Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs

The Walter P. Reuther Library collects and facilitates access to historical documentary evidence in order to inspire academic research, serve the information needs of the community, and build knowledge at Wayne State University.

Labor Collections

The largest labor archives in North America, the Reuther Library has holdings that document the labor movement throughout the United States with a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries. Collections include official records from labor unions and related organizations, the records of prominent union locals, particularly those in metropolitan and urban Detroit, and the personal papers of union leaders and rank and file members.

The Reuther Library is the official repository for: American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), and the United Farm Workers (UFW). 

Reading Room Hours

Monday-Friday: 10:00am-4:00pm
Saturday-Sunday: Closed
Appointments: Reference Archivist

Labor Primary Collecting Focuses

  • Labor Unions and Politics
    • Labor laws and legislation
    • Government Relations
    • Political campaigns and contributions
    • Healthcare
  • History of Labor Unions
    • Organizational records
    • Membership / Member experience
    • Organizing
    • Strikes
    • Workers Rights
    • International trade/affiliations
    • Fine & Performing Arts
  • Related Organizations and Social Movements
    • African Americans and organized labor
    • Women and organized labor
    • Reform Movements
    • Radical Social Movements
    • Community Activism and Relations
    • Worker Education and Rights