Documenting Deindustrialization: the Middletown Digital Oral Histories  

The Center for Middletown Studies has working to create a historical record of economic and social changes in “Middletown”—Muncie, Indiana—and their impact on the life of the community.  A key facet of this effort has been a series of oral history projects examining different aspects of the transition from a manufacturing-based community to a city dominated by a large state university and a regional hospital.  These projects include examinations of the history of organized labor, the evolution of local economic development efforts, the changing civic role of churches, and the evolution of social services.  There also collections of interviews documenting Black experiences and demographic change. Many of these projects can be found in the Middletown Digital Oral History Collections held by Ball State University Libraries.  Other related collections include the Changing Gears Oral Histories, Muncie High School Consolidation project, the Faith Communities and Civic Engagement project, Muslims in Muncieand the Muncie Social Services project. 


The creation of a documentary record of Muncie’s multifacted experienceof economic change is ongoing.