The goal of the Steelworkers' Archives is to preserve the history of our steelworkers, their rich heritage and diverse cultures, their struggles and accomplishments.
“For over 100 years, the lives of the people in the Lehigh Valley have been bound to the Bethlehem Steel industry as it flourished and as it declined. Night and day, the pulse of the life of the people in the Valley beat with the sounds of the steelmaking. Then there was silence and remembrance.”
So begins Billee Nickell Smith, Producer/Videographer, in her script that grew out of the unsettling calm that followed Bethlehem Steel's close. In the spring of 2000, Smith went to Photographer/Videographer, Bruce Ward, with her powerful vision: the lives, the rich experiences, the culture, the dangers, the glory of Bethlehem Steel must be documented.
A year later, in 2001, after videotaping the personal histories of more than a dozen Steelworkers, Smith and Ward saw that much more needed to be done and they reached out to the community. A small group of Steelworkers and community members who are interested in preserving their cultural history formed the Steelworkers' Archives.
The Steelworkers' Archives was formed in 2001 to ensure that the legacy of the Steelworkers is preserved.
The goal of the Steelworkers' Archives is to create a permanent community center in Southside Bethlehem for the preservation of the history of steelworkers, their rich heritage and diverse cultures, their struggles and accomplishments.
The Archives collect and safeguard artifacts and memorabilia, documenting the extraordinary lives of the men and women who toiled to create steel. Video and audio recordings of Steelworkers are ongoing.
In addition to viewing the collections, visitors will be able to search genealogical records and learn about family members who worked at the Steel.