Today is May Day! Also known as International Workers’ Day. May Day is considered an international labor holiday. This post highlights some of the materials in our collections related to May Day. Much of our May Day material can be found in the May Day, 1885-1986 folder in the vertical file collection, and the Haymarket folders in the Morris B. Schnapper collection!
May Day was created by a resolution initiated by American Socialists at the International Socialist Congress in Paris, France, in July of 1889. The purpose of May Day was to gain support for an eight-hour work day. The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada, precursor to the American Federation of Labor, and the Knights of Labor cooperated in preparing for a general strike in U.S. cities on May 1, 1886. And on that day, approximately 350,000 American workers went on strike, impacting over 11,000 businesses. Although workers in New York, Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, and other cities participated, Chicago was widely considered the center of May Day agitation, largely due to Chicago being one of the few cities with broad union and radical solidarity in support of the eight-hour day.
We’re pleased to announce that labor history collection guides for the George Meany Labor Archives at the University of Maryland are now searchable online in a new Archival Collections database site recently released by the UMD Libraries Special Collections and University Archives!
The Labor Heritage Foundation (LHF), an Allied Group of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1983 by Joe Glazer, Joe Uehlein, and Saul Schniderman. The non-profit strives to promote labor activism through a combination of music, arts, and culture. Donated to the University of Maryland in 2016, the LHF records document decades of labor activities and events including: correspondence with leaders in the labor movement like Pete Seeger and Archie Green, administrative documents, songbooks, photographs, and audiovisual materials.
Internet activism has changed the national conversation and must be taken seriously. Social media is reshaping how scholars study social movements. Is there an opportunity for archival collections to support these conversations on race and digital social justice activism? Can archival primary source materials that weren’t born digital be more effectively used alongside born-digital records in data analysis and scholarship? This semester members from the AADHum Project Team, along with our Teaching and Learning Librarian and Labor History Archivist, explored these questions to gain a broader sense of how primary resources support projects in the digital humanities.
This is the last post in a series of blogs by the Labor Collections Team highlighting the amazing posters on display in the Hornbake Library Gallery exhibit, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America.” These posters encompass a wide range of human rights issues supported by the labor movement. There are nine different human rights issues that are covered in the exhibit. In Part 1 of this series, we showcased the posters in the African-American Rights, Women’s Rights, the Eight-Hour Day, and A Living Wage sections of the exhibit. This post will explore the posters in the Religious Freedom, International Workers, the Environment, and LGBTQ Rights sections, and several other posters included in the exhibit from the AFL-CIO collections.
This poster of a mosaic mural at the Bernard Horwich Community Center in Chicago, IL was produced by the Jewish Labor Committee. The Committee was founded in the 1930s to unite the labor movement and the American Jewish community in opposition to the rise of fascism. AFL-CIO Posters, Broadsides, and Art Collection.
In this series of blogs the Labor Collections Team would like to highlight the amazing posters on display in the Hornbake Library Gallery exhibit “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America.” These posters encompass a wide range of human rights issues supported by the labor movement. There are nine different human right issues that are covered in the exhibit. For this post we will be showcasing the posters within the African-American Rights, Women’s Rights, the Eight-Hour Day, and A Living Wage sections of the exhibit.
Happy International Workers’ Day! To celebrate, the Labor History Collections has put together a small exhibit in the Maryland Reading Room inside Hornbake Library to tell the story of how May Day became International Workers’ Day and its link to Labor Day.
AFL-CIO poster promoting International Workers’ Day also known as May Day 2017. You can also check out this poster in Spanish on the “What’s Next?” panel in the Labor History Collection exhibit!