From the radical Knights of Labor to the increasingly mainstream AFL-CIO, organizations and movements striving to secure the rights and dignity of workers made enormous strides from the 19th to the mid-20th century. Laws and regulations protecting the rights of workers in the United States The Libraries have purchased a number of collections that cover the epic struggle for Workers' Rights during the first half of the 20th century. This period saw the end of child labor, creation of a right to unionize and strike, a minimum wage. The later part of this period also saw efforts by groups that had been excluded--particularly African Americans and women--to secure the same rights as white men.
The Libraries have purchased a number of resources that document the labor movement during this period. These is essential material in itself, and is even more valuable in the context of the many legal, political and social resources we already hold.
- Labor Unions in the U.S., 1862-1974: Knights of Labor, AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO
- Workers, Labor Unions, and the American Left in the 20th Century: Federal Records
- Socialist Party of America Records
- Women at Work during World War II: Rosie the Riveter and the Women's Army Corps
The History Vault platform allows researchers to search across these and other collections relevant to workers' rights. Related material includes: strikebreaking efforts of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, labor records from the Progressive Era and the New Deal, and federal and organizational material documenting the struggles of African Americans and women for equal rights.