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UALE Summer School for Union Women: Women's Labor History

Resources for the workshops offered by the regional summer institutes for union women sponsored by United Association for Labor Education.

Labor History Online

Museums, Libraries and Archives

Books on Women's Labor History

Baxandall, Rosalyn, and Linda Gordon. America's Working Women: A Documentary History, 1600 to the Present, rev. ed. N.Y.: W.W. Norton, 1995. 

Revised to include more on Native American, African American, Hispanic, Asian American women, rural labor, current issues.

 Cobble, Dorothy Sue.  Dishing It Out: Waitresses and Their Unions in the Twentieth Century. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991.

 Deslippe, Dennis A. Rights, Not Roses : Unions And The Rise Of Working-Class Feminism,1945-80. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2000.

 Devault, Ileen A.  United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism.  Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 2004.

 Foner, Philip S. Women and the Labor Movement. N.Y.: Free Press, 1979.

A comprehensive history of women and trade unions in the U.S.  Two editions are available: the original 2‑volume edition, and a condensed 1‑volume version.

 Jones, Jacqueline. American Work: Four Centuries of Black and White Labor. N.Y.: W.W. Norton, 1998.

Jones explores the history of labor through the lens of politics and economics that determined in different times what occupations were suitable for which group of individuals.

 Jones, Jacqueline. Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family, From Slavery to the Present.  N.Y.: Vintage, 1985.

Jones wrote this book in response to the lack of material on black working women.

 Kessler-Harris, Alice.  Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States.  Oxford Univ. Press:  1983, 2003.

Cited as “the single best survey of transformation of women's paid and unpaid work from the colonial period to the present” (AHR); the 2003 anniversary edition has been updated.

 Kessler‑Harris, Alice. Women Have Always Worked.  N.Y.: Feminist Press, 1981.

An excellent, very readable history of women's work in and out of the home.

 Murolo, Priscilla, A.B. Chitty, and Joe Sacco (illus.).  From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short Illustrated History of Labor in the United States.  New Press, 2003.

 Wertheimer, Barbara Mayer. We Were There: The Story of Working Women in America. Phil.: Temple Univ. Press, 1977.  

The first readable history of working women in America, written when Barbara could not find a suitable text to use with union women.  Barbara was also the founding spirit of the UCLEA Women's Summer Schools.

 White, Julie. Sisters & Solidarity: Women and Unions in Canada.  Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishers, 1993.

A comprehensive, up‑to‑date history.

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