In 2017, MDIA Graduate Student Burr Beard had the pleasure of working with the late Helen Horn on her transcripts and materials from a valiant effort of her work in the 1980’s to collect oral histories of woman of the Southeast Ohio coal towns, entitled The Other Half Speaks: Reminiscences of the Coal Town Women, 1900-1950 Athens County, Ohio.
He produced a film documentary, The Millfield Mine Disaster 1930, during his master studies last year in the Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies, under the tutelage of Dr. Arthur Cromwell. Burr was able to use two of these transcripts of women who where in Millfield the day of the Millfield Mine disaster, on November 5, 1930. He also used a clip from the 1990 WOUB-TV documentary produced by Helen and Roger Good, which she stated had come from 40 hours of oral histories told by 21 local women.
Helen Horn entrusted him to organize the typewritten files of these oral histories and granted permission for Beard to have the files archived in both the Southeast Ohio History Center and the Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections at Ohio University. She signed the Deed of Gift for both archival units in Athens, and he is proud to say that the transcripts of the coal town women are now archived at both spaces.
As Athens remembered Helen Horn at a memorial service on Saturday, June 23, 2018, Burr is tremendously thankful for the chance to work with Helen for a short time of her incredibly inspiring life.
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