Labor History

Use this special DocsTeach page from the National Archives to help your students learn about labor history through primary sources and educational activities.   Explore hundreds of photographs, letters, laws, court cases, maps and more primary sources to learn about topics such as child labor, labor unions, enslaved labor and more.  Analyze specific documents related to events such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire or Child Labor through educational activities. 

Some of the documents, photographs, and other sources found on this page are featured in the Power & Light:  Russell Lee's Coal Survey exhibition. The exhibition features hundreds of photographs of coal miners and their families in the form of large-scale prints, projections, and digital interactives. These images document inhumane living and working conditions but also depict the joy, strength, and resilience of the miners' families and communities.

Cover Image: "Harry Fain, second from right, seated in shuttle car on mantrip before going underground. Inland Steel Company, Wheelwright #1 & 2 Mines. Wheelwright, Floyd County, Kentucky."