Reconstructing or deconstructing labor archives? Shaping labor collection development in an uncertain future

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Labor archival programs confront numerous challenges to remain viable in a changing academic environment and institutional culture. The marketing of higher education, the anti-union stance of some university administrations, and the transition of labor studies programs create a less-than-benign environment for labor collection development activities. Labor collection development hinges upon the labor archivist's ability to mediate the often-divergent interests of the academic and labor communities. Contraction of the labor movement and union restructuring also have important repercussions for future labor collections development. This article examines these issues from the perspective of the historical development of Penn State University's labor archives program-focusing on the institutional pressures inherent in serving both academe and labor unions, and prospects for labor collection development in an uncertain future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-47
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Archival Organization
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 18 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences

Cite this