Description of the Collection

The collection consists of 250,000 volumes and 1500 serial subscriptions along with essential academic and practitioner databases and special format materials such as media and microforms. ILR collection strengths are in the areas of labor and employment, including collective bargaining, human resource studies, international and comparative industrial relations, labor disputes and history, labor economics, organizational behavior, and trade union issues. While many of these resources are academic in origin, Catherwood also collects directly from unions, corporations, governments, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, we are an International Labour Organization (ILO) Partner Library. See the Industrial and Labor Relations Collection guide for more information.

The Catherwood Library also houses the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives. With over 19,000 linear feet of manuscript materials, it ranks as one of three major centers of its type in the country. The Center is the designated repository for papers of key individuals and organizations prominent in the history of labor-management relations. It also houses an exceptional photograph collection of over 350,000 images.

Catherwood Digital Collections


This repository features the scholarship of ILR’s faculty and researchers, along with collections of digital material selected by the reference librarians and archivists at Catherwood. Featured collections include:

Kheel Center's Labor Photos Database

A growing number of images from the Kheel Center’s collections are now accessible on Included are images from Labor Photos and other collections never before available on the web.

If you have questions about our image resources, please contact the Kheel Center at or call (607) 255-3183.

Triangle Factory Fire Exhibit

This web exhibit presents original documents and secondary sources on the Triangle Fire, housed in the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives. Cornell University Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections also contributed to the exhibit.

Department of Labor web archive

In December 2016, the Catherwood Library began collaborating with to collect and preserve selected content from the Department of Labor websites, as well as websites for related and subsidiary agencies of the Department of Labor. While staff at the Catherwood Library and Kheel Center process this material, we are making the full, unprocessed archive available to the public.