Preserving Historical Records for the AgesSearch Collections
Explore Our Collections
Explore our extensive collection of physical materials relating to America’s industrial heritage. Available for research.
Search through published materials, including books, periodicals, manuscripts, and catalogs covering a range of subjects.
Access electronic copies of selected photographs, documents, publications and more, without having to come to Bethlehem.
Experience first-person narratives of people who worked in American industry. Video, audio, and transcripts available.
Industrial Archives & Library
The mission of the Industrial Archives & Library is to collect, organize, conserve, and preserve industrial records and to make them available for education and research to historians, scholars, and the public.
Preserving Historical Records for the Ages
Established in 2015, the Industrial Archives & Library (IAL), is a 501(c)(3), private operating foundation located in Bethlehem, Pa.
IAL is an independent institution organized to collect, conserve, and preserve industrial records and to make them available for education and research to historians, scholars, and the public. Its current holdings include records relating to a variety of industries from across the country including, banking, slate quarrying, coal mining, silk and textiles, steel, shipbuilding, railroads and transportation.
The Industrial Archives & Library (IAL) ensures that historical records are preserved for the future. Materials are collected and stored in environmentally stable facilities and archivally processed to ensure longevity.
Trained archivists rehouse and organize records so researchers can readily access them. Some materials are digitized and made available for online research. IAL also conducts an oral history program.
IAL’s staff, Board, and volunteers possess extensive experience working in the fields of public history and private-sector corporate management for a variety of institutions and organizations.
By drawing on the expertise of our people, IAL has positioned itself to meet industry best practices for collections management and to build confidence of sponsors and donors of records to the repository.
IAL operates with a small core staff, supported by contract archivists, a strong Board of Trustees, and volunteers to meet its mission.
Records, both physical and digital, are susceptible to a number of different dangers which can erase them from our history. By collecting these records, we assure that the important role that industry has had in shaping America can be preserved for the ages.
Over time, paper records can become acidic or brittle leading to the destruction of important information. Digital records lose data or become corrupted without intervention from stewards who can properly assure the longevity of these materials. Without archives and other institutions, these stories can become lost.
Explore some of IAL’s most popular areas of industrial history.