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Inventory of the George Hardy Photograph Collection No. 14
1991/055; 1992/027  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Introduction
  • History
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: George Hardy Photograph Collection No. 14
    Accession number: 1991/055; 1992/027
    Creator: Hardy, George
    Extent: 10 folders, 3 albums, 1 scrapbook
    Repository: San Francisco State University. Labor Archives & Research Center
    San Francisco, California 94132
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Center's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives & Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives & Research Center 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George Hardy Photograph Collection No. 14, 1991/055; 1992/027, Labor Archives & Research Center, San Francisco State University.


    This collection was donated to the Labor Archives and Research Center by Joan Hardy Twomey, daughter of George Hardy, President-Emeritus of the Service Employees International Union. The first collection of photographs and papers was donated in May/June 1991 (Acc. #1991/055). The visual material was combined with a second donation of photograph albums received in March 1992 (Acc. #1992/027). The textual material from the first donation was processed as the George Hardy Papers (Acc. #1991/055). This photograph collection was processed by Carol Cuenod under the direction of Karen Lewis.


    A history of George Hardy's career should begin with his father, Charles "Pop" Hardy, whose work with the union began in San Francisco in 1926 as a theater janitor in Local 9 of the Building Service Employees International Union (BSEIU). "Pop" Hardy became president of his local and an International Vice President in charge of west coast organizing. His leadership in the union is recorded in a memorial album in this collection. In 1933, George Hardy also started his union career as a member of Local 9. He was soon at his father's side, organizing office building janitors into the newly-chartered Local 87.
    Organizing was to become the central theme of George Hardy's life. Following a stretch in the U.S. Army during World War II, Hardy was assigned by the BSEIU president to Los Angeles to organize janitors in an area described as the anti-union bastion of the open shop. Los Angeles and BSEIU Local 399 became Hardy's home local until his death in 1990. George Hardy organized janitors and he also brought new groups of working men and women into the BSEIU--public workers and hospital workers also became members of the union. In 1950, he formed the BSEIU Western Conference to promote cooperation and communication between locals from San Diego to Seattle. Hardy was described as the hardest-working union leader in California. His rise to leadership in the union followed his accomplishments. In 1950, he was named a vice-president, and in 1971, he was elected the president of BSEIU (changed in 1972 to SEIU), and held that position until 1980 when he retired.

    Scope and Content

    This collection offers visual images of the career of George Hardy. It includes many union activities such as conventions and strikes. George Hardy is the central figure in most images.
    There are three photo albums: the life of Charles "Pop" Hardy; 2) the Tenth Convention in Seattle when George Hardy was named a vice-president; 3) the 1972 convention which was the first convention following his rise to the presidency. This convention was held in San Francisco and among the photographed guests are many union and political leaders prominent in this area. The oversize scrapbook has panoramas of convention delegates in 1935, 1942, 1952 and 1955.
    There are 204 loose photographs sorted folders of "Individuals" and "Subjects." Individuals are arranged alphabetically by the most prominent person other than George Hardy, as he is in almost all of the images. There are four subject categories: Conventions, Guards at Racetrack, Local Union Activities and Strikes. Researchers interested in the San Francisco theater janitor strike of 1951 will find images in the "Strikes" folder. There is also a good collection of leaflets, correspondence and photos in the oversized scrapbook.
    Due to the diversity of arrangement and the small size of this collection, a complete box list is provided rather than a Contents summary by series.

    Related Collections

    Title: George Hardy Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: (Acc. #1991/055).