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Archives & Special Collections Exhibits

Guide on Past and Current Archives & Special Collections Exhibits @ the University of Pittsburgh Library System - Oakland (2020-present)

Pittsburgh Energies, Global Impacts

Date of Exhibition: Summer 2023-Spring 2024

Curators: Nicholas Demjan (University of Pittsburgh Alum, WHA Conference Associate), Zachary Brodt (University Archivist for Archives & Special Collections), Megan Massanelli (Archives & Special Collections Engagement and Outreach Librarian) 

Location: Archives & Special Collections exhibit gallery, 3rd floor Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh 3960 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260 

Description: Pittsburgh is a small city with a rich local, regional, and global history. Access to rivers, coal deposits, and other natural resources long drew indigenous groups such as the Adena, Hopewell, and Monongahela peoples to the area and later facilitated the growth of heavy industries like glass and steel. Pittsburgh played a central role in the global conflicts of the mid-eighteenth century as competing European and Native allies fought for control of North American territory in the Seven Year’s War. Pittsburgh has also been a destination for migrants of many backgrounds for centuries.  Labor struggles and racialized violence and exploitation have also placed the city at the forefront of social justice movements, including the 1892 Homestead Strike, the 1969 Black Student sit-in at Pitt, and the more recent protests around Pittsburgh’s history of racial discrimination and gentrification.  The city also has a rich history of artistic energy and cultural production—from August Wilson and Andy Warhol to Erroll Garner and so much more.

This exhibit was created for the 32nd Annual Meeting of the World History Association (WHA), held at the University of Pittsburgh in June 2023. The theme of this year's conference is: Energies. The production and expenditure of energy is at the heart of world history. This theme of energy - found in Pittsburgh and its impact on the world - is captured in the items from the University of Pittsburgh Library System’s Archives & Special Collections on display in this exhibit.

For more information about the World History Associations’ Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, visit 


  • “The Homestead Riot,” July 16, 1892, Harper’s Weekly, Henry Clay Frick Business Records, 1862-1987, AIS.2002.06, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

  • Pouring at Open Hearth #3 of the Homestead Steel Works, 1915, William J. Gaughan, William J. Gaughan Collection, AIS.1994.03, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

  • Coal Miners and Mules, ca.1940-1949, J&L Steel Corporation. Vesta Division, CONSOL Energy, Inc. Mine Maps and Records, AIS.1991.16, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

  • Pioneering Medical Research, ca.1954-1955, University of Pittsburgh, Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine Collection, UA.90.F89, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

  • Hardhat and Ear Protection, 2013, U.S. Steel, Zachary and Lauren Brodt, Personal Collection

  • “Lolly Pop” Steel Sample, 1985, J&L Steel Corporation. Aliquippa Works, Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, Aliquippa Works Records, 1943-1976, AIS.2010.06, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System


  • “The Roots Of Us” (left) and Introduction (right) in As-Salaam-Alaikum; 1969  

  • Black Paper for Black Studies ; June 1, 1969 ; Curtiss E. Porter and Jack L. Daniel, Prepared by Black Action Society

  • Erroll Garner London House Performance Advertisement ;1960 

  • Artistic Reproduction of Andy Warhol, the Andy Warhol Museum, and Gay Identity; June 1994 ; Planet Queer

Social Movements 

  • Pittsburgh’s Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Pride Parades 1973-1993 ; August 1994 (Publication misprint July 1994) Matthew Isaac in Planet Queer

  • Erroll Garner’s Contract Rider; 1959 

  • “Pressured Chancellor Complies ‘Positively’ With Black Demands” ; January 16, 1969 ; George Lies, Associate Editor, The Pitt News

  • “Drag Queens Rock The Union,” Pitt News Article Clippings ; April 3, 2009 ; Becky Reiser  

  • International Sexual Minorities Events Calendar; March/April 1997; International Sexual Minorities Information Center (ISMIR), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 


Exhibit Photographs