Announcement: Anthracite Photographers

In the summer and fall 2018, I partnered with the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, PA, to co-curate an exhibit on mining photography.  My co-curators (AHM Director Bode Morin, and AHM Curator John Fielding) and I wanted to capture the ways in which photography has served to document, memorialize, and preserve Anthracite mining and mining culture, from the beginnings of the Anthracite industry in Northeast PA in the nineteenth century through today.

The resulting exhibit, Anthracite Photographers: Photographers of Anthracite, brought together the work of nine photographers who documented the Anthracite Region, including Lewis Hine, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Bernd and Hilla Becher, George M. Bretz, Watson Brunnell, William Herman Rau, George Harvan, John Horgan Jr., Scott Herring, local press photographs, and the photographers of the Federal Government’s HABS-HAER project.  We examined the collective contributions of these artists and practitioners, and the ways in which their work catalyzed social action, served industrial purposes, and memorialized NEPA’s post-industrial landscape.  The exhibit opened December 1, 2018, and featured a companion exhibition catalog.  The exhibit is scheduled to be on-view at the Anthracite Heritage Museum through 2024.

–Jennifer M. Black, Assistant Professor of History, Misericordia University



Misericordia University History major Sarah Sporko provided crucial support throughout the duration of the project, with funding from Misericordia’s SURF program for the summer months.  Sarah’s blog, reproduced below, chronicles the project’s completion through her internship in the fall of 2018.  For more information on Misericordia University’s public history opportunities, visit

Announcement: HIS 462: Visual Culture and the Misericordia Archives

The collections of the Misericordia Archives are a microcosm of women’s lives in the twentieth century United States.  This service-learning project in the fall of 2017 enabled students to situate the rich history of campus life within broader events taking place in the United States. The entries below comprise students’ reflections on this experience.

Announcement: Interns’ Corner Blog

his341 2015 (1)

Students in Dr. Black’s HIS 341 course (fall 2015) processing archival material in the MU archives

Misericordia regularly sends our students out into the community to build their professional experience and serve others.  Since 2016, MU has sent several students to internships in Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Scranton, PA; and Eckley, PA.  Read more about our students’ work in area historic sites, museums, and other related public history endeavors below.

SURF project summary- AHM exhibit

In the summer of 2018, Sarah Sporko received a fellowship through Misericordia’s SURF program to assist Dr. Black with a photography exhibit she was preparing for the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, PA, a PHMC-sponsored institution.  Below are some excerpts from Sarah’s final presentation to the Misericordia community in August, 2018.

Photographers of the Anthracite Coal Region
By: Sarah Sporko

I worked in collaboration with Dr. Black and a team at Anthracite Heritage Museum to produce an exhibit on labor photography, currently titled “Anthracite Photographers and Photographers of Anthracite.” This will be replacing an exhibit that was installed in 2002.  The exhibit will feature photographers from the Anthracite Coal Regions as well as several photographers that were not from the Region. It will also feature personal photographs.  The work is still continuing and will be completed towards the end of November / early December when the exhibit opens.

Here are some of the responsibilities I had during the project:

  • Research information on Lewis Hine and Labor Photography
  • Research Rights and Reproduction permissions from Library of Congress and other organizations
  • Research and compose biographies for photographers
  • Take Down existing exhibit and prepare area for new exhibit
  • Create layouts for photographs along with labels according to PHMC guidelines

Throughout the project, I learned many things, including:

  • More historical information about the Anthracite Coal Region
  • Research Skills
  • How to collaborate with other people on projects
  • How to work with a government-run nonprofit
  • Curatorial Work
  • How to produce an exhibit (i.e. what is involved)
  • More about myself (How this affects my future)

Semester in DC: Wyatt Scott

Scott with foreign policy class

Wyatt Scott with foreign policy class, American University (Washington, DC), fall 2017. Scott is fourth from left.

During my time in Washington I studied at American University’s School of Professional and Extended Studies, focusing on International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy. This was an interesting time to be in D.C., as the Obama administration left office and a more controversial one took the reins. My colleagues and I attended various briefings at embassies and think tanks. We would go to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), The Korean Economics Institute, the Brookings Institute, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and many others. These briefings were mostly televised and gave students an opportunity to network with the D.C. wonks in our field of study. These briefings also presented opportunities for students to pose challenging questions to panelists. The International Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy students and I were from Colombia, Germany, Japan, Norway, Rwanda, Egypt, Tunisia and many other countries. The program truly widened the scope of my understanding of the international system, while allowing me to engage in a cultural exchange with students from all over the globe. I took two (4) credit seminars, one (4) credit internship class and internship itself, and one (4) credit research thesis project that involved conducting interviews with professionals and culminated in a 35-50 page paper. I interned all day Monday and Tuesday, and half a day Wednesday. The other half of Wednesday was classes and Thursday and Friday were classes and/or briefings. I interned at the Truman Center for National Policy. In the little spare time I had, I made some great friends and explored the historic parts of D.C. If students wish to get a real taste of the professional world, D.C. is the place to do it. This semester undoubtedly added variables into my geostrategic calculus and the way that I view events and trends that are affecting the international world order.

–Wyatt Scott, April 2017

Alex Lester published by NFB

Recently, Alex Lester published an essay in the online journal, The Braille Monitor, an organ published by the National Federation of the Blind.  Alex served as the inaugural intern in a collaborative partnership between MU and the NFB.  He is a philosophy major and will graduate from MU in 2017.

Congratulations, Alex!

Read Alex’s Article in the Jan ’17 Braille Monitor Here

Semester Away in DC, John Eisenhauer


MU student John Eisenhauer with Congressman David Jolly (FL), during an MU-sponsored internship in Washington, DC, spring 2016.

“My experience in our nation’s capital was the best experience of my life. When arriving in Washington DC I didn’t realize it yet, but this semester would change my life forever. Suddenly, I was right in the heart of our country. From interning on Capitol Hill, to watching Bono testify in front of Congress, to doing the Waltz at a Viennese Ball, the opportunities were endless. I have made friends from all over the world, visited five different embassies- including the Embassy of Austria- and met a number of foreign diplomats; at times it felt like I was actually studying abroad.

“My education, both formally and informally, was enhanced in ways you cannot find anywhere else. As a student in Washington DC, I was learning from prominent scholars and practitioners that jumped at the opportunity to teach me something new. This semester was truly unique and diverse. Even though it is now time to say goodbye to the amazing friends I have made and the city itself, I know that this is just a temporary goodbye.”

–John Eisenhauer, GLNS major, MU class of 2017
John spent the spring 2016 semester studying at American University and interning in DC as part of a special partnership between MU and AU.  Learn more about the Semester in DC program here.