In a comprehensive electronic exhibition portraying the history of one of the nation's largest planned corporate communities, the Indiana University Digital Library program recently launched an online digital photograph collection that captures the history of the U.S. Steel Works at Gary, Indiana.
The U.S. Steel Gary Works Photograph Collection, 1905-1971 is accessible online at http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/steel/. It includes not only a wealth of photographic documentation reflecting the steel plant's rich history, but a host of other resources as well, including bibliographies, suggested readings, and hypertext links to a wide range of research and educational materials.
Newly completed and available online to the public for the first time, the U.S. Steel Gary Works Photograph Collection provides access to more than 2,200 digital images documenting the creation of the world's largest steel mill during the height of America's industrial revolution.
The collection depicts the life and times of one of the nation's largest corporate towns, as meticulously and beautifully documented by U.S. Steel photographers. And while the gaze of the camera's eye often focuses upon the massive and varied industrial machinery of the steel works, it also captures the lives of the men and women who worked in and around it as well.
The experience as a whole provides a startling portal into the past of one of the most tumultuous periods of our nation's history.
Although the site will undoubtedly prove a valuable resource for scholars and historians of American history and the Industrial Revolution alike, the U.S. Steel Gary Works Photograph Collection was also carefully designed to meet the unique needs of another target audience: school teachers and students. As such, in addition to its core of documentary photography, the
site also includes guides for fourth grade, middle and high school teachers, as well as question sets for classroom discussion.
"Teachers will find teaching and learning activities on the Web site designed to stimulate students' interest in this remarkable period in Indiana history" says Kristine Brancolini, Director of the Digital Library Program. "This collection constitutes the Digital Library Program's first digital project targeted to students of all ages. These photos offer students a unique and incredibly vivid perspective of Hoosier life over a period of roughly seventy years."
The completion of this project marks the first significant phase in the Digital Library Program's long-term plan to create a substantial Web-based learning site for students, focusing new attention on valuable primary sources drawn from university library and archival collections.
The digitization project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services http://www.imls.gov/ under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/.
IU's Digital Library program is a university-wide partnership of the IU Libraries http://www.indiana.edu/~iulfc/libraries/, University Information Technology Services http://www.indiana.edu/~uits/, and the School of Library and Information Science http://www.slis.indiana.edu/.