A few years ago when I was still working at Chicago’s Newberry Library, I had the opportunity to help out with a project to create a labor history map of Chicago. This was coordinated by Leon Fink and drew on the energy of graduate students at the University of Illinois Chicago and Northwestern University, as well as Lisa Oppenheim of the Chicago Metro History Education Center, members of the Illinois Labor History Society, the Chicago Center for Working Class Studies, the Illinois Humanities Council, and the Newberry.
The result was The Labor Trail: Chicago’s History of Working Class Life and Struggle, which was an attractive fold-out map with several neighborhood walking/driving tours. This resource has now been repackaged online, making it more accessible and interactive. As the title suggests, the map tries to place the history of the labor movement into the context of working class life.
In addition to serving up neighborhood tours, the new site provides links to video of Chicago labor leaders nominating historic sites at public meetings sponsored by the ILHS and the Chicago Center for Working Class Studies. I recommend Ed Sadlowski on the Steel Industry and the roundtable on Labor in the Black Metropolis.