Glen Alden / Blue Coal Archives



EC’s offices are the prior home of the Glen Alden and Blue Coal Corporations, holding a century-worth of mining, business, and employee records. Learn how we’re working with the Industrial Archives & Library to preserve this significant piece of history.

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When EC acquired the estate of the Blue Coal Corporation, it inherited more than land. The company’s office building held a trove of historical artifacts – furniture, office supplies, tools, and thousands upon thousands of documents. Recognizing their historical significance – and the inadequate storage conditions – EC embarked on a mission to find them a permanent home. Yet the collection’s vastness posed a challenge; potential caretakers either lacked the capacity to store the materials or only wanted select items.

“In some respects, it’s as if the employees walked out at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday and just never came back.” – Nick Zmijewski, Archivist at IAL

Enter Mike Korb, a retired mining engineer for the PA Department of Environmental Protection with a passion for preserving the past. As a trustee for the Industrial Archives & Library (IAL) in Bethlehem, PA, Korb understood the immense value of the Blue Coal records. In 2019, he proposed a partnership to EC’s president, Mike Dziak. EC visited the archives in January 2020 and was impressed by the facilities and the staff’s dedication to preserving industrial history. To them, the Glen Alden collection represented a treasure trove from the largest anthracite mining company of its era, from property and mining maps, to structural and mechanical drawings, to marketing and sales documents, to employee records for the thousands of local residents detailing the lives of thousands of local workers.

EC & IAL agreed to explore the partnership further. However, the pandemic struck a month later, slowing down discussions. Talk resumed in the summer of 2021, and a pilot project in 2022 archiving old industrial catalogs confirmed EC’s confidence in the IAL team’s care and enthusiasm. By 2023, a formal agreement was reached, entrusting the entire Glen Alden and Blue Coal collection – estimated at a astounding 20,000 linear feet – to the IAL. It will become the second-largest collection their archives, surpassed only by that of Bethlehem Steel.

The official ceremony on March 13, 2024, marked a pivotal moment in preserving this invaluable record of the nation’s industrial history. EC is incredibly proud of this collaboration. Under the IAL’s expert care, these documents will not only be safeguarded, but also made readily accessible to researchers and the public alike. While the archiving process is expected to take a decade or more, updates are frequently made to the online catalog. To search the collection and find contact information, visit the Industrial Archives & Library online.

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For the Records (Citizens Voice, March 14, 2024)