Rutgers University Libraries American Labor History
Chronology Encyclopedias and Handbooks Bibliographies Finding Books: Library Catalogs Finding Articles: Indexes
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An Eclectic List of Events in U.S. Labor History
Chronology, with brief descriptions, of events from 1806 to 1989. Links to more extensive sites when available. Compiled by Allen Lutins.

Time Line 1850-1924
Chronology of the trade union movement. From the Samuel Gompers Papers at the University of Maryland.

Encyclopedias and Handbooks

First Facts of American Labor: A Comprehensive Collection of Labor Firsts in the United States. Edited by Philip Foner. New York, Holmes & Meier, 1984.
Alphabetical arrangement plus index.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HD8066 .F55 1984

American Labor Sourcebook. Bernard and Susan Rifkin. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1979.
Includes historical information on labor unions, legislation, and court decisions.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HD8072.R53

American Federation of Labor: History, Encyclopedia, Reference Books. Washington, D.C., AFL, 1919-60.
Historical essay, photographs, AFL organizers and unions, etc.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HD6508 .A512A

Labor Conflict in the United States: An Encyclopedia. Edited by Ronald L. Filippelli. New York, Garland, 1990.
Signed entries, with brief bibliographies, on major labor disputes involving the use of force.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HD5324.L32 1990


Labor History Bibliography
Reprint of Timothy G. Borden's annotated list (OAH Magazine of History 11 (Winter 1997): 27-30)of "some of the leading works of the literature of American working-class studies."

Working-Class Bibliography
Topical bibliographies on subjects such as classism, education issues and working class students, class as culture, and Labor History.

Finding Books: Library Catalogs

IRIS The online catalog for the Rutgers University Libraries.

Newark Law Newark Law library materials are not listed in IRIS. Use the above subject headings to find relevant publications.


Humanities Index 1984-
Index to over 350 core English-language periodicals in the humanities, including history, philosophy, religion, and related subjects. Restricted Access.

America: History and Life 1964-
The most comprehensive index to American (U.S. and Canada) history. Indexes over 2000 journals worldwide, as well as book reviews and dissertations. Restricted Access.

EconLit 1969-
Comprehensive bibliographic index for economic literature. Indexes journal, books, dissertations, working papers, and volumes of articles. Restricted Access.

Public Affairs Information Service 1972-
Index to books, reports, government documents, and journals dealing with political, social, and public policy issues. Restricted Access.

SocioFile 1974-
Index to approximately 1900 journals in sociology and related disciplines. Restricted Access.


For links to many newspaper sites with online searchable archives, as well as to physical collections of newspapers see the Newspapers Research Guide.

Factiva Restricted Access.
A vast archive which includes the full-text of 8,000 leading newspapers, magazines, trade journals, newsletters, and television and radio transcripts. Ten to twenty year+ backfile for many titles. Examples of newspapers covered include:

The Boston Globe beginning 1 January 1987.
The Chicago Tribune beginning 1 January 1985
The Detroit Free Press beginning 1 January 1994
The Richmond Times-Dispatch (Va.) beginning 1 January 1989
The Washington Post beginning 1 January 1984

LexisNexis Academic
"News" section indexes and provides access to a large collection of U.S. and international newspapers, newsletters, wire service reports, transcripts of television and radio news broadcasts, and student newspapers. Includes full-text coverage of the New York Times from June 1, 1980 to the present and the Washington Post back to 1977. Restricted Access.

[Historical] New York Times Allows you to search and display the full image of articles published in the New York Times back to 1851. The two+ most recent years are not included; use LexisNexis Academic to find more recent articles. Restricted Access.

Ethnic NewsWatch A full-text collection of over 200 newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic, minority, and native press. Complete articles dating back to 1960, in English and Spanish. Restricted Access.

Laws and Legislation

"Federal Labor Laws"
Article from the Congressional Digest (June-July 1993) briefly describing the major federal labor laws from the Clayton Act (1914) to the Landrum-Griffin Act (1959).

United State Code: Title 29 - Labor
Search or browse.

Internet Law Library: Employment, Labor, and Pension Law
Links to federal, state, and international compilations of labor laws and related materials.

THOMAS - Legislative Information on the Internet
Browse or search legislation from the 93d (1973) Congress to the present. A slightly dated but still valuable guide to Legislative Research with Thomas has been prepared by Larry Schankmann at Mansfield University.

Source Collections

American Labor Unions' Constitutions and Proceedings: A Guide to the Microform Edition, 1836-1978 / Compiled by Bernard G. Naas. Sanford, N.C., Microfilming Corporation of America, 1980.
Index to the 431 reel microfilm set held by Alexander Library (Alex Microforms No. 2243). This compilation includes constitutions, proceedings of meetings, and officers' reports of both active and inactive unions.
Dana Call Number: Ref. Z7164.L1N22

The Samuel Gompers Papers: A Documentary History of the American Working Class
The web site includes photographs, copies of documents, quotations, an excellent bibliography, a time line, and an online index to the published volumes of the Samuel Gompers Papers.

Cornell University's Kheel Center for Labor Management Documentation and Archives
In addition to their famous online collection of documents relating at the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, this site also has annotated guides to primary resources on Agricultural labor, Women and Work, Radicals and Reactionaries, African-American Labor, etc.

The Black Worker: A Documentary History from Colonial Times to the Present / Edited by Philip S. Foner and Ronald L. Lewis. Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1978-
Currently eight volumes of primary documents.
Dana Call Number: E185.B59

The Making of America
Digital project developed by the University of Michigan and Cornell University. The Michigan site has a searchable library of primary sources--approximately 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles published in the 19th century--in American social history from the antebellum through reconstruction. While Cornell's site only provides access to the text of some 270 books, they have digitilized major runs of twenty-two 19th century journals and allows you to search or browse over 100,000 journal articles.

United States Labor and Industrial History Audio Archive
Listen to conference presentations, hearings, and speeches from William Jennings Bryan (1896) to Betty Friedan. From the Department of History at SUNY-Albany.

Illinois Labor History Society
Includes interactive maps of Illinois and Chicago labor history sites/events with links to articles and other resources relating to those events.


American Labor History: An Online Study Guide
Links to general and research sites, as well as an online american labor history text with links.

Labour and Business History: Resources
Links to labor history sites. International scope; part of the World Wide Web Virtual Library.

Style Manuals

For print and other materials listed in the RedLightGreen database, you can use that utility to format citations in APA, MLA, Chicago Style Manual, or Turabian format for you.

A Brief Citation Guide for Internet Sources in History and the Humanities
Written by Melvin E. Page for H-NET, Humanities and Social Sciences Online and based in principle on Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (5th edition, 1987).

Citing Electronic Information in History Papers
Maurice Crouse, University of Memphis.

Brief Guide to Citing Government Publications
From the Regional Depository Library at the University of Memphis.

Natalie Borisovets (
February 15, 2000 rev. October 14, 2004