Women and Labor Movements

Collection Highlights

This is a selection of highlighted materials that we explored in our research of women and labor movements throughout collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. 

Josephine Leary

Josephine Leary

African-American Businesswomen

Three collections document the work and lives of African-American businesswomen Josephine Leary (Edenton, NC), Clydie Scarborough (Durham, NC), and Fannie Rosser (Durham, NC). 

Barbara Bergmann Papers

Barbara Bergmann Papers, Box 7, Photographs of Bergmann: headshots, 1980s-2010s

Barbara Bergmann Papers, 1942-2015

The Barbara Bergmann Papers showcase the work, writings, and personal life of Barbara Bergmann, a leading feminist economist and author of 11 books. 

Portrait of Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman Papers, 1909-1941 

Correspondence between famed anarchist Emma Goldman and her colleagues of the time, with additional documents including photographs and press releases. (From the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection)

Joan Preiss


Joan Preiss Papers, 1970-2006

The Joan Preiss Papers document the work and life of Joan Preiss, who chaired the Triangle Friends of the United Farm Workers (TFUFW) in Durham, NC. 

International Ladies Garment Workers Union

International Ladies Garment Workers Union (IGLWU), 1924-1953

Material documenting the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) spans two distinct time periods in the organization’s life—its inception and its revitalization.

Southeast Women’s Employment Coalition Records

Southeast Women's Employment Coalition Records, Box 4, Folder "Women in the Southern Economy: Who are We?" 1982-1984 and undated

Southeast Women’s Employment Coalition Records, 1868-1991

The Southeast Women's Employment Coalition (SWEC) was a multiracial, regional organization founded in 1979 to expand employment opportunities for women in the rural South. SWEC provided leadership training for women; encouraged women to apply for nontraditional jobs; and evaluated economic, social and political trends affecting women in the South such as child care, comparable worth, and nontraditional jobs for women.  

Theresa El-Amin Papers

Theresa El-Amin Papers, 1960s-2010s

Theresa El-Amin is an anti-racism activist and labor organizer who was involved with the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Service Employees International Union, the Black Radical Congress, the Black Workers for Justice, Jobs with Justice, the Labor Party, and the Durham NAACP. She is founder of the Southern Anti-Racism Network. 

The Lowell Offering

The Lowell Offering, 1840s

The Lowell Offering was a publication produced by the women of the Lowell Mills for the purpose of uplifting and supporting themselves in the mid-19th century. 

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