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Farm Worker Organizing Collection, 1948-1996
MSS 027  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This is a collection of reports, writings, correspondence, union documents, fliers and clippings from individuals and organizations involved in the struggle for equitable wages and decent living conditions for farm workers in the United States during the 20th century.
Background
Farm workers (as opposed to farmers) have been necessary to agricultural development in the territory that is now the United States almost from the first contact between Europeans and the peoples of the Western Hemisphere. As early as the seventeenth century, there was an insufficient supply of stable and cheap farm labor available domestically to fulfill the needs of mass (plantation) agriculture. The need was filled from populations outside of North America, beginning with the use of prisoners as indentured workers in the British colonies, followed by the importation of Africans for slave labor. Commercial farming created a subjugated underclass of farm workers that continues to the present day. In nineteenth century California, farm labor was imported from China, Japan and South Asia. Later, it became more expedient to use laborers who came from Mexico to work in the booming industrial agricultural farms of the valleys (San Joaquin, Salinas and Imperial) of California.
Extent
4 legal boxes

1 1/3rd linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles. The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.