The Center for Middletown Studies has undertaken a series of oral history projects designed to explore facets of Muncie’s economic and social history during the era of deindustrialization.
The Organized Labor in Muncie Oral History project, completed during 2005-2006, included interviews with 15 key figures in the local labor movement. Representing auto workers, glass workers, meat packers, tool and dye workers and other industrial unions, the participants in the project shared their experiences as leaders of local labor groups. Oral historian C. Warren Vander Hill conducted the interviews, which provide insights into union formation, labor-capital relations, the impact of deindustrialization, and other aspects of local economic, social, and civic history.
Transcripts and audio files of the interviews are available here.
During 2007-2008, the Center completed the Economic Development in Muncie Oral History project. C. Warren Vander Hill and Paul Mitchell conducted 19 interviews with local business and civic leaders. Topics covered included the history of local economic development efforts, the role of unions and manufacturing in the area economy, relations between business and political leadership, and prospects for growth. These conversations provide valuable background for those interested in local economic development efforts or in the challenge of responding to economic change more generally.
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