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Old Main and South Hall are displayed in this picture.Old Main and South Hall are displayed in this picture.

The Donora Digital Collection

The month of October, 2008 marks the 60th Anniversary of a 1948 Donora smog incident that claimed the lives of at least 21 people and sickened thousands. All signs pointed towards the emissions from the world's largest zinc mill and a weather inversion that encompassed the geographical horseshoe of the Mon Valley. Sixty years later a museum opened on McKean Avenue to preserve and share the unique history of Donora, PA and to celebrate the clean air movement that followed. This Digital Collection is the site of a special exhibit devoted to the arduous process of digitally preserving and cataloging hundreds of the primary source materials that have survived the test of time. These materials provide special insight into industrial and social aspects of American life in southwestern Pennsylvania and date from the beginning of Donora at the turn of the 20th century up to the current period.

Donora, PA: From its Origins to the Nationwide Case for Clean Air

Galleries available for your viewing:

Other Resources:

Content created and featured in partnership with the Teaching with Primary Sources program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.

-W. Michael McCabe (1998)

"Before there was an Environmental Protection Agency, before there was an Earth Day, before Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, there was Donora."

August Chambon

Listen to August Chambon, the mayor of Donora in 1948, welcome you to the town.

Related Links

A brief history of Donora, written in 2916 by Earle R. Forrest

Bruce Dreisbach American Steel & Wire Company Photograph Collection

Donora Smog

Six stories related to the Donora Smog incident, Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection

Travel with a Beveridge