The Bay Area Typographical Union (BATU) collection contains organizational records and materials donated by the San Francisco
Typographical Union Local 21, the bulk consisting of the records of Local 21, Oakland Local 36, Palo Alto Local 521 and San
Jose Local 231. The records include organization histories, historical documents and memorabilia, administrative records,
files on contracts and negotiations, International Typographical Union material, membership documentation, apprenticeship
and journeyman records, financial ledgers and records, samples of printing art and technology, printed materials, commemoratives
and medals, photographs, and an addition of records from the office of the president.
As the San Francisco Bay Area's oldest trade union, Bay Area Typographical Union Local No. 21 can trace its roots back to
the Gold Rush when, in 1850, printers in San Francisco first organized the Pacific Typographical Society to protest wage cuts.
In 1855, the Union obtained a charter from the National Typographical Union and became Local No. 21. The local survived in
various forms and was instrumental in the formation of the short-lived San Francisco Trades Union. It fought a constant battle
against deflation and falling wages, but a strike in 1870 against the San Francisco Call and Bulletin crushed the local. No union for printers existed in San Francisco for two years until the local reorganized as the San Francisco
Typographical Union and secured a charter from the International Typographical Union (ITU) in 1872. During the 1890s, women
printers won the right to become union members and to equal pay in union shops. Local 21 was one of the first unions, locally
as well as nationally, to do so.
75.5 cubic ft.
(26 cartons, 114 boxes, including 7 oversize boxes, 8 bound volumes)
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and 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 and 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.
Collection is open for research.