Skip to main content

Research Guides

Labor Archives of Washington: Bibliographies

LAW contains records from individuals and organizations that document the local, national and international dimensions of the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington State Labor Bibliographies

Highlighted secondary sources and topical bibliographies that are particularly useful overviews of the workers and industry in Washington State. Included are sources which have made heavy use of UW Special Collections. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Instead, it serves as a point of departure to aid researchers in locating primary resource collections in UW Special Collections.


Richard C. Berner was the head of the University of Washington Manuscripts Division (now part of Special Collections) from 1958-1983. His three-volume historical survey of Seattle’s history in the 20th century contains comprehensive lists of citations and makes heavy use of the manuscript collections at the University of Washington. Berner’s interest in labor and social history make his books good sources for historical narratives but--perhaps more importantly for historical researchers--serve as detailed maps of where to look in within the collections to find primary sources materials by topic.

Berner, Richard C. 1991. Seattle in the 20th century. Seattle, Wash: Charles Press. [A series of three volumes. volume names are listed below with call number]

Call numbers:

F899.S457 B47 1991 v.1 Berner, Richard C. 1991. Seattle 1900-1920: from boomtown, urban turbulence, to restoration. Seattle, Wash: Charles Press. [Seattle in the 20th century, v. 1 ]

F899.S457 B47 1991 v.2 Full text available online  Berner, Richard C. 1992. Seattle 1921-1940: from boom to bust. Seattle in the 20th century, v. 2. Seattle, Wash: Charles Press. [Seattle in the 20th century, v. 2 ]

F899.S457 B47 1991 v.3 Berner, Richard C. 1999. Seattle transformed: world war II to cold war. Seattle in the 20th century, v. 3. Seattle, Wash: Charles Press. [Seattle in the 20th century, v. 3 ]

UW Seattle Locations:

Odegaard Stacks--Vol. 1- 2

SpecColl Reference (Library Use Only)-Vol 1-3

SpecColl Pacific NW (Library Use Only)- Vol. 2-3

Suzzallo/Allen Stacks-Vol. 1-3

Find closest library copy by zipcode


Jonathan Dembo received his PhD from the University of Washington. Along with researching a broad dissertation on the history of Washington state’s working people and their unions, he compiled several useful topical bibliographies. Note that Dembo’s bibliographies only go up to 1978 and 1984.

Dembo, Jonathan. 1978. An Historical bibliography of Washington state labor and laboring classes. Seattle: [s.n.].

Full text available online

Library Location                       Notes                                Call number                 

SpecColl Reference                   LIB USE ONLY                     Z7164.L1 D45 1978          
Suzzallo/Allen Stacks                                                        Z7164.L1 D45 1978          
Suzzallo/Allen Stacks                                                        Z7164.L1 D45 1978 

Find a copy at another library nearby

Dembo, Jonathan. 1983. Unions and politics in Washington State, 1885-1935. New York: Garland Pub.

Full text available online


Library Location                       Notes                                Call number                

SpecColl Pacific NW            LIB USE ONLY                           HD8079.W3 D45 1983

Find closest library copy by zipcode


Schwantes, Carlos A. 1994. Hard traveling: a portrait of work life in the New Northwest. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.


Library Location                       Notes                                Call number                 

Bothell/CCC 3rd Floor Stacks                                             HD5856.U5 S34 1994          
Odegaard Stacks                                                            HD5856.U5 S34 1994          
SpecColl Pacific NW                LIB USE ONLY                      HD5856.U5 S34 1994          
Suzzallo/Allen Stacks                                                       HD5856.U5 S34 1994          
Tacoma Auxiliary Stacks                                                   HD5856.U5 S34 1994 

Find closest library copy by zipcode