Industrial Workers of the World Records

Accession Number: 
LR000130
Userestrict: 
Boxes 156-180 (Part 1, Series X) MUST stay at the reference desk. Researchers can only see ONE folder at a time.
Extent: 
102 linear feet (182 MB, 11 SB), 1 OS box
Date: 
1903-1996

The Industrial Workers of the World was founded in 1905 and is a member-run union for all workers. The IWW organizes all workers producing the same goods or services into one union instead of pooling them by skill or trade. Numbered among its members (known popularly as Wobblies) are lumberjacks, miners, farmhands (especially migrant workers), sailors, and workers in textile mills. Since their founding, the IWW has made significant contributions to labor struggles around the world. The union is proud of its long-standing tradition of fierce defense of the first amendment and breaking down barriers of race, ethnicity, and gender. Since it's founding in Chicago, the IWW has moved its headquarters around the country.

Part 1 includes minutes and proceedings, trial records and evidence, newspapers, pamphlets, poems, cartoons, songs, and correspondence. Subjects of interest include the Centralia Conspiracy; criminal syndicalism; the Everett Massacre; Free Speech fights; organization of farm workers; labor conditions; the controversy between craft and industrial unionism; government raids and seizures; trials of various members; foreign IWW administrations; political prisoners; GEB 1960's-1970's; conventions 1970's; Junior Wobblies; Houston Branch; and information on such figures as Vincent St. John. Correspondents include T.J. Bogard, Arthur Boose, Richard Brazier, Frank Cederval, A.S. Embree, William D. Haywood, Claude Irwin, Joyce Kornbluh, John A. Law, George Lucas, Albert Prashner, Rudolf Rocker, Vincent St. John, Nicolaas Steelink, Fred W. Thompson, William Unger, Walt Westman, and Claire Whitaker.

Part 2 of the Industrial Workers of the World Collection contains General Executive Board correspondence from the 1960s and 1970s and minutes, newsletters and correspondence from several branch locations and foreign administrations covering the same time period. Also included are Constitutional General Convention minutes from the 1970s, membership dues booklets, songs, cartoons, poetry, articles, legal case files, and a large assortment of English and foreign-language pamphlets and leaflets. Of particular interest are the reports of undercover private detectives posing as IWW members who investigated IWW organizing among Arizona miners in 1923.

Part 3 include mainly correspondence, reports, and photographs that document the union’s activities and goals primarily during the time they were headquartered in Ypsilanti. Since the organization is global, some reports come from places as far as Sweden and Germany. Of particular note are copies of Junior Wobblies cards dating from the 1930s.

Attachment(click to download)
LR000130.pdfLR000130_guide.pdf1.49 MB