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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 IWW's vision was one of equal labor, unions for all, and freedom of speech.This vision infused the unique labor culture of the IWW, which included music, marches, postcards, art, poems, publications and pamphlets.

"I.W.W., One Big Union of All the Workers: The Greatest Thing on Earth" pamphlet.  This publication articulates the IWW's dream for "One Big Union" which also includes the preamble to the IWW Constitution. Click on image for more detail.

"Pyramid of the Capitalist System" poster. Click on image for more detail.

IWW Seattle Joint Branches Wooden Sign this wooden sign illustrates the IWW's view of themselves, advocating for "ONE UNION, ONE ENEMY, ONE LABEL" and "An Injury to One an Injury to All." Click on image for 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.


As a radical organization IWW members were bond to be arrested, and they certainly were. They were also pushing for more socialist ideas that did not correlated in their favor during a growing anti-communist sentiment. One of there most popular slogans was "We're in here for you, what are you doing for us?"

Group Photo of IWW Members on Trial for Centralia Tragedy Centralia Tragedy photo showing members of the Industrial Workers of the World on trial for the murder of Warren Grimm, one of the American Legion members.

Prisoner Pamphlet  IWW pamphlet detailing the Leavenworth, Kansas prisoner's and their case. Quotes from members.