Labor Archives and Research Center

Please note: The Special Collections & Archives Reading Room is closed until further notice. Staff and faculty remain actively engaged during this period to provide support for remote research and instruction. You are welcome to submit questions or requests via email to  Please allow up to five days to respond to your email.  Thank you for your patience.


LARC logoFew regions can rival the rich, lively labor history of the San Francisco Bay Area. This history is preserved in primary source and vintage history materials at the Labor Archives and Research Center (LARC). Founded in 1985 by trade union leaders, historians, labor activists and university administrators, the Labor Archives is a unit of the J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University. The Labor Archives has an Advisory Board drawn from the labor, academic and community leaders of the Bay Area.


Monday-Friday: 1-5pm
By appointment / 2 days in advance
Check hours for exceptions


Give to LARC

Exhibits & Events

Past Event:

Labor Archives and Research Center 35th Anniversary Program

Febuary 26, 2021

More on this event: here

Print program for the event: here

Workers United/Apart:
Stories from the Frontlines of COVID-19

SF State's Labor Archives and Research Center invites you to help make a record of this critical time from the perspective of workers. Please share your stories here.

More Exhibits & Events

(415) 405-5571
Library 460
Staff Directory

Advisory Board

Board members (Word)


Labor Archives and Research Center
J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
San Francisco State University
1630 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132


Strike Picket Signs

The Labor Archives collection includes materials from the counties surrounding San Francisco Bay, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. More than 6,000 feet of primary source material is available for research. From the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, a wide scope of Bay Area labor activity is represented. Many unions have made the Labor Archives the official repository for their historical records -- minutes, office correspondence, membership files, publications and contracts. Labor leaders, attorneys, arbitrators, and rank-and-file workers have donated their personal papers. Personal memorabilia, photographs, ephemera, and oral histories document the lives and stories of working men and women. Visual material, in addition to photographs, includes cartoons, banners, posters, prints, handbills, picket signs, and buttons.

Search Online Archive of California

Holdings List

List of Collections at this site (PDF). Printed copy also available.


Some material is stored off-site and may need advance notice to retrieve. For inquiries, please call or e-mail.

Online Access

Digital Special Collections

Strike Permit

Labor Archives in the Internet Archive

sound recording


LARC video

The San Francisco Labor Landmarks Guide Book

Labor Landmarks Book Cover

Take a tour of San Francisco’s labor past and present working class neighborhoods, labor hangouts, monuments, murals, memorials, and buildings that reflect the history of the people who built the “City by the Bay.”  Discover 88 different sites and five neighborhood walking tours covering an array of landmarks from the unique point of view of those who work in its stores, labor in its hotels and run its cable cars.

To order, please call or e-mail.