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Coal Culture Final Lectures Set at University Museum

The final two presentations in the series on the region’s coal history, held in conjunction with the University Museum’s “A Walk Through Time: Western Pennsylvania Coal Culture,” have been set.

“Unions: Roots of the ‘Democratic Impulse’ in District 2, UMWA, 1919–1943,” will be presented at 7:00 p.m. November 18, in McVitty Auditorium, Sprowls Hall, by Irwin Marcus, professor emeritus with IUP’s History Department.

“Researching Family History with Coal Culture Resources,” presented by archivist Rhonda Yeager, cocurator of the exhibition, will close the series on December 5 at 4:00 p.m. in the University Museum, located on the first floor of Sutton Hall. The show also closes December 5.

Both programs are free and open to the community. There is no admission fee for the museum, which is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday from noon to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m.

Registration for lectures is preferred but not required. Contact Sally Daskivich at 724-357-2397 or

The exhibition includes artifacts and documents of coal-mining life in Western Pennsylvania, presented jointly by 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 show also features photos and items that document the operations of Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company and other companies, mine disasters, coal miner strikes, and unionization.
IUP actively preserves coal culture through the Special Collections and University Archives; the Institute for Mine Mapping, Archival Procedures, (continued on page 4) (continued from page 3) and Safety (IMAPS); and the Center for Northern Appalachian Studies. 

The Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company collection is the largest manuscript grouping housed in the IUP Special Collections and University Archives. This collection represents more than one 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. 

More information about the collection is available at the IUP Special Collections and University Archives.

IMAPS is a multidisciplinary group of faculty and staff members, 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 about IMAPS, visit the IMAPS website.

Visit the University Museum.