Mission and History
The Illinois Labor History Society (ILHS) was formed on August 5, 1969 in the office of the late Joseph M. Jacobs, attorney for the Chicago Teachers Union, Meatcutters, and other labor organizations.
The mission of the ILHS was set forth: It shall be the Purpose of the Illinois Labor History Society to encourage the preservation and study of labor history materials of the Illinois Region, and to arouse public interest in the profound significance of the past to the present.
To that end we have, over the years, published guidebooks by Professor William Adelman. We have produced and distributed numerous monographs on topics ranging from the Union Miners' Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois, to the story of Pullman. We have established a mail order book business, currently offering books and videos to the public. We are the custodians of a National Historic Landmark, The Haymarket Martyrs Monument in Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois.
We provide: tours of Chicago's Labor History Sites; publication of a newsletter; and various commemorative programs, among them the annual Union Hall of Honor Awards Dinner.
We maintain this lively and well-respected website. It contains directions to various historic sites important to labor, a series of articles written in a popular style, and a model curriculum through which teachers can enrich the normal textbook fare with labor history topics and materials. Our booklist generates sales from as far away as Argentina.
We have a significant collection of books in our library, including some rare volumes. We are able to advise individuals and organizations who seek a proper repository for their historical records.
Our resources are sought after by schoolchildren, teachers, academicians, and media. Documentary producers, in particular, find our resources to be unique, and our personnel have appeared in several TV programs.
Let us be of service to you and your organization.
Ours is a membership organization dependent on dues and contributions for its income, supplemented by the sale of books and services, and the annual Union Hall of Honor Awards Dinner. Your tax-deductible contributions and bequests will help us carry on and to expand our programs.
You may now join the ILHS via our web site.
Consider donating to ILHS to help us fulfill our mission.