Monday, September 24, 2007

Oral Histories with Muncie Labor Leaders Available Online
through the
University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository
by Maren L. Read, Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections

Students and scholars can now access oral history interviews that document the history of organized labor in Muncie, Indiana through the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository. The Muncie Labor Oral History Project Collection includes 15 interviews with prominent labor leaders from the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections’ Muncie Labor Archives.

Inspired by former Indiana state legislator and union leader Hurley Goodall, these interviews were conducted as part of the Center for Middletown Studies’ effort to document recent economic changes and the history of labor unions in Muncie. Participants from all the major unions in Muncie were interviewed by C. Warren Vander Hill between December 2005 and February 2006.

The digital collection consists of recordings, transcripts, and photographs. Representatives from major employers, such as Chevrolet-Muncie, the Ball Corporation, and the Borg Warner Corporation were interviewed. Topics discussed include union activities, the importance of unions in the lives of workers, and the future of unions.

The collection can be accessed in the Digital Media Repository, http://libx.bsu.edu/, under the “Middletown Digital Oral History Collections.” For more information, contact Maren L. Read, Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections, Ball State University Libraries, MLRead@bsu.edu, (765) 285-5078

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