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Archives and Special Collections

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US Steel Gary Works Photograph Collection, 1906-1971
Photograph of people working in the mill at US Gary Works. The collection includes a wealth of photographic documentation reflecting the steel plant's rich history and a host of other resources, including bibliographies, suggested readings, and hypertext links to a wide range of research and educational materials.

The U.S. Steel Gary Works Photograph Collection provides access to more than 2,200 digital images documenting the creation of the world's largest steel mill during the height of America's industrial revolution. The collection depicts the life and times of one of the nation's largest corporate towns, documented by U.S. Steel photographers. And while the gaze of the camera's eye often focuses on the massive and varied industrial machinery of the steelworks, it also captures the lives of the men and women who worked in and around it as well. The experience as a whole provides a startling portal into the past of one of the most tumultuous periods of our nation's history.

Although the site will undoubtedly prove a valuable resource for scholars and historians of American history and the Industrial Revolution alike, the U.S. Steel Gary Works Photograph Collection was also carefully designed to meet the unique needs of another target audience: school teachers and students. As such, in addition to its core of documentary photography, the site also includes guides for fourth-grade, middle, and high school teachers, as well as question sets for classroom discussion.

This digitization project was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

Aside from the digital collection available online, researchers may be interested in the US Steel Corporate Records Collection listed below. 

Inland Steel Company Image Collection

Inland Steel Company, founded in 1893 in Chicago, arrived first in northwest Indiana, establishing its Indiana Harbor Works in 1901 in East Chicago, Indiana. A very large and important source of historical information about the local steel industry is the Inland Steel Company Photograph Collection housed in the Calumet Regional Archives at Indiana University Northwest.

Inland Steel created a visual materials collection comprising over one million images, including prints, negatives, slides, and transparencies. Select images from this huge collection are presented here for use by students, scholars, and the general public.

The Inland Steel Records (CRA 012) are preserved within the archives and span over 50 linear feet.

Getting There: Oral Histories about Transportation in Michigan City

graphic titled "Getting There."Getting There is a series of oral history interviews focusing on the railroads and aviation in Michigan City. This project was initiated and administered by the Michigan City Public Library, co-sponsored by the LaPorte County Historical Society, and funded through an Indiana Heritage Research Grant from 1993-1994. 

The oral histories are preserved within the Michigan City Collection at the Calumet Regional Archives. 


About Stephanie Smith and Steve Mark Collection

Photograph of Stephanie Smith and Steve Mark near a mountain.

The Stephanie Smith and Steve Mark Collection primarily contains photographs taken by Stephen Mark, grandson of industrial magnate Clayton  Mark, held by the Calumet Regional Archives at Indiana University Northwest. The photographs were taken in the late 1950s and early 1960s in the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland region and include those of residents instrumental in preserving tracts of land that received national park status in 2019 (Indiana Dunes National Park). They also include photographs of President Harry S. Truman, Indiana Representative Charles Halleck, and Naomi Svihla, as well as images of the daily life and social gatherings of the communities (Ogden Dunes, Portage, Gary, Chicago, Chesterton, Valparaiso, East Chicago, and Marktown).