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"Mill Stories" at the Library of Congress


Off Campus

Date & Time

May 11, 2017, 12:00 pm2:00 pm


Industrial Boom and Bust:

Remembering Sparrows Point Steel Mill (Baltimore, Maryland)

Film Screening and Discussion

Thursday, May 11, 2017 @ 12 – 2pm 

Pickford Theater (3rd Fl., Madison Building)

Library of Congress

Join us for a screening and discussion of the documentary "Mill Stories: Remembering the Sparrows Point Steel Mill." 


Industrial decline is an increasingly common force across the world. The countless closures of manufacturing plants, mills, and factories form a pattern that affects millions. Industry not only provided jobs, but also shaped the lives of its workers through the development of housing, neighborhoods, and community life.


Join us at noon in the Pickford Theater of the Library of Congress (3rd fl., Madison Building) on May 11, 2017 for a film screening and discussion focused on the impacts and experiences of industrial boom and bust.


Co-directed by William Shewbridge (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Michelle Stefano (American Folklife Center), the film, Mill Stories: Remembering Sparrows Point Steel Mill (35 mins) spotlights the memories and stories of former workers of the Sparrows Point Steel Mill that was, until recently, located on the water outside Baltimore, Maryland. Created by the Pennsylvania Steel Company in 1887, and taken over by Bethlehem Steel in 1916, the mill became the world’s largest center for producing steel – evident in the girders of the Golden Gate, George Washington, and Bay Bridges – and for shipbuilding. As a key production site during both World Wars, Sparrows Point peaked during the 1960s and saw a gradual decline in the decades that followed. For 125 years, tens of thousands of steel workers and associated personnel have known the mill not only as a place of employment, but as the center of community life.


In 2012, the mill was shuttered forever, devastating its workers – both active and retired – their families, and surrounding communities. Nonetheless, this is a story that lives on in their hearts and minds. As part of the larger Mill Stories project (millstories.org), the film aims to safeguard and promote the living cultural heritage of the recently closed mill, and to help amplify the voices of those who knew it best.


This event is co-sponsored by the Library of Congress Professional Guild AFSCME Local 2910 and the American Folklife Center.Details of the program to come.