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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.

Urban Affairs Collections

The Reuther Library holds the records and papers of organizations and people, including prominent and working class members of the community, who have contributed to the historical development of metropolitan Detroit. Focusing on the 20th and 21st centuries, the records and papers of these organizations and people document individual and collective efforts focusing on the urbanization and empowerment of people adjusting to a rapidly changing urban landscape marked by population and demographic shifts, wars, social transformations, and economic/industrial fluctuations.

Browse some of our popular collections below, keeping in mind that more material exists for any of the themes listed.

Collections by Popular Subject Area

See also:

Kenneth Cockrel


Most labor organizations maintain policy and/or political fundraising and organizing departments. Check our full website for more details.

Reading Room Hours

Monday-Friday:  9:30am-noon; 1-3:30pm
Saturday-Sunday: Closed
Appointments: Reference Archivist

Urban Affairs Primary Collecting Focuses

  • Social Welfare
    • Deindustrialization
    • Poverty
  • Urban Development Issues
    • Urban renewal and neighborhood dislocation
    • Urban planning
    • Housing
    • Migration to and within metropolitan Detroit
    • Urban farming/agriculture
    • Food deserts
    • Local transportation
  • Education
    • Publication education
    • Educational activism and equity
    • Alternative schools
    • Charter school movemnt
  • Civil Rights and Social Activism
    • Rights of AFrican Americans
    • Rights of Women
    • Rights of LGBT community
    • Social justice
    • Human rights
    • Affirmative action
    • Anti-war/pacifism
    • Environmental justice
  • Politics
    • Political activism
    • Civic engagement
  • Healthcare
    • Health and well-being efforts
    • Communicable diseases
    • Health advocacy
    • Reproductive rights
  • Community life
    • Neighborhood associations
    • Changing nature and demographics of metropolitan Detroit neighborhoods
    • Community centers
    • Working class culture
    • Fine and Performing Arts