Geneva Steel Photographs and Negatives
September 21, 2009
The L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce that all Geneva Steel photographs and negatives in the Geneva Steel Holdings Corporation records (MSS 3122) will soon be available for public use and access. The collection includes over 16,000 gelatin silver, black-and-white, and color photographs, as well as 33,000 negatives, slides, and transparencies. These photographs and negatives, found in Series I of the collection, span a sixty year period, from approximately 1940 – 2002.
The Geneva Steel photographs are organized into eight archival sub-series, and document all aspects of the development and history of the plant, as well as several Utah mines that produced coal for Geneva. All photographs and negatives have been housed in acid free sleeves and folders, and have been described in the archival finding aid which will be available online.
Built in 1942, Geneva Steel was one of the largest World War II construction projects. During the Second World War, steel from the Geneva plant was used in the production of more than 2,000 Liberty Ships. Geneva’s steel was also used in the production of armaments, bombs, and tanks.
The Geneva Steel plant transformed the culture, environment, and society of Utah County as well as our state and region. What was once a regional society and economy rooted in the daily rhythms of the small town and farm was forever changed by the construction of one of the largest steel plants in the United States.
By the time Geneva Steel closed its gates for the last time in 2002, the plant had generated millions of dollars in income, had employed over 70,000 individuals, and had radically altered and changed the environment and landscape of Utah County.
The historical value of these materials is great. These photographs constitute a literal treasure trove of unique primary source materials that will, for years and decades to come, further inform our understanding of our state and region.
John Murphy, Curator
L. Tom Perry Special Collections
Harold B. Lee Library