This is the first entry of a series of blogs dedicated to discussing labor archives. Thanks to Conor Casey for organizing this series.
Since its founding in 1949, the Kheel Center has focused on collecting, preserving, and giving access to primary source materials supporting the mission of New York’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. Historically this has been concentrated in the area of labor-management relations and collective bargaining, with a focus on New York State. Holdings have been traditionally strong in labor unions, particularly in the garment industry, public schools, health care, and railroads, but our collections provide robust coverage of the broad spectrum of American workers-management relations, making the Kheel Center a unique collection in the United States. Management is well represented in rare-to-find personnel department material of Fortune 500 companies, and in the papers of industrial psychologists, business organizations, and management theorists. Materials include correspondence, reports, minutes, historical photographs, oral history interviews, rare pamphlets, artifacts, films, and posters. Kheel Center collections support the study of a wide variety of topics. The effects of incipient globalization and deindustrialization on unions, labor’s fight against sweatshops, public sector labor relations, and workers’ art and theater are just a few examples of the diverse themes and events scholars will be able to explore in our extensive and rich collections.
More recently, the Kheel Center has expanded its collecting scope to document emerging trends such as labor coalitions and the defense of international labor rights in a globalized world. In 2013, it became the official repository for the records of Jobs With Justice, which include administrative records, oral history interviews, and memorabilia. Digital collections are expanding and include publications and reports of several NGOs (http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/globaldocs/), historical photographs that can be browsed in Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kheelcenter/), and a variety of union, scholarly, and corporate publications. To discover more about the Kheel Center, please visit http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/library/kheel/. For specific questions or to schedule an appointment or a visit, please write to [email protected], or call 607-255-3183.