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May12

Celebrate May Day!

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian

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Let’s celebrate labor!

Yesterday was May Day, internationally celebrated as a day of recognition for labor and the working class.

To learn about labor and labor history, you probably know to search NUCat for books and other items in our collection, and use our library home page discovery search box to add journal articles to your search.  In addition, here are some other, perhaps lesser-known, collections and items related to labor that we have to offer in the NU Libraries.

You may have heard references in the media to Northeastern’s Center for Labor Market Studies, an applied research unit that focuses on employment and unemployment in New England and nationwide.  Center for Labor Market Studies reports are collected and published in IRis, Northeastern’s digital archive of university scholarship.

Coop student files papers, circa 1940. Courtesy of NU Archives and Special Collections

The Archives and Special Collections help you go back in time to learn about the history of labor and labor relations in Boston. Their unique documents include Gay and Lesbian Labor Activists Network records from 1987-2001, which illustrate that organization’s campaigns against homophobia in the labor movement, and their support for benefits for domestic partners and nondiscrimination.

Our Archives and Special Collections also help you learn about labor history and union advocacy in Boston’s immigrant community organizations, such as the Chinese Progressive Association and El Colectivo Puertoriqueño de Boston.

The Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) is another advocacy organization, started in 1986 to promote women leaders in the Massachusetts labor movement; their records, including photographs, negatives and slides, are also available in our Archives and Special Collections.

For the most up-to-date information about labor, try our research databases. Factiva (with Wall Street Journal articles) and Lexis-Nexis help you find up-to-date news, while Business Source Complete and EconLit have scholarship and research articles. For a country-by-country view of labor practices, try EIU Country Reports.

Don’t forget that the library has videos!  1-800-INDIA: Importing a White-Collar Economy, available streaming, is a great example–a fascinating look at how outsourced white-collar jobs have affected family relations, urban landscapes, women’s lives, labor practices, and economic development in India.

Courtesy Smithsonian Global Sound

Finally, celebrate May 1 by listening to some old-time labor songs. Here’s labor organizer Florence Reese, followed by Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers, with the heartfelt “Which Side Are You On?” from the album Classic Labor Songs (Smithsonian Folkways).

Posted in: Business, History, Read, Listen, Watch, Serendipity

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