International Labor Defense photograph collection

Collection Data

Photographs, many from news services such as International News Photos, collected by the International Labor Defense (ILD) documenting not only the labor and civil rights causes in which ILD was involved, but also examples worldwide of injustice and oppression occurring, with a few exceptions, during the 1920s through the mid 1940s.The largest section of the collection consists of labor pickets, demonstrations, riots, destruction, and confrontations with police and the National Guard during strikes in the U.S. and abroad. Among those included are the General Motors Corporation Sit-Down strike of 1936 and 1937, the Auto-Lite strike in Toledo, Ohio, the Minneapolis Truck Drivers's strike, the New York City taxi-cab strike, the New York City waiters walkout, the Chicago milk strike, various coal miners strikes, and textile industry strikes in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and North Carolina.Images of other demonstrations and pickets include rent strikes, with views of evicted families on the street, relief and unemployment strikes, and most prominently, the Bonus Marchers during 1932 and 1933. Demonstrations, encampments, registration and food lines, and leader Walter Waters are among the views found in this collection.Another large section of the collection covers activities of the U.S. National Guard, various American police forces and the armed forces. Among these photographs are images of guardsmen preparing for imminent strikes - setting up sandbag barricades, bringing in tanks during the San Francisco dyers and cleaners price war, frisking strikers, fighting with strikers, policemen making arrests, loading them into police vans, guarding mill entrances and strikers injured by police violence.Visual documentation of foreign labor strikes and demonstrations as well as a wide range of other historical events are also included. Views of Hungarian refugees, Italian troops in Ethiopia, rioting in Palestine, the Spanish Civil War, fascist rallies in Italy and Germany, a Romanian royal wedding, crowds in South Africa, Belfast rioting and Chinese evacuees are just some examples.Smaller groupings of photographs include Communists demonstrations, legal cases, such as the Scottsboro Trial that contain portraits of the defense team, the defendants, their mothers, courtroom scenes, the 1931 Scottsboro parade in Harlem, union and labor leaders as well as politicians (U.S. and foreign), and lynching scenes.
International Labor Defense (Collector)
Acme Newspictures (New York, N.Y.) (Photographer)
International News Photos (New York, N.Y.) (Photographer)
United States. Office of War Information (Photographer)
Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1926 - 1946 (Questionable)
Library locations
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division
Shelf locator: Sc Photo International Labor Defense Collection
International Labor Defense
Bonus Expeditionary Forces
Pickets -- 1920-1949
Demonstrations -- 1920-1949
Riots -- 1920-1949
strikes -- 1920-1949
General Motors Corporation Sit-Down Strike, 1936-1937
Auto-Lite (Firm) Strike, Toledo, Ohio, 1934
Truck Drivers Strike, Minneapolis, Minn., 1934 Strike, Minneapolis, Minn., 1934
Textile industry strikes -- 1930-1949
Steel industry strikes -- 1930-1949
Miner's strikes -- 1930-1949
Electrician's strikes -- 1930-1949
Automobile industry strikes -- 1930-1949
Riot control -- 1920-1949
Police -- 1920-1949
Mounted police -- 1920-1949
Lynchings -- United States -- 1920-1949
Public speaking -- 1920-1949
Meetings -- 1920-1949
Funeral rites & ceremonies -- 1920-1949
Labor unions -- Officials and employees
Vandalism -- 1920-1949
Military parades & ceremonies -- 1920-1949
Floods -- 1920-1949
Evictions -- 1920-1949
Soldiers -- 1920-1949
Communists -- 1920-1949
Law enforcement -- 1920-1949
Religious services -- 1920-1949
Courtrooms -- 1920-1949
Judicial proceedings -- 1920-1949
Courthouses -- 1920-1949
Crowds -- 1920-1949
Military maneuvers -- 1920-1949
War games -- United States -- 1920-1949
Children -- 1920-1949
Scottsboro Trial, Scottsboro, Ala., 1931
Spain -- History -- Civil War, 1936-1939
United States -- National Guard
Aerial photographs
Content: Many photographs bear photo agency's handstamp on verso. Many itmes bear printed captions attached to verso; some items bear captions printed on verso; some items bear handwritten captions on verso. Some items are duplicates; some items are cropped or bear cropping marks.
Content: Collection contains work by Acme Newspictures, International News Photos, and the Office of War Information, among others.
Biographical/historical: Established by the Communist party of the United States of America as its legal defense arm in 1925 to aid labor, political prisoners, and victims of reactionary violence. Using mass demonstrations and publicity, the International Labor Defense (ILD) conducted national and worldwide campaigns to gather support for its cases. In 1946 the ILD merged with the Civil Rights Congress.
Citation/reference: Forms part of the International Labor Defense Records.
Physical Description
Extent: 2281 items (4.3 cu. ft., 19 boxes)
Extent: 1 stat :b&w ;20 x 26 cm.
Extent: 6 photonegatives :b&w ;13 x 10 cm.
Extent: 1 photomechanical print :col. ;10 x 14 cm.
Extent: 52 photomechanical prints :b&w ;36 x 29 cm. or smaller.
Extent: 2221 photoprints :silver gelatin, b&w ;28 x 36 cm. or smaller.
Type of Resource
Still image
RLIN/OCLC: NYPG087000342-F
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b11527506
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 320ea750-4bc3-0136-9050-4749fc1db5d8
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