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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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Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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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
Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Labor Archives program featuring a conversation/ interview between noted author Jessica Mitford and artist Pele DeLappe. Close friends, the interview offers personal and humorous details regarding life in the Communist Party. 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 access to the...
Topics: californialightandsound, Communists--California--Interviews, Labor Archives and Research Center
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
Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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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
Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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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
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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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
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Union activist and official in the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the California Faculty Association at San Francisco State since 1963, participant in the San Francisco State Strike of 1968-69; describes his own activities with the AFT before the strike, the role of strike activists, leaders and opponents in detail, assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the student and faculty strike movement, and the long-term effects of the...
Topics: californialightandsound, San Francisco State College--Student Strike, 1968-1969, San Francisco...
Source: 4 Tapes of 4: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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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 : 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
Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Activist and folk singer; describes her social work with poor and migrant farm workers, 1930s and 1940s; her time as a shipfitter during World War II; her longtime affiliations with the I.W.W., the California State Employees Association, the San Francisco Folk Music Club, and the Freedom Song Network; her career as a folk singer; and her life as a single mother, feminist, and committed leftist. Collection Guide : Faith Craig Petric Oral...
Topics: californialightandsound, Agricultural laborers--California--1930-1940, Folk...
Source: 5 Tapes of 5: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Labor Archives and Research Center, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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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
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
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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
Jul 21, 2014 Labor Archives and Research Center
audio
eye 102
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Call Number : Oral History Collection Description : Abraham Lincoln Brigade Veteran. Discusses growing up in a pioneer farming family in the Santa Clara Valley; agricultural and orchard work in the 1930s, including labor conditions for bindlestiffs and itinerant agricultural laborers; organizing cannery workers in Campbell. Discusses being recruited to go fight in the Spanish civil war as an Abraham Lincoln Brigade volunteer; attitudes toward "premature anti-fascists" when they...
Topics: californialightandsound, Agricultural laborers--California--Santa Clara Valley, Migrant...
Source: 5 Tapes of 5: 1/8 inch audio cassette