International Labor & Working Class History

Organized by Lewis Siegelbaum and Lisa Fine, the International Labor and Working-Class History program was inaugurated in 2005. It rethinks labor and working-class history by focusing on the lived experiences of workers world wide rather than assuming they should fit easily into traditional categories. The program offers a team-taught undergraduate seminar in Comparative Labor History (HST 487) and a graduate field and course in International Labor and Working-Class History (HST 875).

The industrial legacy of the state of Michigan has made it a center for the study of working class and labor history. The MSU libraries house significant collections in the areas of labor, economic, and business history. Two on-campus archival resources, the MSU Libraries Special Collections and the University Archives, also have holdings in a number of related areas, including Michigan history and popular culture. The Library of Michigan, in downtown Lansing, also maintains a partnership with the MSU Libraries. A number of other important libraries and archives are within a short drive of campus. The State Archives of Michigan are located in the Michigan Historical Center, just west of the Capitol building in downtown Lansing. In the Detroit area, the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State University is home to the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, while the Benson Ford Research Center in Dearborn contains the Ford archives and other significant business-related holdings.