Explore our documents on the labour movement New selection in the discovery area

Looking for inspiration? Each month, our subject specialists highlight a particular topic through a range of documents from the National Library’s collections. This month, discover our selection on the labour movement!

The concept of trade or labour unions came forth during the industrial revolution. While in the 18th century there were still laws against unions in many countries, the second half of the 19th century saw them blossoming especially in Europe, with other continents following suit. The 1st of May is celebrated nowadays as International Workers’ Day or Labour Day to commemorate the Hay Market riots of 1886, where police violently suppressed strikes by labour organisations fighting for the eight-hour workday among other things.

The discovery area features different aspects of the labour movement, including publications by sociologists, economists, historians, and labour activists. There are works focusing on a specific period and country, as well as ones discussing women and marginalised groups, such as undocumented workers.

You can browse this compilation in the discovery area on the ground floor of the Reading Room. If you are interested in one of the documents, simply remove it from the shelf: they are all available for on-site consultation and/or home loan. Enjoy your read!

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