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Labor History: Archival Collections - General Info

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

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Archival Collections Overview

The Tamiment Library holds rich collections relating to labor and social history, the history of the Left, the place of workers in American society, the evolution of labor law, women's history, and immigrant history, among other topics. 

Collections include the personal papers of individuals and the organizational records of labor unions and other institutions.  Tamiment's Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives is the designated repository for the records of the New York City Central Labor Council, and the Council's member unions and affiliated organizations.

All of the library's archival, printed ephemera, nonprint, and oral history collections are listed in our Finding Aids / Collections List. The list contains links to finding aids for processed collections and brief descriptions for unprocessed collections.

You may search the full text of finding aids from the NYU Libraries Search Finding Aids page to identify collections relevant to your topic.

Some archival holdings have been microfilmed and microfilm reels may be borrowed through interlibrary loan.

See the Collections Overview page on our website for additional information.

Archival Collections - Labor Organizations

See the separate list of archival collections relating to labor.

Collections on Microfilm

Though easy to overlook, microfilm is an excellent way to access primary source materials.  Tamiment holds more than 10,000 reels of microfilm containing serials, pamphlets, dissertations, books, and archival collections. 

See the Collections on Microfilm page in this guide for more information.

Finding Archival Collections in Tamiment

Collections List / Finding Aids
Browse a full list of archival collections in Tamiment, including personal papers, organizational records, oral history, photograph, and printed ephemera collections and link to finding aids, where available.

Search Tamiment Finding Aids
Use the search box on the left 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.

HIghlights from the Archival Collections

Letter (1922), from William. Z. Foster to Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, re Communists arrested at the Party’s 2nd convention in Bridgman, Michigan. (Tam 132).