Will Parry Labor Library
The Will Parry Labor Library has grown to over 1,400 titles since Will’s generous donation of 430 books from his personal collection in 2012. Search our library using the search box below.
Stop by the labor center to browse the library or checkout materials on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9am and 4pm. Please note our hours have been reduced to minimize risk amid COVID-19, and all visitors must wear a mask and comply with all safety measures. Email Alex Bacon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-934-6671 to borrow by inter-campus mail within the Seattle Colleges, to make alternate arrangements for pickup, or to suggest a book or video.
About Our Library
Our library collection is organized by subject. You can search our catalog using the search box at the top of this page or view our collection by category below.
Includes history of organized labor, as well as more general history of working people in the United States. Our collection focuses on 19th and 20th century working class movements. See the collection here.
Includes histories and stories about a variety of unions in the U.S., including the ILWU and the Teamsters. Sub-categories in this section were chosen based on the greater number of works we have about that specific union or industry.
- Union History - AFL-CIO
- Union History - AGRICULTURE
- Union History - AUTOWORKERS
- Union History - GARMENTS AND TEXTILES
- Union History - IWW
- Union History - MINING
- Union History - STEEL
Manuals and handbooks for shop stewards and union leadership, with emphasis on organizational roles and change, bargaining tactics, grievance procedures, and conflict resolution. See the collection here.
Explores the relationship between race, ethnicity, and class amongst the U.S. labor force, with a special focus on African Americans, Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and the multiracial working class. See the collection here.
Includes research and theory about the rise of the working class through the perspectives of Sociology, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Cultural Studies, and Political Science. Our collection houses many early works on Marxism, Leninism, and the science of revolution. See the collection here.
Includes sustainable environmental strategies, reports on the relationship between human labor and environmental cost, environmental activism, and environmental policy.
Includes novels and essays relating to labor movements and working class people. Some authors in our collection include Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison.
Biographies and autobiographies.
About Will Parry
Born in 1920, Will Parry came of age during the Great Depression. He became active in the Communist Party in Washington State as it strove to organize the poor and unemployed, and he played a vital role in the labor movement’s resurgence. After serving in the Coast Guard during World War 2, Parry stuck to his principles when he stood up to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1954, invoking his constitutional rights when questioned about his work and his political affiliations, losing his job as a result.
He struggled to find work, and was eventually hired by Longview Fibre in Seattle. There, he became a union leader, and was elected by his coworkers to be the lobbyist for their union, the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers. Later in life, he was among the first instructors to bring labor studies to higher education in Washington by teaching at Shoreline Community College. In Will’s retirement, he formed the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA) and fought to protect and strengthen Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare for all generations.
Will Parry donated his books to the Labor Center when it relocated to South Seattle College’s Georgetown Campus in 2010. His generous donation of 430 volumes almost doubled the size of our library at that time. His collection of books includes some of the greatest studies in labor and working-class history. Each book he donated contains a bookplate with an AP news photo of Will at a 1954 House Committee on Un-American Activities hearing. The pin he’s wearing says “Joe must go”—a statement against Senator Joseph McCarthy.
We at the Labor Center are grateful for Will’s donation to our library, and for his lifetime of leadership in the struggle for social justice. Will passed away on May 13, 2013, at the age of 93.