In the News: Labor Unions

This week the ipl2 blog provides resources related to labor unions and the labor protests that have taken place in Wisconsin in recent weeks.

On February 11, 2011, newly seated Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proposed a budget bill that would, among other things, alter the health care and pension provisions covering public-sector employees and strip them of their collective bargaining rights.  Labor unions in Wisconsin and beyond immediately began protesting the proposed changes, especially those related to collective bargaining.  Protesters soon descended on the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, vowing to prevent passage of the Governor’s proposal.  Concerns over similar proposals in states such as Ohio and Indiana have also arisen in recent weeks.  Resources for this week’s blog have been chosen to help you understand the context behind this complex controversy

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collections.

NEW! CNN: Complete Coverage on the Topic: Wisconsin
Find the latest news on the controversy in Wisconsin at this CNN page dedicated to covering the story from all angles.  The page has links to background stories as well as the latest news.

NEW! Office of the Governor Scott Walker: Wisconsin is Open for Business
Read Governor Walker’s official position regarding his budget proposal and the protests it has generated at this official website for the governor of Wisconsin.

NEW! WEAC: Wisconsin Education Association Council
You can find a good summary of the positions of the protesters, as well as useful links to other related sites, at this website, created by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, a union representing approximately 98,000 public school teachers in the state and one of the groups that has come out most strongly against Governor Walker’s proposals.

Cornell University Library Guides: Labor Unions and the Internet (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Labor)
This guide, hosted by Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, contains an educational guide to labor unions and their history, and provides numerous links to web resources covering labor issues, as well as to the websites of the world’s major labor unions.

NEW! National Labor Relations Board
Established during the New Deal, the National Labor Relations Board (the NLRB) is an independent agency of the United States tasked with supervising the internal governance of labor unions and with investigating allegations of unfair labor practices.  The NLRB’s website contains useful information for understanding workers rights and how labor unions function in the United States.

NEW! Collective Bargaining
Labor relations between unions and employers have traditionally functioned through the process known as collective bargaining.  In Wisconsin, it is the provisions of Governor Walker’s proposed legislation limiting collective bargaining rights that have been most strongly criticized.  Learn about collective bargaining–what it is and how it works–at this webpage, which provides a detailed summary of the subject.

Thank you for checking in.  The teams at the ipl2 hope you find this information useful for understanding the situation in Wisconsin and other states.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all.


The Link: Women’s History

March is Women’s History Month.  In celebration, for our March newsletter, The Link will explore the topic of women’s history and link you with some great Internet resources where you can learn more about the subject. The function of Women’s History Month is to honor the often hidden history of women, and the newsletter this month will highlight a variety of resources that help to reveal their history.

We begin by providing links to information about Women’s History Month and ways to celebrate the occasion.  Next, we provide resources about women and history, as well as some resources dedicated to the subject of feminism.  Finally, so that you can research the lives of women in depth on your own, we have provided links to research guides, manuscript collections, and other primary sources related to women.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All others are already a part of the ipl2 collection.  For more information about Women’s History, visit the ipl2 and search for “Women’s History.”

We hope this month’s selections will help you begin your own exploration of the history of women, both during Women’s History Month and beyond.

Women’s History Month

These resources provide background information about Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, which occurs on March 8.

Women’s History Month – Writing Women Back into History (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Women’s History Month)
This site, hosted by the Library of Congress, features exhibitions, biographies, articles and stories, lesson plans and student activities, and other material about women’s history.  Also learn about the current year’s theme and about special events at federal government institutions.  Brought together through the sponsorship of the Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Museum, and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

infoplease – Women’s History Month (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Women’s History Month) celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day by featuring articles on the women’s history movement and on women’s current status in politics, business, the arts, and other fields.  There is a categorical list of notable women and reference articles and links on awards, achievements, education, the labor force, motherhood, health, crime statistics, and organizations.  There are also puzzles, trivia games, and other “fun stuff.”

Exploring Women’s History

Below are resources about the history of women from numerous perspectives.

Women in World History (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Curriculum)
Get lessons, biographies, curricula, and book suggestions to incorporate more women’s history in the classroom.

National Women’s History Museum (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Women’s History)
The National Women’s History Museum, founded in 1996, is largely a virtual museum at this point, as they are still seeking to have federal legislation passed to establish a physical site on the National Mall.  The NWHM website includes extensive background on all eras in women’s history, teaching resources featuring biographies of and quotes from famous American women, and several online exhibits.  Exhibits include women in early film, Chinese-American women, women spies in American history, women who ran for president, a history of the museum’s coalition organizations, over 200 stamps issued throughout U.S. history that have featured women, women in World War II, women in the Progressive Era, rights for women, women reform leaders from 1847-1952, women in education, women and the vote, women in industry, women of Jamestown, women and the Olympics, female printers, publishers, and journalists, pioneer female state legislators, African-American women, and young women who changed history. NWHM’s site leads with an online exhibit that defines the “political culture and imagery of American woman suffrage.” A timeline covering the period leading to the passage of the 19th amendment (1840-1919), images of icons and slogans, a bibliography, information on The National Women’s History Museum Act of 2003, and a quiz are some of the additional resources.


Below are two resources providing information about the feminist movement and about equality and activism. (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Feminism)
This website describes itself as the “definitive hub for resources and information dedicated to women’s equality, justice, wellness, and safety.”  In seeking to fulfill these goals, the website acts as a “library, a promoter of activism, network engine, and an Internet ‘home’ for women all over the world.”

Voices of Feminism Oral History Project (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Feminism)
This resource, created by the Women’s History Archive at Smith College, contains transcripts of oral histories provided by female political activists from the second half of the 20th Century, including such icons as Gloria Steinem, based on work funded by the Ford Foundation between 2000 and 2008.

Research Guides and Primary Source Material

The following links will take you to research guides and collections of primary source material so you can research the subject of women’s history in greater depth. Why not begin by researching your own ancestors?

NEW! Finding Female Ancestors
This article provides an overview of how to find information about women in historical records.  While it focuses on finding your female ancestors, the search tips are useful for anyone researching women in history.

By Popular Demand: “Votes for Women” Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920 (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Women’s Suffrage)
Part of the Library of Congress American Memory Project, these images strive to capture women’s struggle to win the right to vote.  The collection contains photographs of famous suffragists and demonstrations as well as political cartoons from the period. The Website also includes an explanatory page about the collection, a selected bibliography, and a list of related holdings in the Library of Congress.

Documents from the Women’s History Movement: An online archival collection (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Women’s Studies)
This collection from Duke University’s Special Collections Library focuses on the origins of the radical feminist movement in the United States from 1969 to 1974. The collection includes texts of pamphlets, flyers, articles, and booklets produced during this period.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper lefthand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!