A Walk Through Time: Pennsylvania Coal Culture
Featuring the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company Collection
September 15–December 5, 2009
The University Museum at IUP
Public Reception: September 19, 2009
The University Museum, in cooperation with IUP Special Collections and University Archives, presents “A Walk Through Time: Pennsylvania Coal Culture Featuring the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company Collection.” The exhibit opens to the public on September 15, 2009. The exhibit is curated by Harrison Wick and Rhonda Yeager, IUP Special Collections and University Archives in Stapleton Library.
Artifacts and documents of coal mining life in western Pennsylvania are presented in cooperation by the IUP Special Collections and University Archives, the Tri-Area Historical Society and Liberty Museum in Nanty-Glo, the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, and private collectors.
The exhibit features artifacts, photographs, mine maps, and ledgers that document western Pennsylvania bituminous coal culture, including the work and lives of miners and their families, the company towns and community activities such as baseball games. Also featured in the exhibit are the operations of Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company and other companies, mine disasters, coal miner strikes, and unionization. Some of the company towns in Indiana County and Cambria County highlighted in the exhibit include Clymer, Commodore, Coral, Ernest, Heilwood, Iselin, Nanty Glo, Sagamore, and Whiskey Run.
IUP actively preserves coal culture through the Special Collections and University Archives, the Institute for Mine Mapping, Archival Procedures and Safety (IMAPS), and the Center for Northern Appalachian Studies. The Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company Records is the largest manuscript collection housed in the IUP Special Collections and University Archives. This collection represents over a hundred years of local history. R&P was organized in 1881, and the collection is a complete record of the company until R&P was purchased by CONSOL Coal Group in 1998.
IMAPS is a multidisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students who work together to digitize, record, and preserve historical mining maps. IMAPS has digitized over five hundred maps, including mining maps from the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company, using a large format Cruse scanner, and is developing a web-based searchable database of Pennsylvania mine maps. Additional information is available at IUP Mine Mapping.
On Friday, September 11, 2009, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a special reception by reservation. The event is titled "Black Diamond Jubilee" and includes an exhibition preview, informal dining, and concert by The NewLanders. Proceeds benefit the exhibition and educational programs of the University Museum.
A public reception will be held at the University Museum on Saturday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m.