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Tamiment Library Research & Tools

Research guides and tools for the Tamiment Library's collections.

Overview

Group of men, women, and children walking and carrying signs while striking.

The Tamiment Library holds rich collections relating to:

  • labor and social history,
  • the history of the Left,
  • the place of workers in American society, and
  • the evolution of labor law

It also holds significant collections relating to women's history, immigrant history, and other topics.   

Tamiment preserves the history of working-class New York City:

  • its neighborhood associations,
  • fraternal and ethnic societies,
  • political organizations, and
  • the unions that shaped the social and economic structure of the city

The Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives is the designated repository for the records of the New York City Central Labor Council, its member unions and affiliated organizations. 

Archival Collections - Labor

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. Clicking on the link associated with each collection title will open the finding aid in a new tab. Please note that this list is not exhaustive; it is meant to get you started thinking about the collections we have in the library. 

See Searching and Browsing tips in the box on the left to find collections in the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives.

Transportation

Oral History Collections

Carefully researched interviews with labor leaders, rank-and-file workers, and political activists are an important part of the Tamiment collections.

Core Oral History Collections:

The collections also include:

  • audiotapes of speeches,
  • concerts,
  • conferences,
  • memorial meetings,
  • union meetings and
  • other public and private events,
  • as well as commercial recordings

Transcripts or summaries are available for many oral history interviews. Donor restrictions govern the use of some interviews. Please reach out out to NYU Special Collections at special.collections@nyu.edu for more information about requesting access to oral histories.

Some oral history interviews are available online:

Through our Digital Tamiment site.  Listen to interviews on your own time and check back often for new audio and video files.

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:

Periodicals

The sources listed below provide a great deal of information on trade union periodicals. In many you can look up the name of a union and see what journals it published.