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Organization name: West Virginia Mine Wars

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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BP-290766-23Public Programs: Historic Places: PlanningWest Virginia Mine Wars MuseumCourage in the Hollers: Interpreting Coal Miners’ March and Battle on Blair Mountain5/1/2023 - 7/31/2024$74,991.00Mackenzie New Walker   West Virginia Mine Wars MuseumMatewanWV25678-0764USA2023Labor HistoryHistoric Places: PlanningPublic Programs749910749910

Planning a multi-format interpretive tour of the 1921 Coal Mine Wars in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, a community-based interpretive center in southern West Virginia, will plan for the multi-format project Courage in the Hollers: Interpreting Coal Miners’ March and Battle on Blair Mountain. Consulting with humanities scholars, tourism professionals, designers, descendants, and local landowners, the museum will refine the content, format, and interpretive approach of a 50-mile trail. The Museum will plan for a complementary set of publicly available resources in four distinct formats, tailored for different audiences and levels of interest: 1) interpretive installations at key sites on the march route and battlefield; 2) a website presenting a virtual Tour and Discussion Guide; 3) printed materials that can be mailed to members of the public and distributed at events showcasing history and the humanities; and 4) a digital guide in partnership with Clio, a nationally-recognized, widely-used app for history tours, developed in WV, supported by NEH.

FZ-280223-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsCatherine Venable MooreDisunion: West Virginia Coal Miners and America's Other Civil War9/1/2021 - 8/31/2022$60,000.00CatherineVenableMoore   West Virginia Mine Wars MuseumMatewanWV25678-0764USA2021Labor HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a history of labor activism in a West Virginia coal mining region between 1902 and 1921.

"Disunion" is a work of deeply-researched narrative nonfiction exploring the West Virginia Mine Wars, a twenty-year period of violent conflict when unionizing coal miners fought wealthy industrialists for their constitutional rights and the right to join a union. Culminating in the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, this conflict was one of the most dramatic struggles for civil rights that this country has known, but it is also one of the nation’s most obscure. "Disunion" traces the events that led to the Battle of Blair Mountain and briefly discusses how that history echoes forward into the present day. Along the way, it emphasizes the experiences of men and women of color, immigrants, and non-immigrant white women, arguing that these populations frequently fought on the front lines of these struggles, though they’ve so far received scant attention from historians. "Disunion" is currently under contract with Random House.

PB-275427-20Preservation and Access: Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (P&A)West Virginia Mine Wars MuseumDigitizing the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum's Collections6/15/2020 - 3/31/2021$29,988.00Mackenzie New Walker   West Virginia Mine Wars MuseumMatewanWV25678-0764USA2020Labor HistoryCooperative Agreements and Special Projects (P&A)Preservation and Access299880291450

Three staff members and necessary supplies for the digital cataloguing of artifacts related to the 1920-21 Mine Wars and to make available online a selection of the collection in order to engage virtually with visitors and members and sustain and increase the visibility of the institution.

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum is seeking support to digitize their unique collection of Mine Wars artifacts, offer a select preview of them online, and expand the museum's education offerings. These artifacts tell the story of a great struggle that took place in the mountains of West Virginia and the civil rights that miners fought for between 1900 and 1921, when the class tension and violence of the Mine Wars period reach its height at the Battle of Blair Mountain. The museum hosts the largest single collection of publicly-accessible artifacts about the Mine Wars period, and this project will make the collection more broadly available to the general public and readily accessible to students, teachers, and scholars interested in studying the Mine Wars era. With access to the museum's archives and artifacts students can use these resources for research projects and gain access to materials unavailable in their schools or history textbooks.

ZDH-283255-22Agency-wide Projects: ARP-Organizations (Digital humanities-related)West Virginia Mine Wars MuseumIncreasing and Sustaining Digital Access to Mine Wars History10/1/2021 - 9/30/2022$49,404.00Mackenzie New Walker   West Virginia Mine Wars MuseumMatewanWV25678-0764USA2021Labor HistoryARP-Organizations (Digital humanities-related)Agency-wide Projects494040494040

Expanding digital access to the museum by curating four new online exhibits as an expansion of the museum’s 2020 digitization project and the hiring of a new social media manager to augment the museum’s online presence.

This project builds upon the Museum’s digitization project of their collections in 2020. It seeks to retain two jobs and create one new job who will develop and increase access to online humanities content. The Museum will reach new, online audiences through the publication of digital exhibits and an online interview series, “Mine Wars Forum.”

ZR-256737-18Challenge Programs: Creating Humanities Communities GrantsWest Virginia Mine Wars MuseumBattle of Blair Mountain Centennial Project2/1/2017 - 1/31/2021$30,000.00CatherineVenableMoore   West Virginia Mine Wars MuseumMatewanWV25678-0764USA2017Labor HistoryCreating Humanities Communities GrantsChallenge Programs030000030000

A series of interactive, multimedia events called the Battle of Blair Mountain Centennial Project, that educates the public about the importance of the West Virginia Mine Wars in US labor history.

The Battle of Blair Mountain Centennial Project will bring together humanities and civic institutions across southern West Virginia to plan and implement a series of events to commemorate the Centennial of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest armed insurrection in U.S. history since the Civil War. The Centennial will include five days of interactive interpretive events in five coalfields counties where the March on Blair Mountain and Battle of Blair Mountain occurred in 1921. A Blair Centennial Project Director will convene and coordinate this collaborative work and prepare the public with information about the historical background and context of the Battle of Blair Mountain, to get them interested and engaged in the run-up to the 2021 Centennial. Through these events, the public will gain a greater understanding of the national significance of the state's labor history and how the actions of unionizing coal miners in West Virginia impacted the US labor movement more broadly.