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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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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
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Retired from Modern Times Bookstore Collective in 1996 after twenty-five years; discusses youth in Brooklyn, 1920s-1930s, early interest in cooperatives and anarchism, coming to California, 1944; helping establish Peace and Freedom Party in San Diego, 1967; and Modern Times Bookstore Collective in San Francisco, 1971; describes assisting victims of AIDS crisis, San Francisco, 1980s. Collection Guide : Jean Pauline Oral History Rights :...
Topics: californialightandsound, Political activists--California--San Francisco--Interviews, Modern Times...
Source: 2 Tapes of 2: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Community organizer and activist; worked as research department secretary for the ILWU, 1947-1952; office secretary for the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians Local 51, 1958-1967; supervisor and convention coordinator for the National Lawyers Guild, 1960s; and community activist and organizer with a variety of San Francisco causes and organizations, including the California Nurses Association, Women for Peace,...
Topics: californialightandsound, Community organization--California--San Francisco, Political...
Source: 2 Tapes of 2: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Note : Program ends at 00:13:19, followed by unrelated content beginning at 00:22:30 Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : President, United Educators of San Francisco; officer, American Federation of Teachers; worked as a high school teacher for nearly thirty years at Lincoln and Lowell high schools; describes her involvement with school unions, 1955-1970, and her rise to become president of the United Educators of San Francisco in 1984; discusses her views on bilingual...
Topics: californialightandsound, Labor unions--California--San Francisco--History,...
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
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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
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Union and faculty-rights activist since early 1970s; originally a member of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) local at San Francisco State, switched to California Faculty Association (CFA) in the late 1970s, involved in CFA victory over AFT in 1983, CFA president 1983-1988 and CFA Executive Board member 1985-1999; describes his involvement in the San Francisco State Strike, the evolution of faculty unionism at San Francisco State...
Topics: californialightandsound, San Francisco State College--Student Strike, 1968-1969, San Francisco...
Source: 2 Tapes of 2: 1/8 inch audio cassette