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Research Guides

Industrial Workers of the World Photograph Collection: Group Photos & Postcards

Interpretive exhibit examining the historical and cultural context of the the Industrial Workers of the World Photograph Collection at the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

IWW Vision


The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) held a visionary perspective characterized by the principles of equal labor, universal union representation, and unwavering support for the freedom of speech. This vision permeated the distinctive labor culture of the IWW, manifesting in various forms such as music, protest marches, postcards, artwork, poetry, publications, and pamphlets.

"I.W.W., One Big Union of All the Workers: The Greatest Thing on Earth" Pamphlet: This publication serves as an articulate expression of the IWW's aspiration for a unified "One Big Union" and includes the preamble to the IWW Constitution. Click on the image for a more detailed view.

"Pyramid of the Capitalist System" Poster: Click on the image to explore this thought-provoking poster that visually represents the IWW's critique of the capitalist system.

IWW Seattle Joint Branches Wooden Sign: This wooden sign vividly illustrates the IWW's self-perception, advocating for the principles of "ONE UNION, ONE ENEMY, ONE LABEL" and emphasizing the solidarity embodied in the phrase "An Injury to One an Injury to All." Click on the image to examine it in more detail.


IWWs Abroad, Prisoners, & Portaits of Members

The Industrial Workers of the World were truly an international organization that had affiliates in many countries besides the United States, especially Canada, Mexico, Australia and parts of Europe. Most of UW's collection deals with activity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico as well as in other locales. The collection also features many group photos of range of IWW events including strikes, picnics, trials, and funerals.