Urban Work

Ross Rieder, President of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, and union trainer, blends insights, reading and gleanings on current developments, info bites from friends with the intent of helping trade unionists and supporters of all workers shape the labor movement’s future.

March 2005

October 2004

November 2003

Walking Tours

The PNLHA and the Vancouver and District Labour Council (VDLC) sponsor labour history walking tours of Vancouver, BC.

Complementing the tours is Labour, Work, and Working People, a new brochure prepared by the PNLHA in cooperation with the Simon Fraser University Initiative for Labour Studies, the Vancouver and District Labour Council and the BC Heritage Trust . It was launched on June 11, marking the anniversary of the 1872 legalization of trade unions in Canada, and features two self-guided labour history walking tours in Vancouver, BC.

Special honors go to Juanita Nolan, PNLHA member and SFU student who undertook the gathering of all the images and the drafting of the thorough descriptions of each site.

This project was made possible by funding from BC Heritage Trust, BC and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council, Campbell River, Courtenay, and Vancouver District Labour Council, Canadian Labour Congress, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 258 and International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Canada.

Copies of the brochure are available for $2.00 each plus shipping (bulk prices available). For more information on either the tours or brochure, call the VDLC at (604)254-0703 or email the PNLHA.

Labor History Articles

This page contains articles, papers, etc. about labour history and other interesting topics. If you wish to contribute something, please send it by e-mail and we’ll try to include it.

The Trials of Ginger Goodwin

Canadian Museum of Civilization Labour History Exhibition

Mark Leier Article about 1919 Strikes in Canada

The Centralia Massacre

Educational Materials

Youth, Unions & You
The BC Federation of Labour and the BC Teachers Federation have created this comprehensive teachers guide to labour studies for BC schools. The guide not only contains contemporary information of use to high school students but also has comprehensive sections on the labour history of BC and Canada.

Primary Source Repositories for Doing Labor History

British Columbia Archives
Located in Victoria, British Columbia, this is the central archives for the B.C. government. The archives’ search form allows keyword searching of indexes, including textual records, photographs, sound recordings, and maps. Other features include numerous online exhibitions, research guides, and full-text documents.

University of British Columbia Library, Special Collections and University Archives Division
Holdings include manuscript material, photographs, and sound recordings, 1889-1080’s. Concentration on British Columbia with an emphasis on the forestry, fishing, and mining industries. Includes the papers of Harold Pritchett and Homer Stevens. Holdings document the Rossland Strike of 1901, British Columbia strikes in support of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, Operation Solidarity, 1983.

Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
Founded to preserve the records of working people and their unions and to serve as a center for historical research, the Labor Archives contains more than 250 separate collections of labor related materials from individuals and organizations documenting the local, national, and international dimensions of the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest. Free and open to the public.
Main Page:

Memory BC
Memory BC provides a searchable database of the materials available at nearly 200 archival repositories throughout British Columbia.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
The National Archives’ Pacific Alaska Region has its headquarters in Seattle and serves as a Records Center, storing records from Federal agencies and courts in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. A smaller archive is located in Anchorage, Alaska. The website includes an archival holdings guide, online exhibits, and information on events and workshops.

Northwest Digital Archives
NWDA provides enhanced access to archival and manuscript materials in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The database currently contains nearly 5,000 finding aids from twenty-nine separate archives.

Southern Oregon Digital Archives
This digital archive contains three collections—Southern Oregon Historical Collection, Bioregion Collection, and First Nations Collections—containing over 2,200 photographs, documents, maps, and books.

University of Washington, Labor Archives Portal
The University of Washington portal for digital resources associated with the Labor Archives of Washington. A selection of materials from these collections has been digitized and added to the University of Washington’s Digital Collections, to which this portal provides access. This project has made hundreds of primary textual and visual resources relating to Pacific Northwest labor history more accessible to the public. Those wishing to view materials that have not yet been digitized are encouraged to contact the Special Collections Division for further information and assistance.