Cornell University

Catherwood Library Kheel Center

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

Agricultural Labor

Primary Sources Available in the Kheel Center for Labor Management Documentation and Archives

The first section contains brief descriptions of manuscript and microfilm collections, the second part is an alphabetical listing of pamphlet type documents.

Manuscript and Microfilm Collections

  • Adams, Leonard P., 1906. Papers. 25/6/3046

Contains correspondence, background material, field data, working, papers and final copies of a report written under the project title, "Viable farmer worker relationships; A study of selected cases in N.Y.S. in 1966" by Professor Adams, R.B. How, and 0.1. Larson.

  • American Association for Labor Legislation.   Series 1, Subseries 8.   Correspondence, 1940-1943.   # 5001-01-08mf.   3 microfilm reels.

The American Association for Labor Legislation was formed to promote uniformity of labor legislation and to encourage the study of labor conditions with a view toward promoting desirable legislation. Includes correspondence relating to the need for extending social security protection to farm workers; and to a proposed joint meeting of the AALL and the Rural Sociological Society to discuss Mexican workers in the United States. Unpublished guide and name index available.

  • Boyle, Louise. Southern Tenant Farmers Union Research Files, 1981 89. 2 linear ft. Collection #5859.

Research files collected by Louise Boyle, a photographer who documented STFU farm families. The STFU was a biracial union. Includes 150 of her photographs.

  • Chavez, Cesar. "The Revolution of the Urban Poor." Tape, 37/7/tr. 116

Lecture by Mr. Chavez, then Director, United Farm Workers Organizing Committee relative to the Delano Grape Strike and organizing efforts. Given on the Cornell campus on April 23, 2967.

  • Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers, FBI File on. United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. #6068mf. 2 reels microfilm.

Cesar Chavez (1927 1993) was one of the people who helped organize the union that became the United Farm Workers of America, working with what was largely a minority and immigrant population working under detrimental conditions in the California fields and groves. Because of his work as organizer, the FBI monitored his efforts closely. This collection reflects the FBI surveillance of his work during the 1960s. Published guide available.

  • Consumers League of New York, Records, 1920 1960. #5307. 20 ft. Lobbying organization.

Contains minutes, correspondence, reports, surveys, research material, photographs and publications. The bulk of the collection is concerned with migrant labor in New York. Activities of the League include legislative effort toward improving conditions for migrant farm workers through education, better wages and hours, health standards, and housing. Also documented is their work on disability and unemployment insurance. Unpublished guide available.

  • Hawaiian Sugar Strike, 1924 25. Newsclippings. #5400mf 1 reel microfilm.

Includes some correspondence and many newsclippings regarding the violent Filipino plantation worker's strike. No guide available.

  • Immigration and Naturalization Service. Records. Part 2: Mexican immigration, 1906-1930. # 607417 microfilm reels.

The collection consists of the Subject Correspondence central file of the Commissioner General of Immigration in Washington, D.C., and is organized by case file number.  The materials document the United States government’s efforts to control the influx of immigrants and refugees from Mexico.  The files also highlight the growing demand for labor.  Substantial correspondence from agribusinesses illustrate lobbying efforts to pass provisions in favor of a more liberal admission policy for Mexican farm workers. 

Also included are details on contract labor and the temporary admission of alien labor during World War I years.  Other files offer a wealth of social and economic information—vital statistics, origin and destination of aliens, reasons for coming to the US, educational level, occupation, and family size. The promulgation and implementation of immigration laws figure prominently in the collection, covering both the United States’ and Mexico’s efforts at regulation of migrant flows. 

  • McDonald, Grace. Papers, 1936 1969. #5203. 4 inches.

Organized the California Farmer Labor Association and issued a monthly bulletin, Farmer Consumer Reporter. Mrs. McDonald also was very successful as a lobbyist and organizer on issues of small farmer welfare and labor cooperation. Collection contains publications and reports.

  • Morris, James, collector. Labor Related Tape Recordings. #1.
    On Agricultural organizing. 76 min. 

A documentary on early labor organizing in California's agricultural areas, produced in 1960 during the beginning of the National Farm Workers' Association.

  • National Institute of Labor Education.   Series 3.   Inter-organizational files, 1957-1971. #5545-03. 9 linear ft.

Correspondence with union executives includes discussion of farm worker’s education.

  • Southern Tenant Farmers Union. H.L. Mitchell Speeches and Interviews. .5 linear ft. Collection #5204.

Includes newsletters and pamphlets, speeches of interviews with H.L. Mitchell, cofounder of the STFU.

  • Southern Tenant Farmers Union Papers, 1934 1970, A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the. (Glen Rock, NJ: Microfilming Corporation of America.) Located at the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. #5204mf. 60 reels microfilm.

A biracial union of sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and small landowners. Contains correspondence, reports, newspapers, pamphlets, petitions, releases, surveys, speeches and interviews, sections of Howard A. Kester's Papers and Socialist Party Archives. The papers for the early years are filled with materials relating to the union's attempt to work with various New Deal agencies for the sharecropper’s benefit. An important part of the collection is the thousands of letters written by sharecroppers during the 1930s. The papers contain much correspondence and documentation re: organizing various groups of farmers, disaffiliation with CIO, farm mechanization impact, rural housing, social security, joining the AFL, and strikes. Original papers at Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina. Published guide available. Southern Tenant Farmers Union (See also: Boyle, Louise)


  • Archives Information File (AIF)
  • Rare Pamphlet Collection (RPQ)
  • California Bureau of Occupational Heath. Occupational Health. Occupational Health of Agricultural Workers in California. 1965. 34p. (AIF* Agricultural Labor  Diseases and Hygiene)
  • California Department of Employment. Hearing on Farm Labor. To Seek Solutions to California's Farm Manpower Problems Caused by the Pending End of Mexican National Program upon Expiration of Public Law 78, December 31, 1964. Sacramento, 1964, 77p. (AIF Agricultural labor California)
  • Clinton, lone L. Children in Migratory Agricultural Families. Washington: Children's Bureau, 1946 13p. (AIF Migratory Labor)
  • Colorado Legislative Council. Report to the Colorado General Assembly: Migratory Labor in Colorado. A Progress Report. [Research Publication No. 43] Denver, 1960. 37p. (AIF Migratory Labor  Colorado)
  • Common Council for American Unity. "The Wetback Invasion Illegal Alien Labor in American Agriculture," Interpreter Releases, May 3, 195 1. Pp. 13 2 147. New York, 195 1. (AIF Migratory Labor).
  • Commons, John. Farm Prices and the Value of Gold. [Reprinted from the North American Review, January and February issues, 1928]. 32 p. (RPC)**
  • Congress of Industrial Organizations. To the Farmer from his Customers. Washington, n.d. 15p. (AIF Labor and Agriculture)
  • Consumers League, New York State. End of Feudalism on the Farms. New York, 1957. 6p. (#5307)
  • Consumers League, New York State. What Next for New York's Joads? New York, 1946. 32 p. (#5307)
  • Crosby, Alexander. Sweatshops in the Sun. New York: Consumers League, 1952. 19 p. (AIF Migratory Labor N.Y.S.)
  • Florida State Board of Health. Bureau of Maternal and Child Health. Migrant Project: Report of the Observations and Activities of a Public Health Team Working Directly With Agricultural Migrant Laborers in Palm Beach County, Florida. West Palm Beach, 1959. 55 p. (AIF Migratory Labor)
  • Folsom, Josiah C., Compiler. Migratory Agricultural Labor in the U.S. An Annotated Bibliography of Selected References [U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Library. Library List 59]. Washington, 1953. 64 p. (AIF Migratory Labor U. S.  Bibliography)
  • Fuller, Varden. No Work Today! The Plight of America's Migrants. [Public Affairs Pamphlet, No. 190]. New York: Public Affairs Pamphlets, 1953. 28 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • Golden, Clinton S. The Interest of Labor in Achieving Better Relationships With Agriculture and Industry. Text of Address by ... before National Farm Institute, Des Moines, Iowa, February 15, 1947. 7 p. (AIF Labor and Agriculture)
  • Hurd, T.N. and C. Herman Welch Jr. Farmer Worker Relationships in Northern Rensselaer County, N.Y., 58 Farms, Northern Rensselaer County, N.Y., 1946 47. Ithaca: Cornell University, 1947. 48 p. (AIF* Agricultural Labor  N.Y.S.)
  • Jones, Victor. Transients and Migrants, 1939 Legislative Problems, No 4. Berkeley, University of California: Bureau of Administration, 1939. 67 p. (AIF Migratory Labor-California)
  • Keenan, E.L. The Federal Government Viewpoint Concerning Mexican Migratory Labor in American Agriculture. .[Seminar on Foreign Affairs, Michigan State University East Lansing, 195 7]. 12 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • Kester, Howard. Revolt Among the Sharecroppers. New York: Covici Friede, 1936. 98 p  (RPC)**
  • Koos, E.L. They Follow the Sun. Jacksonville, Florida: Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Florida State Board of Health, 1957. 55 p. (AIF Migratory Labor)
  • League for Industrial Democracy and National Sharecroppers Fund. Down on the Farm. The Plight of Agricultural Labor. New York, 1955. 14 p. (AIF Migratory Labor-California)
  • Lewis, Austin. "Movements of Migratory Unskilled Labor in California." The New Review, August, 1914. Pp. 458 465. (AIF Migratory Labor  California)
  • Louisiana Inter-departmental Committee. Report on the Louisiana Migrant Labor Problem. n.p., 1960. 51 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  Louisiana)
  • Lowry, Edith E., compiler. They Starve That we May Eat. Migrants of the Crops. New York: Council of Women for Home Missions, 1940. 72 p. (AIF Migratory Labor)
  • McKay, Andrew W. Helping Farmers Build Cooperatives: The Evolution of Farmer Cooperative Service. Washington, U.S. Dept of Agriculture, 1962. 82p. (AIF Agriculture  Cooperative  U.S.)
  • Marciniak, Ed. Toward a National Policy for Migrant Labor. Chicago: Catholic Council on Working Life, 1960. 26 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • Metzler, William H. Farm Workers in a Specialized Seasonal Crop Area. Stanislaus County, California. Division of Agricultural Science, University of California, [Giannini Foundation Research Report No. 289]. 1966. 90 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor  California)
  • Mirengoff, William and Albert Shostack. Housing for Florida's Migrants, a Survey of Migratory Farm Labor Housing in Dade County, Florida. Washington: President's Committee on Migratory Labor, 1958. 46 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • Mississippi State College. Agricultural Experiment Station. The Labor Supply and Mechanized Cotton Production. [Bulletin No. 463]. 1949. 41 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor)
  • Montero, Anne M. Migratory Labor in New York State  Are There Alternatives? Washington: National Consumers Committee for Research and Education, Inc., 1966. 29 p. (AIF* Migratory Labor¬ N.Y.S.)
  • Moore, Arthur. Under Employment in American Agriculture. Washington: National Planning Association, 1952. 91 p. (AIF Agriculture  Economic Aspects  U.S.)
  • Myers, Robin. The Position of Farm Workers in Federal and State Legislation. New York: National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor, 1959. 51 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor  U.S.)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. No Harvest for the Reaper: The Story of the Migratory Agricultural Workers in the U.S. New York, n.d. 45p. (AIF Migratory. Labor  U.S.)
  • National Emergency Council. Report on Economic Conditions of the South. Washington, 1938. 64 p. (RPC)
  • National Sharecroppers Fund, Inc. Proceedings of the National Sharecroppers Fund, Conference on Migratory labor and Low Income Farmers, Held Wednesday November 13, 1957. New York, 1957. 20 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • Nelson, Lowry. Migratory Workers, the Mobile Tenth of American Agriculture. [Planning Pamphlets No. 82]. Washington: National Planning Association, 1953. 33 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor ¬U.S.)
  • New Jersey Governor's Task Force on Migrant Farm Labor. A Report Prepared by the Governor's Task Force on Migrant Farm Labor. Trenton, 1967. 12 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor  New Jersey)
  • New York Child Labor Committee. Child Labor on Truck Farms in New York State. New York, 1939. 34 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  N.Y.S.)
  • New York State Department of Labor. Child Labor on Farms Program in Operation During Summer Season, 1946; Section I. Day Haul Program; Section II. Migrant Farm Workers. Albany, 1947. 99p. (AIF Agricultural Labor  N.Y.S.)
  • New York State Department of Labor. Migrant and Child Labor on New York State Farms. Summer 1947. Albany, 1948. 112 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor  N.Y.S)
  • New York State Department of Labor. Division of Industrial Relations. Women in Industry and Minimum Wage. Seasonal Labor on Fruit and Vegetable Farms N.Y.S. 1945. New York, 1946. 3 8 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor  N.Y. S.)
  • New York State Department of Labor. Division of Research and Statistics. Labor Laws in Action on New York State Fruit and Vegetable Farms, 1960. [Special Labor News Memorandum No. 89]. New York, 1961. 32 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor  N.Y.S.)
  • New York State Interdepartmental Commission on Farm and Food Processing Labor. Migrant Farm Labor in New York State. A Report By the.... Albany, 1961. 29 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  N.Y.S.)
  • New York State Interdepartmental Commission on Farm and Food Processing Labor. Summary of Rules, Regulations and Laws that Affect Seasonal Farm and Food Processing Workers and Their Employers in New York State. Albany, 1963. 19 p. (AIF* Migratory Labor  N.Y.S.)
  • Obenhaus, Victor. "Prospects of Farmer Labor Cooperation." Social Action. May 15, 1947. New York: Council for Social Action, 1947. 35 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • President's Commission on Migratory Labor. Report to the President on Domestic Migratory Farm Labor. Washington, 1960. 33 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • Puerto Rico Department of Labor. How to Hire Agricultural Workers from Puerto Rico. New York, n.d. 15 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor)
  • Shortwell, Louisa Rossiter. This is the Migrant. New York: Friendship Press, 1956. 24 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • A Social Profile of the Spanish Speaking Migratory Farm Laborer. 26 p. (AlF Agricultural Labor  Mexican  Oregon)
  • Thomas, Norman. The Plight of the Share Cropper. New York: League for Industrial Democracy, 1934. 34 p. (RPC)**
  • U.S. Bureau of Agricultural Economics. The Agricultural Labor Force in the San Joaquin Valley, California  Characteristics, Employment. Mobility. Washington, 1950. 73 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor  California)
  • U.S. Bureau of Employment Security. Information Concerning Entry of Mexican Agricultural Workers into the U.S. Agreement Between Governments of U.S. and Mexico Concerning Migrant Labor Approved August 1951 and Amended June 1952. Washington, 1952. 14 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards. Selected References on Migratory Workers and Their Families  Problems and Programs, 1950 55. Washington, 1955. 11 p. (AIF Migratory Labor U. S.  States)
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Appropriations. Children in Migrant Families. Washington, 1960. 61p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. Interim Report on the Status of Program Activities Under the Migrant Health Act. A Report to the Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. Washington, 1964. 27 p. (AIF Migratory Labor U.S.)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture. Atlantic Coast Migratory Movement of Agricultural Workers  War Years. Washington, 1946. 40 p. (AIF* Migratory Labor)
  • U.S. Economic Research Service. The Hired Farm Working Force of 19655: A Statistical Report. [Agricultural Economic Report, No. 981. Washington, 1966. 29 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor U.S.)
  • U.S. Employment Service. This is How... 12 Camps for Migratory Workers in Agriculture are Operated by Growers, Associations, Counties. Washington, 1957. 62 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • U.S. Farm Production Economics Division. Economic Research Service. Labor Used to Produce Field Crops, Estimates by States. Washington, 1964. 43 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor U.S. States)
  • U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. How the Migrant Agricultural Worker and His Family Have Fared Under the Economic 0pportunity Act. Washington, 1964. 12 p. (AIF Migratory Labor U.S. States)
  • U.S. Office of Education. Selected State Programs in Migrant Education. Washington, 1963. 38 p. (AIF Migratory Labor  U.S.)
  • U.S. Retraining and Reemployment Administration. Migrant Labor ... A Human Problem. Report and Recommendations. Washington, 1947. 58 p. (AIF Migratory Labor)
  • U.S. Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Division. Child Labor Branch. Selected References on Employment and Children in Agriculture. Washington, 1948. 9 p. (AIF Agricultural Labor ¬Bibliography)
  • Western Interstate Conference on Migratory Labor. Proceedings, April 10 13, 1960. Washington: President's Committee on Migratory Labor. 53 p. (AIF Migratory Labor U.S.)

Compiled by Constance Bulkley
Revised 2007