Blog Post

In the Shadow of "King Coal' blog

Hi everyone, 
Just saying hello and introduding my project in written form. Hopefully you can check it out and we can share ideas. Thanks for stopping by. 
Once the heart of the industrial revolution, the Anthracite Coal Region was shaped by the exigencies of the coal industry, its infrastructure, and the migration of laborers. The Region had child labor poverty, environmental degradation and plenty of instances of mining accidents, strike-breaking, and land subsidence.The Region is now experiencing the hardships of deindustrialization. 
I created a Facebook page with daily posts and resources that in one year has thousands followers increasing steadily, and garners often more than 25,000 daily views. Created as an online gathering place to reflect upon the history, culture, and media representations of the Greater Anthracite Region with updates from the website, the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an effort to collect, aggregate, and make publicly available cultural, historical, and media documents, along with personal memories and comments of the residents from the once heavily mined hard coal region of the northern Appalachian Mountains. It is a work in progress born out of sustained communication. I have since created a corresponding blog with longer posts. The end goal is to build a community archive using digital mapping technologies with a variety of entry points in which people can enter their narratives and/or media texts over GPS coordinates in relationship to images. 
This project is the concatenation of individual stories, texts, and memories, many of which have been buried or forgotten. The project serves the community in which I work (and where I am from--my family labored in those very mines), it adds dimension to a growing project and related projects, and it creates a digital space for the Anthracite Coal Region and beyond—a space where individuals share their own materials, stories, and comments. Moreover, many patch-towns (company towns owned and operated by coal companies) no longer exist with the phasing out of the anthracite coal industry, so it is a place for people’s places to be remembered.
Some questions I am working on to further the project that I am struggling with for the next phase: 
1. Given that there is already an established interest, I am brainstorming what my next phase should be and what my technological needs will be. Any thoughts would be helpful.
2. What are your thoughts on including a wider range of collaborators? 
3. How do you imagine that my project would have an impact and how do you think I might share it/disseminate beyond my community, as educational tool? For faculty research? For teaching? In DH?
Thanks so much!

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