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U.S. Labor and Working Class History: Find Books

Guide to library resources in U.S. Labor and Working Class History.

Finding Books in the Library Catalog

The Library Catalog is the gateway to all information resources located in the Rutgers University Libraries.  Use keywords to search for the appropriate materials.  Some examples:

  • labor history
  • employment history
  • labor movement AND history
  • household economy

Try using these search terms in the “Title keyword” search field as well.

Searches using Library of Congress Subject Headings can yield more targeted results. Subject headings can be further narrowed by adding location (United States, Canada), aspect (government policy, economic aspects, social aspects), time period (19th century, 20th century) or population (women, Hispanic-Americans, Asian).  For example:

  • Labor unions United States history       
  • Labor movement United States history
  • Industrialization history                      
  •  (textile industry) history
  • (African Americans) employment history

Experiment with subject headings by substituting the terms in parentheses for other industries and populations:

  • (women) employment history
  • (automobile) industry history

Materials at other Rutgers Libraries can be retrieved through the Interlibrary Loan system by clicking the button marked [Deliver/Recall Book].  Materials needed from libraries outside the RUL system can be ordered through [Interlibrary Loan/EZBorrow].  EZ Borrow is usually your quickest option. Ask a reference librarian or assistant at a circulation desk if help is needed.

Quick Search the RU Catalog

     Rutgers Library Catalog - IRIS

Interlibrary Loan and Delivery

In many cases, library materials unavailable from the Rutgers University Library system can be ordered through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  Use the RUL web site or request assistance from the staff member at the reference desk. There are a variety of ILL/Delivery options, including campus delivery of books held in other RUL libraries and electronic delivery of journal articles held by RUL libraries:

Reference Material on Labor and Working Class History

Reference books are a good starting point if you are unfamiliar with the subject.  Use them to get background information, definitions of key words, and the names of outstanding scholars and writers in the field.  Reference books often do not circulate, but RUL has a number of digital encyclopedias available to students and faculty.  These are fee-based reference works, so you will need to put in your net id and password if you are not on campus.

The titles below are examples of what is available.  Titles that are available online are noted.  For more titles, see RUL Online Encyclopedias.