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American Federation of Labor (A.F.L.) Letters in the Progressive Era

Beginning on April 26, 2023, the Library of Congress is launching a new campaign for its crowdsourcing/transcription project, By the People, "American Federation of Labor Records: Letters in the Progressive Era." Since 2018, the Library of Congress has invited virtual volunteers to transcribe pages from history through By the People. To date, volunteers have completed over 630,000 pages. These transcriptions enhance collection discovery and access on

- Credit: The Metropole


Discover 1b, Labor History Resource Project


Feature stories, media, news and historically rich content are documented and maintained in our growing set of collections on labor history.
Era 4, Labor History Resource Project

Domestic Workers

Domestic workers, paid and unpaid, enslaved and free, and the vast majority female, have been critical elements of the economy since the colonial period. Yet domestic workers have struggled for decent pay, fair working conditions, and access to social benefits. Here we document their activities as cleaners, cooks, laundry workers and caring labor, and reveal how hey have sought to achieve respect through individual and collective action.

Discover 2, Labor History Resource Project

Local & Regional Resources

Some of the most important resources available to tell the stories of workers and their movements, past and present, are being assembled at the local or regional level. Below we are assembling links to some of the most active and rich historical sources.

The Lawrence Textile Strike Begins 1912, Labor History Resource Project

Working Activism

Workers have consistently engaged in efforts to achieve fair and just resolutions to the many issues that confront them, sometimes by joining together in unions, at others by striking against employers or engaging in public protest. In this section we highlight some of the major ways that they have tried to achieve better working conditions, higher wages, and greater autonomy in the workplace.
Discover 4, Labor History Resource Project

Teaching Resources

Labor education has a proud tradition in the United States, but today, very little labor history is taught in K-12 schools. Courses on business, finance, and management from the top down, having long been taught at the college level, are ever-more prevalent in high schools, but working people’s lives, labor, and organizing are often relegated to the margins of history surveys if they are discussed at all. These omissions minimize the enormous role the labor movement has played in shaping American politics, culture, and society, and it misses a tremendous opportunity to connect students’ own, family, and community experiences of work to the pasts they study in school. Thankfully, labor historians and educators in many contexts are working to address this challenge.

Discover 5, Labor History Resource Project


Our collection of rich media, from teachers and advocates on the ground, to the growing collection of archive material will provide your with a greater sense of what it was like to be there, on the front lines.

Im A Man Mural In Memphis 2, Labor History Resource Project

Allied Organizations

Our resources is made possible by the contributions by many organizations & institutions across North America.

We are historians preserving labor history and the stories of working people

Marching for rights

In recent years, the nature of work and the lives of working people have been radically transformed. Labor unions no longer speak with the authority they once possessed. Our information about work and workers now is published, presented, and produced in multiple ways, and sometimes filtered such that the stories are incomplete.

For students, teachers, workers, and a curious public, the Labor History Resource Project will foreground the images, words, voices, and films of workers in the past and present; identify and create materials that can inform and to enlarge our understanding of the contributions workers have made in American history.; and work with archivists, librarians, curators, and learning institutions to highlight resources vital to the story of our time.

The Labor History Resource Project provides a platform for making labor history visible, and it will help to sponsor the creation of new educational resources about neglected chapters of our history.

We invite you to explore the initiative – launching now – and to join our work and get involved.