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The Kheel Center ILGWU Collection

The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union was the largest labor union to represent workers in the women's garment industry in the United States and Canada in the twentieth century, peaking at 450,000 members. The ILGWU was formed by the merging of several NYC unions in 1900 and continued until it merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union to form UNITE in 1995.

At over 2,500 linear feet, the ILGWU records are the most extensive and heavily used collection at the Kheel Center, the official repository of the ILGWU since 1987. This site presents highlights from the union's rich history and archives.

Stage entrance. Union members at a rally
  • View photos, broadsides and banners
  • Read letters, pamphlets and speeches
  • Listen to recorded oral histories
  • Watch films and video

ILGWU Highlights

"Sing me a Song with Social Significance"

Members of the ILGWU starred in the musical comedy revue "Pins & Needles."

View more highlights