The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies is pleased to announce the opening of the Labor Archives of Washington State in the Special Collections Division of the University of Washington Libraries. The new Archives brings together more than 200 collections of labor related materials, making it one of the largest labor repositories in the country and the key to research on the labor history of the Pacific Northwest. The collections and subjects are listed and linked on the Labor Archives of Washington State website.
Funds to operate the Labor Archives come largely from the Labor Movement. A campaign led by the Washington State Labor Council, the Longshore Division of the ILWU, and the Harry Bridges Center has secured the funds to see the Archives through its initial years. More than 140 unions and friends of labor have donated to the campaign. This is an extraordinary gesture, especially in these tough times, and shows that the labor movement in this region places a high value on the preservation of its history and heritage.
Conor Casey is the Labor Archivist. He comes to the position after years of experience with the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University.
Although newly organized, the Labor Archives draws upon generations of work by archivists at the University of Washington who have acquired more than 200 collections of union records, records of civil rights and radical organizations, records of timber, maritime, manufacturing, and other companies, as well as the personal papers of labor and civil rights activists. The collections focus largely but not exclusively on the Pacific Northwest region including British Columbia and Alaska.