The Labor Project logo
Photo of mill closure protest signs, 1937. International Woodworkers Association Photo Collection. Homepage

Collection Scope

The Labor Project at the Knight Library seeks to acquire materials relevant to the working experience in Oregon and the larger region. The Labor Project endeavors to collect a wide variety of materials related to this geographical region, including private papers, organizational records, political documents, photographs, corporate and business records, government documents, correspondence, diaries, artwork, audio and video materials, and scrapbooks. The primary focus of the project is on the twentieth century, but we remain open to nineteenth-century materials as well. That said, constraints on our space and resources force us to be highly selective about our new acquisitions.

While we are interested in a broad range of materials, The Labor Project places particular emphasis on acquiring collections that reflect the activities and experiences of non-traditional labor organizations and activists. These include the records of migrant laborers, women’s auxiliaries, intentional communities, agricultural cooperatives, radical political movements, and organizations that worked in cooperation with or acted in opposition to major unions in their region. The Labor Project also welcomes the prospect of partnering with large labor unions in making papers available to the public in locations both inside and outside of the Knight Library.

Another prominent aspect of The Labor Project will be the establishment of a repository for oral history projects relevant to the labor and working-class experience of the Northwest. While we do not envision directing our own oral history project, The Labor Project will collect and publicize the work of students and scholars who have conducted oral histories.

Affiliated Activities

In addition to our function as a repository for labor related documents, The Labor Project is focused on partnership and outreach. Because the Knight Library cannot hope to collect, process, and house all the materials relevant to the region’s labor history, a vital aspect of The Labor Project will be to establish partnerships with local and regional labor organizations to help them preserve their own records and maintain their own archives.

Another aspect of this outreach effort is be the creation and maintenance of this website to both document and publicize the work of The Labor Project and other labor archives. This website will be a part of a larger effort to link the work of many labor archives across the region and increase public accessibility. In this way, The Labor Project will act as a portal to labor holdings all across the Northwest and throughout the nation.

Outreach and publicizing the labor collections housed at the Knight Library is a major focus of The Labor Project. To this end, The Labor Project seeks to sponsor lectures, exhibits and symposia. In addition, the project will work with scholars and educators to bring the collections into the classroom in support of the teaching and research mission of the university.

Archival Assistance

In addition to collecting, processing, and housing the materials relevant to Oregon’s labor history, The Labor Project is interested in developing partnerships with labor organizations to help them preserve their own records. The Labor Project can offer training and workshops on various aspects of document preservation and archival organization.

Further Information

To contact us about donating materials to the University of Oregon, questions about archival assistance, please contact James Fox, Director of Special Collections at

Logo of the Oregon State Federation of Labor, circa 1950. Oregon State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations papers.
 Logo of the Oregon State Federation of Labor, circa 1950
Oregon State AFL-CIO papers


Photo of loggers working. International Woodworkers Association Photo Collection.
 Work Photo
IWA Photo Collection


Photo from Newspaper Guild strike pamphlet. Morris Watson Collection.
 Newspaper Guild strike pamphlet
Morris Watson Collection.



© 2003 Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries  University of Oregon