Louis Jones: Field Archivist, Detroit

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Louis Jones is a Keeper, a Field Archivist at the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State University in Detroit. For 27 years, Dr. Jones has been building and caring for the largest labor archive in North America. Home to numerous union and labor collections from around the country, the Reuther Library also actively collects material documenting Detroit’s civil rights movement, women’s struggles in the workplace, the LGBTQ Archive of Detroit and much much more.


The grandson of a Pullman Porter, Louis Jones takes us through these remarkable archives with stories of the United Auto Workers, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, A. Philip Randolph, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Utah Phillips and the Wobblies, the Civil Rights Movement, the 1967 Detroit uprising and how archivists are examining and re-imagining their roles as collectors and preservationists in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Movement and the dismantling of historical monuments across America.


Louis Jones: Field Archivist, Detroit, was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) with Nathan Dalton for The Keepers. Paulina Hartono was the story intern.

Funding for The Keepers comes from The National Endowment for the Humanities and Listener Contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions.