Featuring the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company Collection
The University Museum exhibit was co-curated by Harrison Wick and Rhonda Yeager from the Special Collections and University Archives at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The exhibit featured artifacts, photographs, mine maps, and ledgers that document Western Pennsylvania bituminous coal culture in Armstrong, Cambria, Clearfield, Indiana, and Westmoreland counties, including the work and lives of miners and their families, the company towns, and community activities such as baseball games. View the exhibit using Windows Media Player and the exhibit catalog.
The exhibit was presented in cooperation with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the Tri-Area Historical Society in Nanty-Glo in Cambria County, the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, and with support from private collectors. The exhibit featured photos and items that document the operations of Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company and other coal companies, mine disasters, coal miner strikes, and unionization. Some of the company towns in Indiana and Cambria counties that are highlighted in the exhibit are 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 are the largest manuscript collection housed in the IUP Special Collections and University Archives. This collection represents more than 100 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.
Photograph courtesy of Susan Ferrandiz
IMAPS is a multidisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students who work together to digitize, record, and preserve historical mining maps. IMAPS has digitized more than five hundred maps, including mining maps from the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company, using a large format Cruse scanner. Institute personnel also are developing a Web-based searchable database of Pennsylvania mine maps. For more information, visit the IMAPS website.
The University Museum is able to mount exhibits such as “A Walk through Time” because of corporate, foundation, and individual support. We gratefully acknowledge our sponsors, Rosebud Mining Company and the Weyandt Foundation, without whose assistance this exhibit would not be possible.
As part of this exhibit, the University Museum hosted a series of lectures.
The IUP Special Collections and University Archives seeks coal company collections such as the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company Collection to preserve and document the coal culture of Western Pennsylvania.