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Study books, journals, and more

A Door to our Nation’s Industrial Past

The library is the home for published materials. Our growing library currently contains over 10,000 volumes relating to transportation, cement, chemicals, aviation, automotive, steel, mining, munitions, ships and shipbuilding, the development of technology, labor, electronics, and regional history. The library does not circulate and must be viewed onsite. There is a fine line with things like catalogs, manuals, and privately published materials as to whether something can be found in the library or archives so it may be wise to search in both places for those types of materials.

Since some library material is stored offsite all requests should be made in advance to ensure that items are available. Photocopies are available of material in good condition that will not be damaged by such a process.

Did You Know?

IAL has over 3000 titles in its library

What’s in the library?

The library isn’t just for books. IAL’s library includes:

  • Monographs
  • Periodicals
  • Trade catalogs
  • Brochures
  • And more

Plus, search for materials in libraries across the globe—straight from our library’s search.

Ready to dive in?

Search our library for a full listing of all the books, periodicals, and catalogs that IAL has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the library and archives?

The library contains materials which were massively published, which includes books, periodicals, or even trade catalogs and manuals. Archives are unique records from people, businesses, or government, which have been preserved due to their continuing value.

What’s a periodical?

Periodicals are things like magazines or journals which are published periodically. IAL’s periodicals include major industrial titles like Engineering News-Record, Iron Age, Coal Age, and Bethlehem Review.

What’s a monograph?

Monographs are works which are written in a definite number of volumes, rather than a continuing publication like a periodical. In brief, a monograph is a book (or finite series of books) instead of a regularly published magazine.

How do I narrow down my results?

IAL uses a connected library software which allows you to search for books at thousands of libraries. If you only want to see resources from IAL, please ensure that you check the box “Industrial Archives & Library” under Held by Library. You can narrow down through the use of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), add in specific ranges of years, or narrow down by format. For instance, if you only want periodicals, you can check the option Journal/Magazine.

How do I request a book?

If you would like to visit in person to look at a book or periodical, you can schedule an appointment by sending an email to or calling 610-868-1115. IAL is not a lending library and books may not be taken off site. If you cannot visit in person, contact us through the means above to make alternative accommodations.