Tazewell County Research

Dec. 18, 2015

Laura Engel, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, has donated nearly a dozen oral history interviews to the John Cooke Wyllie Library's Special Collections.  This collection contains digital audio files and typed transcriptions of eleven interviews conducted with former residents of various coal mining communities of Tazewell County, Virginia. Participants lived within or in close proximity to the coal camps of Bishop, Amonate, Jewell Ridge, Jewell Valley, and Raven – Red Ash from World War II through the transition and eventual decline of company ownership. Oral history interviews with individuals whose daily lives were impacted by the coal industry in southwestern Virginia provide unique access to information about material culture, social patterns, cultural networking, and labor relations during declining corporate paternalism. Some photographs and additional materials donated by participants, as well as a copy of the undergraduate thesis written by the interviewer, are included in the collection.  For more information about her ongoing work, contact Laura at lengel@unca.edu.