Bethlehem GIS Project
The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) project is comprised of the early twentieth-century Sanborn fire insurance maps, Sholes’ Directory of the Bethlehems, 1900-1901, 1900-1902 Bethlehem Steel employee lists, a contemporary database of streets, and selected information from the 1900 Census report. The result is a geospatial presentation of turn of the century Bethlehem population and a context for more specialized visualization of workers in the steel industry. This project was partially funded by a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.
Cultural Placemaking Through the Arts
This project collected interviews from Lehigh Valley artists between 2016-2017, exploring the role that local artists play in Bethlehem’s past, present and future. The project emerged from conversations between local artists and individuals from Lehigh University, and was designed to document how small, local artists and artistic organizations have fared in the recent past in Bethlehem. This collection highlights the value of local artists’ work, and showcases how that work extends beyond the theater, screen, canvas and stage, to enrich the community as a whole.
In the Age of Steel: Oral Histories from Bethlehem Pennsylvania
A series of interviews conducted by Lehigh University students and faculty from 1974 through 1977 focusing on retired Bethlehem Steel workers, business people, and the heirs of industrial magnates. The project was co-sponsored by Bethlehem Steel Corporation, who provided contact information for retired steel workers. This project was made possible through federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.
Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company Records
A project to digitize the maps and drawings of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company held by Lehigh University’s Special Collections. Pennsylvania’s wealth of extractable resources fueled the emergence of the coal, iron, and steel industries throughout the Lehigh Valley. After its founding in 1822, the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company (LCNC) became one of the most important companies in the emergence of the American Industrial Revolution for its innovative approach to canal systems, iron production and coal mining. LCNC transported anthracite coal from Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) to Easton and Philadelphia, reaching New York by the 1830s. The collection includes drawings of canal locks, gates, boats, dams, and maps that include the locations of the locks and the property lines surrounding the canals, providing a snapshot of a regional technological and industrial history.
Women of Bethlehem Steel
The Women of Bethlehem Steel collection represents the stories of women who worked at Bethlehem Steel Corporation from the mid-20th century through the sell and closure of the company in 2003. These oral histories convey a variety of experiences from women who worked on the shop floor, company executives, to women with strong family ties to the industry. The narrators describe their work, how they balanced their occupation with their home life, how they were treated by their male co-workers, and the effects of Bethlehem Steel’s decline. In addition to audio and video recordings, this collection houses a variety of photos of women at work and portraits of former employees.