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University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, KY 40506-0004)
Mary H. Molinaro (Project Director: July 2012 to June 2014)
Deirdre A. Scaggs (Project Director: June 2014 to August 2016)
Coal, Camps, and Railroads: Digitizing Primary Sources on Appalachian Economic Development

The digitization of ten manuscript collections, comprising 132 linear feet, pertaining to the history of the coal and oil industries in the Eastern Kentucky Appalachian region.

The University of Kentucky Libraries seeks funding to digitize and make available 132 cubic feet, an expected 264,000 pages, of a nationally significant body of historical evidence. The selected portions of the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection focus on 189 years of critical economic development in the Eastern Kentucky coalfields from 1788 to 1976. The ten individual collections document the search for, extraction, and distribution of coal, oil, and natural gas resources in Appalachia. The records follow the creation of the railroads that brought these raw materials to industrial manufacturers and electrical power generators across the United States. The ten selected collections provide evidence of the company towns, their services, and the individual lives that grew up to sustain and make possible this economic development and struggle.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

$139,596 (approved)
$136,465 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2013 – 4/30/2016