The Coal Talk Oral History Project includes stories and memories from Western Maryland coal communities. In Maryland’s two westernmost counties - Garrett and Allegany - coal mining families evolved into a culture linking life above and below ground in towns that stretched from Maryland into West Virginia. The collection gives insight into the perspectives of the women and men in the coal mining families, whose stresses and strengths have seldom been disclosed, as well as the insights, experiences, and contributions of those who went into the mines.
The oral history project was directed by Dr. Gail N. Herman and assisted by Reverend John Grant, a Garrett County historian and former mine surveyor. The project was sponsored in 1989-1993 by Garrett Recreation, Parks, and Tourism with partial funding from Garrett County Development Corporation. The Maryland Humanities Council assisted with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Garrett College Library houses the physical transcripts, audio, images, books, and artifacts that represent coal mining in Western Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania mines. All artifacts, images, and interviews were provided by participants in The Coal Talk History Project.