Labor Archives and Research Center

The Labor Archives and Research Center is now open to the public Tuesday through Thursday, 1pm-5pm, and by appointment; please schedule an appointment here.

You are welcome to submit questions about our collections, alternative appointment requests, or questions about your research needs prior to you visit via email.

Instruction Requests

The faculty of Special Collections also offer instruction.  Utilizing primary source materials, Library faculty can create course-specific assignments and lead customized classes to support primary source literacy.  Faculty can request instruction through our Primary Source Instruction Request form.



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.


Tuesday through Thursday: 1-5pm and by appointment
Check hours for exceptions


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Exhibits & Events


TUESDAY JULY 26, 2022 AT 5:30 PM

The Labor Archives and Research Center and the California Historical Society present author Rachel Schreiber, discussing the life of Elaine Black Yoneda, Jewish immigration, labor activism, and Japanese American exclusion and incarceration. Yoneda accompanied her Japanese American husband, and their son when they were required to go to Manzanar. Prior to WWII, she had an important career in labor activism throughout the state of California.

Register online at



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 our Collections

Search Online Archive of California


Collections Available Online

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.