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The Labor Archives: Supporting Labor History

The Labor Archives began as a joint project of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. Now independently funded by a dedicated gift fund and state funds, LAW still fundraises to provide ongoing service to the Pacific Northwest. LAW is made possible by the generous donations of unions and their friends. Major sponsors include the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO; the King, Pierce, Snohomish County Labor Councils; and the ILWU and its Longshore Division.

Support the Labor Archives

The Friends of the Labor Archives works to advance labor history through support and outreach for the Archives. Members receive regular updates on the activities of the Archives, invitations to special events, souvenirs, and more.

Send your check to:

Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies
University of Washington
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195-3530

Be sure to write “Friends of the Labor Archives Fund” in the memo field of the check.

 

You may also donate securely online.


Smith-McWilliams Endowment for Working Women’s Archives

The Labor Archives of Washington and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies are proud to announce the establishment of a new endowment dedicated to funding the collection, preservation, and accessibility of working women’s history and the history of women in the labor movement.

The fund is a result of a generous donation on the part of two long-time labor activists, Lila Smith and Brian McWilliams, who wish to increase the recognition of women as members of labor organizations; individual workers and activists; and leaders in the labor movement.

Supporters may make their own financial contributions to the fund credit card online, or call 1-800-326-7566.

 

Friends of the Labor Archives

An organization dedicated to saving and celebrating the heritage of working people!

The Friends of the Labor Archives is dedicated to advancing the preservation and promotion of labor history through financial support and community outreach for the Labor Archives at the University of Washington.

Members of the Friends will receive regular updates on the activities of the Labor Archives. They also receive special invitations to events highlighting the labor history education, outreach, and research made possible by the Archives.

The Labor Archives of Washington is made possible by the grassroots contributions of the labor movement. In that spirit, the financial support pledged by the Friends is an essential part of continuing the work of the Labor Archives into the future.

Questions? Contact the Bridges Center at (206) 543-7946 or hbcls@uw.edu.

Download a membership form!
To join the Friends of the Labor Archives, print, complete and mail the membership form to the address provided on the form. You may also join by donating on-line. Review the membership levels, and make a corresponding gift through the University of Washington’s secure on-line giving website.
For full-color copies to share with your community, organization, or union local, contact the Bridges Center.

Download a Labor Archives brochure!

 

Founders Circle Campaign Background

Founded in 2010, the Labor Archives of Washington began as a collaboration between the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the University of Washington Libraries. Funding for the Archives comes largely from the labor movement. The LAW depends on donations and must do its own fundraising. Your support is critical because LAW’s budget is independent from the Bridges Center and the UW Libraries. LAW receives no direct funds from these sources. Your donations power processing, teaching, exhibits, and student workers. LAW receives some state funding. Most of these funds go to permanent staff and supplies.

The contributions of dozens of unions and hundreds of individuals made the Labor Archives possible. Their names are recorded on a plaque accompanying the statue of Harry Bridges in the entrance to Suzzallo Library on the University of Washington campus.

Major donors include the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Longshore Division ($150,000); Washington State Labor Council ($30,000); Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies ($30,000).

 

Donors

Donors who gave $500 or more to the Labor Archives of Washington are memorialized as members of the Labor Archive Founder’s Circle. Founder’s Circle names are inscribed on a plaque and displayed with the Harry Bridges statue in the entrance to the University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library.

Campaign Background

Recognizing the need to protect the heritage of labor in Washington state, a group of labor leaders and labor scholars associated with the Harry Bridges Center launched the campaign to create a Labor Archives in 2008. They called themselves the Labor Archives Organizing Committee. The campaign quickly drew the support of the Washington State Labor Council which endorsed the plan at its annual convention and pledged $10,000 a year for three years. The Harry Bridges Center pledged a similar amount.

The biggest commitment came from the Longshore Division of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The ILWU issued a matching challenge, pledging to match contributions up to a total of $50,000 during each of three years from 2009-2011.

Dozens of unions, labor councils, and other organizations have responded to the challenge and have been joined by more than one hundred individual donors.

In Spring 2010, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the UW Libraries finalized an agreement about managing the Labor Archives and announced a national search for an experienced labor archivist to manage the enterprise.

Conor Casey, Head of the Labor Archives, was chosen and accepted the position. The Labor Archives of Washington officially opened in October 2010. In 2015, after LAW received state funding, Crystal Rodgers, Labor Archivist for Processing, was hired to expand LAW’s scope of activities.

Labor Archives Organizing Committee (This committee became the Friends of the Labor Archives)

Past Co-chairs Past Members

  • Jeff Johnson, President, Washington State Labor Council
  • Dave Freiboth, Executive Secretary, M.L. King County Labor Council
  • Patty Rose, Secretary-Treasurer, Pierce County Central Labor Council
  • Rick Bender, Former President, Washington State Labor Council
  • Steve Conway, State Senator 29th District
  • Robert Duggan, ILWU lawyer, retired
  • James Gregory, Harry Bridges Chair of Labor Studies, UW
  • Holly Hulscher, Vice President, ILWU Local 23
  • Ian Kennedy, past President, ILWU Local 52
  • Vance Lelli, President, Pierce County Central Labor Council
  • Margaret Levi, Jere L. Bacharach Professor of International Studies
  • Department of Political Science, University of Washington
  • Thomas Lux, IAM District 751
  • Ronald Magden, historian, Tacoma Community College
  • Terri Mast, Secretary-Treasurer, InlandBoatmen’s Union
  • David Olson, former Harry Bridges Chair, UW
  • Ross Rieder, President, Pacific Northwest Labor History Association
  • Rick Sawyer, Vice President, UNITE-HERE
  • Sandra Schroeder, President, AFT-Washington
  • Mike Sells, Secretary-Treasurer, Snohomish County Central Labor Council
  • Conrad Spell, past President, ILWU Local 23
  • Eugene Vrana, ILWU Director of Education Services, retired