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African American Primary Resources in the Special Collections Research Center: APPALACHIAN COLLECTIONS

Sources found in the University of Kentucky Libraries.





(859) 257-8611


(859) 257-6311

Appalachian Collections

Appalshop Videos (in Young Media Library)

Benham Coal Records

  • Benham is a coal town developed by the Wisconsin Steel Company, a subsidiary of International Harvester.  The records focus primarily on the early years of Benham Coal through the 1940s: office files covering topics such as “accounts receivable,” “baseball club,” “coal production,” “garnishment orders,” “Harlan Coal Operator’s Association,” “ labor conditions,” “medical conditions,” “production costs,” “schools” and “YMCA (Colored).”  The Benham Coal Records also contain 66 photographic images, most of which are documentation for the individual accident case files.

Russell Lee Photographic Collection, 1979

  • Photographs by Russell Lee and 1 photograph of Russell Lee taken by Jimmy Jalapeeno. The photographs are a sub-unit of a much larger set of photographs taken by Russell Lee in 1946 as part of a Federal survey of health conditions in the U.S. bituminous coal industry. More information and photographs at the Kentucky Digital Library.

Russell Lee: Wheelwright, KY Photographic Collection, 1946

  • Black and white 8X10 photographs. The content of the photographs included citizens of Wheelwright, Kentucky and the local coal mining industry. The pictures were taken during the mid-1940's. More information and photographs at the Kentucky Digital Library.

The Wheelwright Collection

  • Records from three of the companies that owned Wheelwright: Inland Steel, Island Creek, and Mountain Investment. The Inland Steel section contains little about the mining operations but is rich in details about the town itself. The Island Creek records are primarily those of the coal operations, containing daily time reports, records of employee earnings, mine reports, and office files.  The Mountain Investment Company section thoroughly records that company's ownership of Wheelwright from l966 until l979 when it sold the town to the Kentucky Housing Corporation, a state agency. More information at the Kentucky Digital Library.


Contact the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center for more information about the many other Appalachian Collections.


Phone: (859) 257-8611

Fax:  (859) 257-6311


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