Labor Archives and Research Center

The Labor Archives and Research Center is now open by appointment only. Appointments are available Monday-Friday, 1pm-5pm. Please schedule an appointment here.

You are welcome to submit questions or requests via email. Please allow up to five days to respond to your email. Thank you for your patience.

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.


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


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Exhibits & Events

Labor Archives and Research Center's 36th Anniversary Program

Guest Speaker: Dr. Enrique M. Buelna,  Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California, and the author of Chicano Communists and the Struggle for Social Justice

Presentation: Revolt on Princeton Street: Radical Activism, Housing, and the Chicano Movement

Dr. Buelna will examine Mexican American labor activism in southern California through the life of Ralph Cuarón, a member of the Communist Party, USA  (CP) and an activist in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The Mexican American Left played a critical role not only in organizing and providing a voice for this community, but by engaging the larger public to recognize Mexicans as Americans and as equal participants in the national polity.  Ralph Cuarón’s story sheds light not only on the Communist Party, but also on the diverse approaches some Mexican Americans pursued in their struggle to attain equality and first class citizenship.

Date: February 25, 2022
Time: 6-7pm, PST
Please RSVP online prior to the event

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.

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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.