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Regions like the Lehigh Valley have been reinventing themselves since the extended period of deindustrialization began many decades ago. This rather fascinating online exhibit and archive from the Lehigh University Digital Library initiative is designed to aid "researchers in understanding not only the lives of railroad barons and steel titans, but also the experiences of the regular folks who work and live in the community." The digitized items within the collection include industry documents, books, photographs, and oral histories. On the homepage, visitors will find the materials divided into four primary sections: "Business & Technology", "Society & Culture", "Community Services", and "GIS". Several of these sections start out with a thematic essay, and visitors can click on a number of topical areas, like "Coal & Canals" and "Neighborhoods". Visitors with a love of urban geography won't want to miss the "GIS" area. Here they can take a look at the integration of early twentieth-century fire insurance maps of Bethlehem, PA, Bethlehem Steel employee lists, and selected information from the 1900 Census report.
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