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Labor History: Archival Collections - Labor Organizations

A guide to U.S. labor history resources in NYU's Tamiment Library and beyond.

Search Finding Aids

Search Finding Aids

Finding Archival Collections

Use the search box above to search our archival collections through the online finding aids using keywords from your research topic.  

Once you’ve found a collection that you’d like to access, write down the collection name, number, and box numbers you’re interested in.  For example, “Alger Hiss Family Papers TAM.314, Boxes 1, 2, & 3”.  

Bring your list to the Tamiment when you visit us or email us at to get more information on how to view them.  Please note that some materials are held offsite and may take from two business days to a week to arrive for your use.

When searching finding aids, you'll get the best results if you are flexible with your search terms and try different keywords. 

Put phrases in quotes (e.g., "Transport Workers Union").

Search on the LAST names of individiduals (e.g., "Quill") as well as their full names (e.g, "Michael Quill") to make sure you don't miss any collections that might be relevant.

Search using keywords (e.g., "teacher") as well as full organizational names (e.g., "United Federation of Teachers").

Click on "Show Occurrences" to see where your search term appears in the finding aid.  If the collection looks promising, click on the title of the finding aid to read the entire document.

BROWSE the Collections List

The Tamiment Library's website has a page that lists all of the archival, oral history, nonprint, and printed ephemera collections in the library.  The list is divided into four sections, each arranged in alphabetical order.

To streamline your browsing, try a "Control F" search to jump through the very long lists. Note that the Control F function is case-sensitive.

For example, start at the top of the page and search on the word "Teacher" (without quotes, but capitalized) to identify many individual archival collections related to teachers. 

Click on the title of the collection to access the full finding aid.

Archival Collections - Labor Organizations

Archival Collections - Selected Labor Organizations

To help you get started with your research, we have listed below some of the archival collections in the Tamiment Library that are related to labor unions.

The list is arranged by broad subject area -- Building Trades, Communications, Entertainment, Labor Coalitions & Organizations, Public Employees, Retail & Service, and Transportation -- and will help you identify some of the organizations represented in the library's collections.

See Searching and Browsing tips in the box on the left to find collections in the Tamiment Library.

Building Trades

Architectural and Ornamental Iron Workers
Building Congress
Building Trades Employers Association Carpenters for a Stronger Union
Civil Service Technical Guild AFSCME Local 375 Electrical Workers
     Engineering & Professional Guild
Engineers Association
International Association of Bridge Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers
International Association of Machinists
International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades
     (district and locals)
International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (local)
Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (locals)
Sheet Metal Workers
Tunnelworkers Union (New York-New Jersey Chapter)
United Brotherhood of Carpenters


Commercial Telegraphers Union
Communications Workers of America (national, district, and locals)
Daily News Strike
Independent Association of Publishers Employees
National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians
National Writers Union (NYC Chapter)
Newspaper Guild of New York
Typographical Union
United Telegraph Workers

Entertainment (Media, Music, Sports, Theatre)

Actors' Equity Association
Actors' Fund of America
American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of Television and Radio Arts (AFTRA)
     (national and NY local)
American Guild of Musical Artists
American Guild of Variety Artists
Associated Actors and Artistes of America
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
Labor Theatre
Musical Mutual Protective Union
National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians
National Writers Union (NY local)
Screen Actors Guild
United Scenic Artists

Labor Coalitions & Organizations

AFL-CIO New York City Central Labor Council
Black Trade Union Leadership Council
Chinese American Labor and Immigration Collection
Italian American Labor Council
Jewish Labor Committee
Lesbian and Gay Labor Network
New York Labor History Association
New York State AFL-CIO
Union Label & Service Trades Council of Greater New York
United Tradeswomen
White Lung Association (NY Chapter)
Women's Trade Union League (NYC)
Worker's Defense League

Public Employees

American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees
     District Council 37 (various locals)
American Federation of Teachers
Civil Service Technical Guild
Postal Workers Union (New York Area)
Professional Staff Congress (locals)
Transport Workers Union
Union of State Employees
United Federation of Teachers
United Women Firefighters
Utility Workers of America (locals)

Retail & Service

Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Workers
Federation of Shorthand Reporters
Hospital Workers
Hotel Trades Council
Leather Goods, Plastics, Handbags & Novelty Workers
Lithographers & Photo Engravers Union
Social Service Employees Union
United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union
United Office and Professional Workers of America


Independent Union of Flight Attendants
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (locals)
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store (locals)
Stewardesses for Women’s Rights
Taxi Drivers Rank and File Coalition
Transport Workers Union of America (national and locals)
United Automobile Workers of America (locals)
United Taxi Workers Organizing Committee

Labor Union Collections on Microfilm

The Tamiment Library holds approximately 10,000 reels of microfilm and includes a significant number of labor union-related collections.  Highlights include:

American Labor Unions' Constitutions and Proceedings (Film R-7020)

American Federation of Labor Records: The Samuel Gompers Era (Film R-7075)

Jewish Labor Committee Records (Film R-7015)

Labor Union Minutes on Microfilm (list in pdf)

Max Schactman Papers (Film R-7203)

Women's Bureau of the U.S. Dept. of Labor Records, 1918-1965 (Film R-7103)

Women's Trade Union League and its Principal Leaders (Film R-7099)

Browse a list of all the microfilmed archival collections in Tamiment.

Offsite Collections

Please note that many collections are stored remotely and we need advance notice to obtain boxes for you.

You can tell if a collection is stored remotely if the words "Offsite" or "Offsite-CS" are listed in red next to an entry in the full collection list.  

A note indicating that a collection is stored offsite will also appear in the collection's finding aid.

Just let Tamiment reference staff know that you would like to use boxes stored offsite and we will order them for you.

Boxes are delivered Monday through Friday.