Digital Projects and Exhibits

Beneath the Surface and Cast in Steel:
Forging the American Industrial Union Movement

This digital project provides researchers unprecedented access to Penn State’s extensive collection of primary sources related to the history of industrial unionism in the United States. 

Digital Projects - Cast in Steel - Father reading to children


Black Student Alumni Oral History Project

Founded and led by Maia Hill (Penn State, 2020), the oral histories document the experiences of 13 Black Alumni who attended Penn State between 1969-1971. As one of the interviewees Carol Merrill-Bright comments, "the struggle did not start nor end with us, but we were a template for what student organization and activism could look like/could be." A short film about the project entitled The Struggle Continues and produced by students from the CommAgency can be viewed on the Introduction to the Project page.

students from the Black Student Alumni Oral History Project


Celebrating the ADA: The Legacy and Evolution of Disability Rights & Lived Experience at Penn State

A digital exhibition that explores the first 100 years of national disability rights and movements and their impact on the Penn State University community, including resources to proactively learn and influence future efforts.

Digital Projects - Penn State ADA 1990s


Curating Black Visual Culture: The Making of an Exhibition

Made in collaboration with Penn State’s student-run media production company the CommAgency, this film offers a behind-the-scenes peek at how the exhibition "Where Beauty's At:  Expressions of Black Visual Culture," co-curated by Adisa Vera Beatty and Brittany Frederick, was conceived and created. The film was made possible with the generous support of the Kimlyn J. and John M. Patishnock Sr. Student Media Production Endowment in Special Collections.

Red and black facial silhoutte drawing against a blue background with text "Where Beauty's At" Expressions of Black Visual Culture February 1 - September 9, 2024


Earth Archives: Stories of Human Impact

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in April of 1970, this exhibition explores the intersection of the environment, human activity, and the documentary record.

Digital Projects - Earth Archives


International Solidarity:
Highlights from the
Ken Lawrence Collection

The exhibition explores the visual culture of political protest in the late 20th-century.

Digital Projects - "Fight Racism" button


Judy Chicago Research Portal:
Learning, Making, Culture

A collaboration between The Eberly Family Special Collections Library, the Schlesinger Library for the History of Women in America at Harvard, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, and the Center for Art + Environment Archive Collections at the Nevada Museum of Art, the Judy Chicago Portal features examples from each collection and serves as a gateway to each partner organization's full offerings of resources illuminating the work of the pioneering feminist artist and art educator.

Judy Chicago Portal


Latino/a/x Experience Oral History Project

This project, planned and developed by Heidy Canales ('22) provides a narrative of the experiences, cultures, and backgrounds of Penn State Latino/a/x students and alumni. Canales conducted oral history interviews while serving as President of the Penn State Latino Caucus. Interviews were conducted during the 2021 Fall semester and the 2022 Spring semester and featured many alumni who served as student leaders during their time at University Park.​

Group of Latino/a/x students on a Zoom screen grid with a gradient red and orange background



Inspired by HBO’s Lovecraft Country, the exhibition pairs historical, literary, and cultural events presented in the show with published and primary source materials from Penn State’s Special Collections Library. The site takes visitors through the show episode by episode and focuses on Black and LGBTQIA+ creators and experiences. 

Lovecraft Country exhibit


Olympic Lions: A History of Penn State's Participation at the Olympic and Paralympic Games

This digital exhibit documents the accomplishments of Penn Staters who have participated in the Olympic movement dating from 1904 to the present Games. The exhibition not only highlights the athletes but the many who work behind the scenes such as coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, research faculty and graduate students, and volunteers.

Chick Werner-1952, Horace Ashenfelter-1952, 1956, William Ashenfelter-1952, and Curt Stone-1948


Penn State Education Activism Archive

Using primary sources from Special Collections, students in Professor Steudeman’s Contemporary American Rhetoric: Educational Activism in the United States (CAS 478) class created The Penn State Educational Activism Archive, which aims to complicate and expand our historical knowledge of student and faculty activism at Penn State University.

Digital Projects - White observers surround black protesters on Old Main Lawn, 1968


Penn State Women's Athletics and Title IX: The Successes and Struggles for Equal Access

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, this digital exhibit showcases the accomplishments of Penn State women athletes and teams over the last fifty years. Also documented are the efforts of university faculty and administration to keep athletics part of Title IX, as institutions and organizations fought to eliminate athletics from the legislative act. Additionally, this exhibit chronicles the growth of women’s athletics from the late 19th-century to the early 1970s.

Penn State Women's Volleyball players triple blocking at the net against Ohio State's women volleyball players


United Mine Workers of America Survey Story Map (1943-1944)

Between 1943 and 1944 the United Mine Workers of America initiated an unprecedented survey to audit the housing, living, and economic conditions of miners and their families in some of the most isolated and impoverished areas of the Northeast, Midwest, and Southern US. The survey, archived within the UMWA records at the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, illustrates the enduring interdisciplinary value of labor collections in documenting broader social, economic, and cultural issues impacting working families. The story map allows users to view photos and descriptions in their geographic context.

Cooper Family, an African American family of eight, United Mine Workers of America Survey Story Map

The World According to Doyle: Editorial Cartoons from The Jerry Doyle Papers at Penn State

The Doyle Papers contain over 1,300 original ink-and-pen political cartoons, drawn by one of America’s leading editorial cartoonists of the 20th-century. Jerry Doyle (1898-1986), a native Philadelphian and self-taught graphic illustrator, penned daily cartoons for The Philadelphia Record and the Philadelphia Daily News from the mid-1930s to the early 1980s. This exhibition highlights and provides context for original cartoons and illustrations, photographs, correspondence with U.S. presidents and prominent state and national legislators, as well as the family relationships that surfaced in his work.

cartoon from John Doyle Papers