Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Miners: Self-Representation and Memorialization
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After researching ten monuments in my hometown of Shamokin, a small anthracite coal region town in central Pennsylvania, I discovered a lack of representation of Shamokin’s coal mining heritage throughout its urban spaces. Considering coal was the main production of labor for decades, there are no public monuments dedicated to its most influential contribution to the world. This summer I undertook research on ten monuments that depict representations of coal miners and their heritage throughout different PA anthracite regions, thus discovering how this important heritage is depicted and its impact on the public memory of a town. Through archiving materials on the monuments, I created a digital database or curation of the ten monuments and analyzed their symbology and significance to the anthracite region. Also, by critiquing their urban spaces this illuminated how Shamokin has the potential to represent their coal mining heritage. Additionally, I created a timeline and a map to depict the monuments through time and with regards to their spatiality in the anthracite region. It is evident that Shamokin has plenty of advantages and opportunities to exemplify its coal region heritage, especially by incorporating the history of the Glen Burn Colliery. This digital database is not an exhaustive list of monuments in the anthracite coal region of PA; however, it is to be a genesis of a much larger digital archive intended to establish a connection with a town's history and heritage through public monuments.
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Candelora, Tyler, "Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Miners: Self-Representation and Memorialization" (2017). Digital Scholarship Summer Research Fellows. 1.