Resources

Interested in exploring the Winnipeg General Strike further? There is a wealth of information available locally (in Manitoba), and/or online. The resources listed below includes information on and access to primary sources, secondary sources, and research guides related to the strike.

For information on how to search for, deconstruct and integrate resources into your research, click here.

Primary Sources

Primary sources on the strike include records from various libraries and archives. Where records, or descriptions of records, are available online, researchers can access a given resource by clicking on the underlined linked description. To learn more about the records, or to set-up an appointment to access them, contact information for each of the institutions below is available on the Contact page.

Charles F. Gray fonds

Records of Mayor Charles Gray, including those related to the Winnipeg General Strike.

Charles Ross Francis fonds

The fonds includes a signed Special Police card issued to Charles Ross Francis from Mayor Gray.

Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand Collection

Pamphlets and addresses by the Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand.

Exhibits and other records related to the Winnipeg General Strike trials
Records documenting the trials of strike leaders.

Frederick George Thompson fonds

Frederick George Thompson was the creator of the Loyalist Returned Soldiers Association – an anti-strike organization for veterans. Records include minutes, and resolutions by the association, as well as correspondence related to the strike.

Helen Armstrong fonds
Records documenting Helen Armstrong’s work for the Women’s Labor League, as well as her arrests during the Winnipeg General Strike.

Isaac Pitblado fonds
Records of Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand member and prosecutor for the trials of the strike leaders Isaac Pitblado. It includes records from the strike trials.

L.B. Foote fonds
Many of the photographs we see from the strike were taken by photographer L.B. Foote. In fact, these photographs were reproduced widely and today, these reproductions exist in archives and museums across Canada. However, the original photographs taken by L.B. Foote reside at the Archives of Manitoba.

Mary Jordan fonds
Records of Mary Jordan, secretary for the Winnipeg Labor Council and One Big Union. The fonds includes records related to both organizations, as well as information on the strike and R.B. Russell.

One Big Union fonds
Records of the OBU, including correspondence referring to the Winnipeg General Strike.

Records of the Royal Commission to Enquire into and Report upon the Causes and Effects of the General Strike which Recently Existed in the City of Winnipeg for a Period of Six Weeks, Including the Methods of Calling and Carrying on Such Strike
Records related to the Royal Commission, also known as the Robson Commission, investigating the strike, including questionnaires, exhibits, constitutions, strike ballots, statements, by-laws, etc.

Robert Boyd Russell fonds
Records of strike leader R.B. Russell, including issues of the Winnipeg Citizen and Western Labor News, as well as minutes of the Central Strike Committee and records related to the strike trials.

Robert Maxwell Dennistoun Family fonds
Includes photographs of the Winnipeg General Strike.

Robert W. Dodman memoir
In 1919, Robert W. Dodman worked as a constable for the Royal Northwest Mounted Police in Vancouver, where the events of the Winnipeg General Strike and looming threats of further sympathetic strikes across Canada were front of mind for authorities. The memoir describes in part his experiences during this time.

William Ivens fonds
Records documenting the life of strike leader William Ivens following the Winnipeg General Strike, mainly between 1921 and 1953.

Winnipeg Past and Present Oral History Project

Includes oral histories referring to the strike, including those of Mr. George Christopher Leckie, Mrs. Hurst, and Norman Brook.

Open meeting with William Pritchard and Norman Penner

A 1973 interview with strike leader W.A. Pritchard.


Council Communications

Committee on Finance Communications

By-laws

City Surveyor

Committee on Public Health and Welfare Communication

Mayor’s Office

Board of Parks and Recreation Communications

Special Food Committee

Special Publicity Committee

Special Committee on Investigation of the Fire Department

Council Minutes

Police Museum Collection

City of Winnipeg Archives Art Collection

Parks and Recreation Photograph Collection

City of Winnipeg Archives Photograph Collection

Ethel Johns Collection

Though not directly records about the strike, the Ethel Johns Collection includes records and photographs relating to nurse Ethel Johns, who was forced to resign from her position at the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg during the strike.

Harry Gale fonds:

The fonds includes records of Strike Committee member Harry Gale, who performed many responsibilities for the committee, including public speaking, research, and writing.

Rare film footage of the strike is available through Library and Archives Canada’s Youtube channel here.

More information about strike-related film footage is available in Michael Dupuis’ article, “Jean Arsin’s Winnipeg General Strike Film”, available on the Manitoba Historical Society website.

The Winnipeg General Strike Digital Collection

The Winnipeg General Strike Digital Collection contains digitized documents from the Charles F. Gray Family fonds  and includes letters between Mayor Gray and private citizens and businessmen of Winnipeg, politicians in civic, provincial and federal governments, and other public agencies involved in the strike, handwritten and typed notes and reports compiled by the mayor and others during the strike, telegrams, speeches and proclamations from the mayor, court documents from judicial proceedings following the strike, newspaper clippings from several local newspapers, some issues of the strike newspaper, and some photographs of the crowds and the mayor on the streets of Winnipeg. As well as portraits of him and his wife, Edith, the collection contains some documents relating to his mayoral election campaign in 1918.

Canadian Immigration by William Ivens, 1909

University of Manitoba Master’s thesis by strike leader William Ivens.

Czas (The Times)

As the oldest Polish language newspaper weekly in Canada, Czas, established in 1914, announced the upcoming strike in a May 14, 1919 issue. It would not print again until June 25, one day before the strike officially ended.

The Enlightener

The June 25-26 issues of The Enlightener, edited by Fred Dixon following the publication ban on the Western Labor News and The Western Star in 1919.

Greek Poetry by Travers Sweatman, 1904

University of Manitoba Master’s thesis by Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand member Travers Sweatman.

One Big Union Bulletin
A special strike edition published by the Winnipeg Central Labor Council of the One Big Union on August 30, 1919.

Strikers’ Defense Bulletin
A digitized issue of the Strikers’ Defense Bulletin. The original issue, which is held at the Legislative Library, was published to present the case of the strikers who were arrested.

The Voice

The Voice was published by the Trades and Labor Council and edited by Arthur Puttee until it dissolved in 1918. The paper was then reorganized as the Western Labor News.

Western Labor News
Western Labor News was published by the Winnipeg Trades and Labor Council, which called the Winnipeg General Strike. During the strike, special editions were released to keep strikers up to date on events and developments. Issues of Western Labor News from 1919 are available online through the University of Manitoba Libraries’ UM Digital Collections website.

The Western Star

The Western Star was published on June 24, 1919 following a publication ban on the Western Labor News. It was quickly replaced by The Enlightener on June 25, 1919.

Winnipeg Citizen
The Winnipeg Citizen was a daily newspaper published by the Citizen’s Committee of 1,000. The paper was published daily starting on May 19, 1919 and ending on June 20 of the same year. Digital issues are available through the University of Manitoba Libraries’ Digital Collections website.

Winnipeg Telegram Strike Editions

Strike editions of the daily Winnipeg Telegram were published from May 28 to June 28, 1919.

Winnipeg Tribune

The Winnipeg Tribune was a daily newspaper published between 1890 and 1980. The Tribune covered the events of the strike and its aftermath, with the exception of the period from May 16-May 23, 1919, inclusively, when its printing was interrupted by the strike.


University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections [UMASC]

 

Charles William Gordon (Ralph Conor) fonds

The Labour and Industry series documents, in part, Charles William Gordon’s work as Chairman for the Joint Council of Industry of Manitoba, a body created by the government of Manitoba following the Winnipeg General Strike. The fonds further includes copies of the indictment of J.S. Woodsworth for seditious libel (Box 13, folder 2). Under the name Ralph Connor, Charles Gordon further wrote a novel based on the strike. A book review of To Him That Hath is included in his records (box 53, folder 3).

Danny Schur fonds

The fonds consists of a playbill from Strike! The Musical, signed by Danny Schur. The published material contains biographical information on those involved in the production, as well as the itinerary for the opening night of the play on May 26, 2005. In addition, a pamphlet from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union (IATSE Local 63) is included.

Gerald Friesen fonds

The fonds consists of research material providing contextual information on the strike, including: reproductions of records from the Winnipeg Board of Trade, and biographical information on people involved in the Strike, such as Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand member Travers Sweatman.

H.C. Pentland fonds

The fonds includes articles about the strike, including “The Winnipeg General Strike Revisited” and “Fifty Years After: The Winnipeg General Strike” (Box 19, folder 7)

Hiebert Brown Family fonds

The fonds includes the recollections of Wallace Brown – a Special Policeman during the strike who was injured on Bloody Saturday.

History Stone fonds

The fonds consists of a photo album which includes photographs of T. Eaton Company during Winnipeg General Strike. A finding aid is not currently available.

Edgar Rea fonds

Rea is the author of The Winnipeg General Strike (1973) and his fonds includes research material such as interview transcripts with Winnipeg political, labour and social leaders, some of which refer to the events of 1919. The fonds also includes student papers related to the Strike.

Lewis St. George Stubbs fonds

The fonds includes information related to members of the Strike committee. It includes correspondence between Lewis St. George Stubbs and friend and strike leader, Fred Dixon, as well as biographical information on Dixon (Box 1, folder 14). During the Strike trials, Lewis St. George Stubbs assisted Dixon in preparing for his defence. The fonds also includes a pamphlet on R.B. Russell’s trial (Box 27, folder 4).

The Manitoban

As a University of Manitoba publication, The Manitoban was not published between the spring and fall semesters of 1919, when the strike occurred. However, the newspaper does provide retrospective articles on the Strike, as well as some information on the trials that followed.

Peter Warren fonds

The fonds includes a recording of an interview with Nick Zalozetsky, an employee of the Ukrainian Voice newspaper, who went to the silent parade as an observer on Bloody Saturday. Soon after his arrival, the riot act was read and in the midst of the riot, Mr. Zalozetsky recalls narrowly missing a bullet, one that knocked his hat off his head (Box 5, tape 6).

Pitblado Family fonds

The fonds includes correspondence, posters, news clippings, articles, and pamphlets related to the Winnipeg General Strike (MSS 48, box 20), as well as photographs (PC 58, box 3, folder 8), and biographical information on Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand member Isaac Pitblado.

Pugh Family fonds

Records include newspaper clippings related to the Winnipeg General Strike.

Western Labor News

Western Labor News was published by the Winnipeg Trades and Labor Council, which called the Winnipeg General Strike. During the strike, special editions were released to keep strikers up to date on events and developments. The archives holds 4 issues of the newspaper:

  • May 19, 1919
  • May 22, 1919
  • July 4, 1919
  • August 22, 1919

Winnipeg Citizen

The Winnipeg Citizen was a daily newspaper published by the Citizens’ Committee of 1,000. The paper was published daily starting on May 19, 1919 and ending on June 20 of the same year. The archives hold physical copies of the newspaper, including issues from 1948, when the paper reappeared in response to a strike by the typographical union against many Winnipeg-based newspapers.

Winnipeg General Strike Collection

The Winnipeg General Strike Collection consists of a scrapbook holdings strike-related newspaper clippings from the Winnipeg Tribune, and the Manitoba Free Press.

The Winnipeg Tribune fonds

The Winnipeg Tribune fonds includes photographs, newspaper clippings, and personality files related to the Winnipeg General Strike.

  • Photographs: The Winnipeg Tribune photographs include reproductions of images taken by L.B. Foote during the strike. A selection of these photographs are available online through the Winnipeg Tribune Photo Collection Database.
  • Personality Files: The Winnipeg Tribune personality files document various local and Canadian personalities. The Tribune’s personalities include files on strike leaders, such as John Queen, J.S. Woodsworth, and A.A. Heaps, Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand members Isaac Pitblado and E.K. Williams, politicians, including T.C. Norris, Charles Gray, and Arthur Meighen, and more. The personality files can be accessed in person at the University of Manitoba Libraries’ Archives & Special Collections department but a full list can be downloaded here.
  • Subject clippings: The Winnipeg Tribune subject clippings include a Winnipeg General Strike file compiling newspaper clippings about the events of 1919. 

Western Canada Pictorial Index

A collection of over 70,000 images reproduced from a number of collections and gathered as part of a 1970 centennial project. The collection includes reproductions of many strike-related photographs, including scenes from the June 10 and 21 riots and images of the strike’s aftermath, mainly the incarceration of the strike leaders and a banquet attended by members of the Citizens’ Committee of One Thousand.

Winnipeg General Strike microfilm collection

A collection of published material related to the strike available on microfilm, including:

  • Winnipeg 1919: the strikers’ own history of the Winnipeg General Strike (edited by Norman Penner, 1973)
  • Royal Commission to enquire into and report upon the causes and effects of the General Strike which recently existed in the City of Winnipeg for a period of six weeks, including the methods of calling and carrying on such strike (H.A. Robson)
  • The Winnipeg General Strike as an aspect of the Red Scare (Curtis Nordman, 1970)
  • The Winnipeg General Strike (Balawyder Aloysius, 1967)
  • Winnipeg General Strike (Beatrice Magder, 1972)
  • The Winnipeg Strike (David J. Bercuson and Kenneth McNaught, 1974)
  • The Winnipeg General Strike (Donald C. Masters, 1973)
  • The Winnipeg General Strike (J.E. Rea, 1973)

Secondary Sources

Books

  • Balawyder, Aloysius. The Winnipeg General Strike. Vancouver: Copp-Clark Publishing, 1967.
  • Bercuson, David Jay. Confrontation at Winnipeg: Labour, Industrial Relations, and the General Strike. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1990.
  • Berkowskiw, Gerry, and Nolan Reilly. 1919 The Winnipeg General Strike: A Driving and Walking Tour. Manitoba: Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Recreation, 1985.
  • Bumsted, J. M. The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919: an Illustrated History. Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer, 1994.
  • Dupuis, Michael. Winnipeg General Strike: Ordinary Men and Women Under Extraordinary Circumstances. 2019.
  • Dupuis, Michael. Winnipeg’s General Strike: Reports from the Front Lines. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2014.
  • Epp-Koop, Stefan. We’re Going to Run This City : Winnipeg’s Political Left after the General Strike. Winnipeg, Manitoba: University of Manitoba Press, 2015.
  • Francis, Daniel, Michael Puttonen, Seeing reds: The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada’s First War on Terror. New Westminster, B.C.: Post Hypnotic Press, 2013.
  • Graphic History Collective and David Lester. 1919 A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2019.
  • Graphic History Collective with Althea Balmes, Cord Hill Orion Keresztwsi, and David Lester. Direct Action Gets the Goods: A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2019.
  • Gutkin, Harry, and Gutkin, Mildred. Profiles in Dissent: the Shaping of Radical Thought in the Canadian West. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1997.
  • Heron, Craig. The Workers’ Revolt in Canada, 1917-1925. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.
  • Jackson, Paul. History of the General Strike, Winnipeg, 1919 : 60th Anniversary. Montreal: Red Flag Publications, 1979.
  • Johnson, Albert Ernest. “The strikes in Winnipeg in May 1918: the prelude to 1919?” Master’s Thesis, University of Manitoba, 1978.
  • Kehler, Ken, and Esau, Alvin A. J. Famous Manitoba Trials: the Winnipeg General Strike Trials: Research Sources. Winnipeg: Legal Research Institute, University of Manitoba, 1990.
  • Kramer, Reinhold, and Mitchell, Tom. When the State Trembled: How A.J. Andrews and the Citizens’ Committee Broke the Winnipeg General Strike. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.
  • Lewycky, Dennis. Magnificent Fight: The Winnipeg General Strike. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2019.
  • Magder, Beatrice Rain. Winnipeg General Strike : a Legacy of Problems. Toronto: Learning Materials Dept., Maclean-Hunter, 1972.
  • Masters, Donald C. The Winnipeg General Strike. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1950.
  • Mathieu, Sarah-Jane. North of the Color Line: Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870-1955. Chapel hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).
  • McNaught, Kenneth, and David Bercuson. The Winnipeg Strike, 1919. Ontario: Longman Canada, 1974.
  • Muir, James. The Demand for British Justice – Protest and Culture During the Winnipeg General Strike Trials. Winnipeg: Faculty of Law, Robson Hall, University of Manitoba, 1993.
  • Penner, Norman. Winnipeg 1919: The strikers’ own history of the Winnipeg General Strike. Winnipeg Defence Committee, 1975.
  • Rea, J. E. The Winnipeg General Strike. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada, 1973.
  • Reilly, Nolan, and Sharon Reilly. 1919 The Winnipeg General Strike: A Driving and Walking Tour. Manitoba: Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Recreation, 2019.
  • Walker, Jack, and Fraser, Duncan A. The Great Canadian Sedition Trials: the Courts and the Winnipeg General Strike 1919-1920. Winnipeg: Published as a joint project by Legal Research Institute of the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Legal History Project, 2004.

Articles by the Manitoba Historical Society

Research Guides

Manitoba Archival Information Network: Winnipeg General Strike Guide

The MAIN Strike guide provides users with information on how to search for records related to the Winnipeg General Strike and how to gain access to those records through the MAIN online database. 

United Way Winnipeg: 1919 Working Stronger Together

An historical exhibit to commemorate the centennial of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike and celebrate the United Way Winnipeg’s (then known as Community Chest) long-standing solidarity with Labour and our shared communities.

The Winnipeg General Strike: A Guide to Research at the City of Winnipeg Archives

A research guide to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike and facilitate strike-related research at the City of Winnipeg Archives.

The Winnipeg General Strike Recommended Reading List (Winnipeg Public Library)

A reading list produced by the Winnipeg Public Library including works of non-fiction and fiction for all ages related to the Winnipeg General Strike.