and union insurance plans; searching...
Topics: californialightandsound, Labor leaders--California, Labor movement--California--History, Labor...
Source: 3 Tapes of 3: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : San Francisco State University professor and leader in the faculty strike of 1969; describes his role in organizing opposition to the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1959-1960; faculty union organizing (American Federation of Teachers) at SFSU in 1952-1968; and offers a detailed look into his role as leader of the San Francisco State faculty strike. Collection Guide : Arthur K. Bierman Oral History Rights : Copyrighted....
Topics: californialightandsound, Carroll, Peter, Bierman, A. K. (Arthur Kalmer), 1923-, San Francisco State...
Source: 7 Tapes of 7: 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
eye 88
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Member, Shipwrights Local 1149 and highly skilled boat builder by 1941; describes boat building in military, World War II; master boat builder for Pacific Dry Dock/Crowley Maritime in East Bay, 1950-1979; traces great changes in shipbuilding over time; master model ship builder whose replicas are widely known in maritime circles. Collection Guide : Red Alexander Oral History Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by Labor Archives and Research...
Topics: californialightandsound, Alexander, Red (Robert), 1916-, Schwartz, Harvey,...
Source: 5 Tapes of 5: 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
eye 111
favorite 1
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Brotsky recounts his life as a Bay Area labor and civil rights attorney. The interview covers many major labor and political issues from the 1940s to the present. Topics include Brotsky's involvement with: UCAPAWA (1948 Stockton Strike), student activism at Columbia University, the Young Communist League, the National Lawyers Guild, his service during World War II, and as counsel for such unions as the United Auto Workers, United Electrical,...
Topics: californialightandsound, Schwartz, Harvey, Brotsky, Allan, Labor lawyers--California--Interviews,...
Source: 7 Tapes of 7: 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
eye 115
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Selvin's parents immigrated from Russia to Tooele, Utah in 1909, drawn by family ties to the Jewish agricultural community which had settled in the central part of that state. Selvin's father maintained a store in predominately Mormon township of Tooele and also served as a senator in the Utah state legislature. David moved to California to attend college, receiving his undergraduate degree in Commerce and Master's in Labor Economics at the...
Topics: californialightandsound, Longshoremen's Strike, San Francisco, Calif., 1934, Labor union...
Source: 7 Tapes of 7: 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
eye 117
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Retired in 1993 from Ship Clerks' Local 34, ILWU; reviews work-life and activism in Marine Cooks and Stewards, CIO, late 1940s-early 1950s; and in ILWU, 1955-1993; remembers waterfront screening, McCarthy period; recalls Jimmy Herman and racial integration of Local 34, early 1960s; led ILWU efforts to aid California farm workers' union movement, 1960s-1970s; Secretary-Treasurer, Northern California District Council, ILWU, 1982-1993; co-founded...
Topics: californialightandsound, Employee screening --California, Labor union members--California--San...
Source: 8 Tapes of 8: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Recordings of a Bay Area independent radio news program from 1984-1987 covering labor issues with a primary focus on California. Includes numerous interviews with local labor leaders regarding significant strikes and labor struggles such as the historic Latina-led Watsonville Cannery Strike, United Farm Workers' (UFW) "Wrath of Grapes" campaign, and the month-long SEIU Local 250 Kaiser healthcare workers strike. A majority of...
Topics: californialightandsound, Cannery workers--California, Labor union leaders--California, Labor union...
Source: 27 Tapes of 27: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Business agent, Teamsters Local 921; worked as a "route man" delivering newspapers throughout the Bay Area during the 1930s and 1940s; describes the Teamsters' split from the San Francisco Labor Council in the late 1950s, as well as his impressions of Teamsters leaders Dave Beck and Jimmy Hoffa and his five decades as a San Francisco Teamsters leader. Collection Guide : Jack Goldberger Oral History Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are...
Topics: californialightandsound, Bakalinsky, Adah, Goldberger, Jack, 1905-1988, Truck drivers--Labor...
Source: 3 Tapes of 3: 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
eye 159
favorite 0
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : San Francisco State University English professor and leader in the faculty strike of 1969; hired by SFSU in the fall of 1964; describes SFSU in the 1960s as a "liberal teacher's dream"; details his leadership of the SFSU faculty strike, its development, and its legacies. Collection Guide : Eric Solomon Oral History Transcript available Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by Labor Archives and Research Center (LARC), J. Paul...
Topics: californialightandsound, Carroll, Peter, Solomon, Eric, 1928-, San Francisco State College--Student...
Source: 4 Tapes of 4: 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
eye 174
favorite 1
comment 0
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Official, Warehouse Union Local 6, International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Interview focuses on friendship with Nikki Bridges Flynn, wife of ILWU leader Harry Bridges. Collection Guide : Dorothy Elizabeth 'Betty' de Losada Oral History Rights : Copyrighted. Rights are owned by Labor Archives and Research Center (LARC), J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University. Copyright Holder has given Institution permission to provide...
Topics: californialightandsound, Bonfield, Lynn A., 1939-, De Losada, Dorothy Elizabeth, 1921-, Women labor...
Source: 1 Tape of 1: 1/8 inch audio cassette