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Guide to Canadian Labour History Resources

Carpenter's union, 1899
Carpenter's Union, 1899

Canadian labour history includes:

  • the study of the history of the origins of the labour movement in countries from which people emigrated to Canada
  • the history of the working class in Canada
  • the history of labour legislation
  • the history of associations, guilds and unions devoted to Canadian labourers
  • the history of the social movements with which labour is often associated

Due to the vast number and variety of resources available to researchers in this area, this is a selective guide focussing on some of the major reference works and collections in the National Library of Canada as well as major resources available in the National Archives of Canada and in the library of Human Resources Development Canada.

These titles have been selected for their usefulness in leading researchers to comprehensive and current bibliographies published in Canada on general or detailed aspects of Canadian labour history. Provincial and local sources are not included.

A list of Canadian Labour Web Sites is also provided.

Searching for labour history materials.

The following subjects should be used when searching any catalogue for material on labour history:

Labour Canada Travail Canada
Canada Working class Travailleurs Canada
Canada Trade Unions Syndicats Canada
Canada Socialism Socialisme Canada

These categories may be followed with the terms Bibliographies, History, Indexes, or Periodicals to locate further information.