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.
To become a leading research center for industrial records.
The Industrial Archives & Library was incorporated on January 1, 2015 as a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3), Private Operating Foundation (POF), located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It utilizes several secure and environmentally-controlled facilities for the inventory, processing, and storage of archival and library materials.
The Industrial Archives & Library’s staff possesses extensive experience working in the fields of public history and private-sector corporate management for a variety of institutions and organizations. Implemented plans and programs are set to both meet the institutional mission to make records available to the public and to position the Archives to meet industry best practices for collections management.
The Industrial Archives & Library maintains active memberships in both the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). Staff adhere to and are guided by the Society of American Archivists’ Code of Ethics.
The Industrial Archives & Library is governed by a Board of Trustees.
President & CEO
Steve Donches is the Founder and President & CEO of the Industrial Archives & Library. His business career with Bethlehem Steel Corporation spanned almost 35 years, retiring as Vice President of Public Affairs in 2002. As an officer of the Corporation, he was responsible for government affairs, corporate communications, community affairs, news media relations, and the Bethlehem Steel Foundation. He also chaired the PR Image Committee of the International Iron & Steel Institute in Brussels, Belgium.
When the local steel plant in Bethlehem closed, Steve was assigned to lead the redevelopment of the 1,600 acres to help revitalize the City of Bethlehem. The Bethlehem Works and the Bethlehem Commerce Center were established under his watch and have contributed significantly to the City’s economic recovery. When he retired from Bethlehem Steel, he was elected President & CEO of the National Museum of Industrial History, where he worked with the Smithsonian Institution to help create Smithsonian Affiliations, now a nationwide museum program.
Steve’s extracurricular and civic activities include serving on the Boards of Moravian College, the United Way, the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Commerce, and the Boys Club of Bethlehem. He served as chairman of the Bethlehem (Water) Authority and as a member of the Bethlehem Zoning Board of Appeals.
A native of Bethlehem, he graduated from Bethlehem Catholic High School in 1963 and St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia in 1967. He later completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business.
Steve and his wife, Sally, live in the Bethlehem area and have two children, Stephen II and Cara, and three grandchildren, Taylor, Stephen III, and Darcy.
Robert “Bob” Bilheimer
Bob Bilheimer joined the staff of the Industrial Archives & Library in October 2016 after serving as one of the founding Trustees of the organization. Bob’s responsibilities include being the chief operations person for the IAL, other than the management of the archives and library. He manages the day-to-day functions including communications, human resources, facilities, records management and programs, such as, oral history, educational outreach, lectures and special events.
Bob comes to the Industrial Archives & Library with over 35 years of experience in government, public and community relations, non-profit management, development and membership sales with Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Air Products, Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
He is a 1978 graduate of Gettysburg College with a BA in business administration, magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Bob also earned an MBA from Lehigh University in 1982. Bob has three children and resides in the Bethlehem, PA area with his fiancée, Gina, where they enjoy raising Seeing Eye puppies.
Nick has worked for IAL since 2017, having worked at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in its archives since 2007. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in history from Wilkes University and is pursuing a Masters in Archives and Records Management from San Jose State University. Nick has been published in Railfan and Railroad as well as The Milepost and considers industrial history both his vocation and avocation, having spent much of his childhood with his father’s paper and photo collection, when not visiting railroad facilities and abandoned mines. He is a member of the Society of American Archivists and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) and serves on the board of governors for ArchivesSpace. Nick grew up in Cranford, NJ and now resides in Lancaster, PA with his wife, Allison, and their two children, Zoe and Logan. “I look forward to developing the collections that will make IAL a research destination for decades to come,” says Nick.
Melissa “Missy” Nerino
Missy earned her BA in history and historical communications from Lebanon Valley College in 2013 and an MS in communications from Purdue University in 2017. Prior to joining the Industrial Archives & Library, Missy worked at the Pennsylvania State Archives, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the Lebanon County Historical Society. Missy primarily works in processing, repairing, and cataloging archival materials, but has been instrumental in the application of IAL’s adoption and upkeep of WorldShare Management Systems software for library management. She actively participates in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) as a member of its communications committee and as the advertisement editor for the Mid-Atlantic Archivist, a quarterly magazine distributed to nearly 1200 archival professionals in seven states. Missy resides in Bethlehem, PA with her husband, Jonathan. She is energetically involved with the Bethlehem Food Co-op, where she chairs the MOVE Committee.