Thursday, April 4, 2013

Labor Archives of Washington

Curious about the labor movement in Washington State?

I.W.W. poster from Labor Archives of Washington guide
Check out the Labor Archives of Washington (LAW).
[It] was founded to preserve the records of working people and their unions and to serve as a center for historical research, ensuring that new generations have access to the rich labor history of the region. A unit of the Special Collections Department of the University of Washington Libraries, the Labor Archives is a collaborative project of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the University of Washington Libraries. Funding for the Archives comes largely from the labor movement.
The digital collections include a wide variety of material, from the Seattle General Strike of 1919 to the WTO protests in 1999.

There are also records from many unions and individuals, including some lawyers:
  • John Caughlan papers. Seattle civil rights attorney, active 1937-1990. In the 1940s and 1950s he represented labor unions, union activists, the Communist Party, the Washington Pension Union, Henry Huff in the Smith Act, foreign-born residents facing deportation because of their political activities, and individuals accused of "subversive" or "un-American" activities in cases related to the Smith Act, the McCarran Act, and the McCarran-Walter Act.
  • Cynthia K. Gillespie papers. Feminist activist, attorney, author. Feminist activist, attorney, author. Founder and first Executive Director of Northwest Women's Law Center, Seattle, 1978-1980. A practicing attorney with emphasis on family law and women's rights.
  • Mark M. Litchman Papers, 1901-1965. Attorney, civil rights activist, Jewish communal leader. Mark Litchman was born in 1887, and died 1960. Litchman defended prospective deportees from deportation, 1918-1920, 1931; the "Seattle Union Record" against sedition charges, 1919-1920; socialists and members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) incarcerated in Yakima, 1933; and represented Haverty in International Stevedoring Company v. Haverty, leading to abolition of fellow-servant doctrine, 1926. He was a member of the King County Housing Authority, 1939- , and of the Executive Board of the ACLU Washington until 1955.

Congratulations to the team at the Labor Archives of Washington!
It is receiving the 2013 John Sessions Memorial Award for its steady stream of exhibits, outreach efforts to the community and the impressive LibGuides site and digital collections portal site. This award is sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO and presents a citation to a library or library system that has brought recognition to the labor movement in the United States.

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