This guide includes both primary and secondary source resources about mining, primarily in the Appalachian region. Manuscripts must be used in the Dougherty Reading Room. To schedule an appointment or for more information, email

Manuscript Collections

The Helen Matthews Lewis Papers contain the papers and research materials of sociologist Helen Lewis. The collection consists of research on the topics of Appalachian Studies, coal mining in South Wales and Appalachia, the Highlander Education Center, Appalachian religion and culture, the Ivanhoe History Project, and community and economic development. It includes oral histories, journals, academic papers, and publications including newspapers, newsletters, books, and ephemera, a collection of videotapes and audio recordings of Welsh coal mining communities made during 1975-1976, photographs, slides, and five pieces of coal.

86.0 linear feet (99 boxes, 8 half-sized manuscript boxes, 7 records cartons, 4 CD boxes, 14 VHS boxes, 2 small oversize boxes, 2 large artifacts boxes, 1 small artifact box, 7 oversize folders, 2 boxes in cold storage, 1 tube in rolled storage)

The John Gaventa Papers consist of the papers and research materials of political sociologist John Gaventa. This includes research materials concerning coal mining in Appalachia and Wales and the economic and environmental effects of mining on these regions as well as materials concerning the American Association Limited and Sir Denys Lowson. It also includes correspondence, journals and calendars, publications and papers written by Gaventa, interview transcripts, photographs, and audiocassette tapes and a VHS tape of speeches given by Gaventa.

11.0 linear feet (16 boxes, 2 oversize folders, 1 audiocassette box)

Michael and Ruth Yarrow Coal Mining Interviews contains interviews capturing narratives of life in the eastern coalfields throughout the 20th Century, primarily in West Virginia but also in Kentucky and Virginia. Among those interviewed were active coal miners, retired miners, women miners, black miners, and mine foremen. Miners' wives were interviewed as well as one miner's husband, three miners' daughters, one coal company president, and three coalfield professionals. Topics covered include working conditions, unionism, race, and experiences of women miners.

15.5 linear feet (9 small flat boxes, 1 small cassette box, 3 document boxes)

Reed Island Iron Company Records consists of business ledgers and sales receipts of the Reed Island Iron Company, located in Reed Island, a Pulaski County village on the Norfolk and Western Railway.

1 linear foot (1 box)