Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey Exhibit

I’m pleased to announce the recent opening of a new exhibit at the National Archives Building, Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey, which will run until July 6, 2025. The creation of the exhibit was a collaborative effort between our Museum staff and the Still Picture Branch. The exhibit features photographs from the series 245-MS, “Photographs of the Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry, 1946-1947 (National Archives Identifier 540230), which contains over 4,000 photographs, with 2,765 taken by Lee. There are currently 1,300 survey photographs in the National Archives Catalog and the Still Picture Branch is currently working to digitize the entire collection and make it accessible online. A log containing an entry for each photograph can be found at this link. To read more about the survey and Russell Lee, check out this newly posted blog by National Archives Historian Jessie Kratz.

Photo No. 245-MS-1250-L, Miners, recently discharged from armed services. Many miners in the area come from farm families and are saving money to go back to their farms but will stay in the mines as long as there is “good money”. Kingston Pocahontas Coal Company, Exeter Mine, Big Sandy Housing Camp, Welch, McDowell County, West Virginia, April 10, 1946.
Photo No. 245-MS-3074L, Local UMWA union meeting is held on Sunday morning in schoolhouse. Inland Steel Company, Wheelwright #1 & 2 Mines, Wheelwright, Floyd County, Kentucky, September 22, 1946.
Photo No. 245-MS-114L, Gonzalla Sullivan, miner, with his two children and another child who lives in the neighborhood. Koppers Coal Division, Federal #1 Mine, Grant Town, Marion County, West Virginia. June 13, 1946.
Photo No. 245-MS-405L, Children of miners. Calumet Fuel Company, Delcarbon #2 Mine, Delcarbon, Huerfano County, Colorado, June 29, 1946.


Generally, copies of photographic records held by the National Archives may be published without special permission or additional fees. The National Archives does not grant exclusive or non-exclusive publication privileges. Copies of Federal records, as part of the public domain, are equally available to all. A small percentage of photographs in our holdings are or may be subject to copyright restrictions. The National Archives does not confirm the copyright status of photographs but will provide any information known about said status. It is the user’s responsibility to obtain all necessary clearances. Any use of these items is made at the researcher’s or purchaser’s own risk.

Proper credit lines are encouraged in the interest of good documentation. They also help inform the public about government photographic resources that are available.

*Because so many of our requests for information cite credits and captions that appear in published works, the inclusion of a photo number in hard copy and electronic publications is of great assistance to both us and the public.

Examples of preferred credit lines are as follows:

National Archives photo no. 64-NA-6511

Credit National Archives (photo no. 127-N-A240011)

Courtesy National Archives, photo no. 210-CMA-B-2A

National Archives (111-SC-374790)

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