My Digital Archive

I created a digital archive centered around the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, but wanted to expand the scope of the narrative to include events that happened both before and after the fire that were directly related. The fire did not happen in isolation, but is framed by events that shaped the historical perspective of labor history in the early twentieth century. The Uprising of the 20,000 starts the labor movement with the first large-scale female strike in history. In November of 1909 a smaller strike at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, inspired 500 other garment factories to strike, with 20,000 workers walking off factory floors in a large scale "uprising". For almost thirteen weeks strikers walked the picket lines demanding shorter hours and safer working conditions. When the strike was settled very few of the workers demands were met and employees returned to work with very little to show for weeks of sacrifice.

In 1911 the Triangle fire would kill 146 workers, with many of the deaths attributed to the horrible factory conditions which workers had tried to address on the picket lines only two years prior. Many of the young women who died jumping from the burning building were arrested and accosted by police during the Uprising of the 20,000. The tragedy shook New York, and would begin to impact labor legislation into the New Deal Era. The fire left a legacy behind, with yearly commemoration becoming a tradition with the 50th anniversary of the fire. As the 100th anniversary approaches, several groups have claimed the fire as part of their history and have taken responsibility for reminding society that labor struggles are not over.

My digital archive is composed of the following four collections:

1. The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives'
2. Delaware Art Museum
3. Triangle Commemoration Websites
4. Maryanne Russell Photograph

Both the Kheel Center Archives and the Delaware Museum have photographs dating to the period of the fire, while the Triangle Commemoration Websites and Maryanne Russell Photography collections focus on present day commemoration of the fire.

Please visit the archive at

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