Cornell University

Catherwood Library Kheel Center

Catherwood Library Kheel Center, 227 Ives Hall, 607-255-3183

About the Collections

Mount Sinai Hospital Local 1199 members and their families strike for a living wage, 1959Collection Overview

The Kheel Center is home to a unique collection of letters, documents, historical photographs, oral history interviews, collective bargaining agreements, union constitutions and rare pamphlets. Read more about specific collections.

Descriptions of Selected Collections

"Finding aids" are guides to archival and manuscript collections that you will find online here. These contain a prose description of the collection and the person or organization that produced it. They list the contents tell users how the collection is structured, providing guidance for conducting research and finding particular items.


Histories of UNITE-HERE and predecessor unions, labor history research guides, Triangle Factory Fire.

Labor Photos

The Kheel Center collections include approximately 350,000 images from the 20th century on film, paper, glass, and other media. The collected photographic materials provide invaluable documentation of the nature of labor and management history. While the digital database will be added to continually, it represents only an introduction to the Kheel Center's holdings.

The Triangle Fire Exhibit

This web exhibit presents original documents and secondary sources on the Triangle Fire, held by the Cornell University Library and housed at the Kheel Center.  The exhibit includes selected information on a terrible and unnecessary tragedy involving the death of many young working women in a New York City sweatshop at the beginning of the 20th century and the resulting investigations and reforms.

Links to Donors' Web Sites

Almost all of the Kheel Center's individual collections have been donated by persons or organizations having an appreciation of the historical value of their documents. Historical records within the scope of the Kheel Center's collecting program are being continually sought. 

Collection Development Policy

The Kheel Center develops and revises its collecting strategy in consultation with the faculty of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, and with the approval of the Dean of the School.  Its primary mission is to support the curriculum and the research needs of the faculty.