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Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Sparrows Point Plant records

Identifier: IAL-2022-001-001

Scope and Contents

This collection includes records from Bethlehem Steel Company’s Sparrows Point plant and shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland, with materials created approximately 1960-1995. The majority of materials are from the Public Relations department and include press packets for notable projects Bethlehem Steel contributed steel towards. Each packet contains information such as contracts, press releases, correspondence, and photographs of projects during construction and upon completion. Notable files include Greater Baltimore Medical Center construction press packet, the John F. Kennedy Center press packet, and the restoration of the Ford’s Theatre. Other materials are related to plant safety, including VHS tapes on maintenance, operations, and general safety. Finally, the collection includes artifactual materials, including safety signs and identification stickers for plant vehicles.


  • 1960 - 1995


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in the collection may be in copyright. Please contact the Industrial Archives & Library for more information.

Biographical / Historical

Bethlehem Steel was once the second largest steelmaker in America and the largest shipbuilder. Sparrows Point Plant and Sparrows Point Shipyard were Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s sprawling former industrial complex on the Chesapeake Bay just outside Baltimore, Md. Steel was first made at Sparrows Point in 1889 by the Maryland Steel Company, a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Steel Company. Bethlehem Steel Corporation acquired the Sparrow's Point complex in 1917. The Sparrows Point Shipyard was a major center for shipbuilding and ship repair through World War II and into the late 20th century. The Sparrows Point plant was owned by Mittal Steel following its acquisition of Bethlehem Steel's successor company International Steel Group (ISG) in 2005, after Bethlehem's bankruptcy and sale to ISG in 2003. In March 2008, Mittal Steel sold the plant to the Russian company, Severstal. In 2012, the Sparrows Point steel mill was purchased along with other mills in Ohio and West Virginia by Renco Group. RG Steel, LLC, a unit of Renco, ran the facility until it filed for bankruptcy on May 31, 2012. Once the largest tidewater steel plant in the world and America’s largest steel plant, Sparrows Point is now silent and in the process of being redeveloped.


2 Linear Feet (1 records carton, 3 archives boxes)

Language of Materials



The records are arranged in three series, according to how the collection was received. The first series was kept in original order. The second series had multiple copies of the same VHS tapes. At the time of processing, copies were placed together, although otherwise original order was respected. Series III is composed of several items. The smaller identification stickers were placed in a folder together. The larger safety posters were separated and placed in rolled storage. Series I: Press Packets, 1960-1974 Series II: Safety VHS tapes, approximately 1985-1995 Series III: Artifactual materials, undated

Related Materials

Related materials from Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Public Relations department may be found in IAL2018.002, the Donches Collection of Bethlehem Steel Records. Donches worked as the Vice President of Public Affairs at Bethlehem Steel, and his records include public relations records.

Related materials to Sparrows Point may be found in IAL2017.008, the Klinges Collections of Shipbuilding Records. Klinges was heavily involved in Bethlehem Steel's shipbuilding efforts, including at Sparrows Point. At retirement, he was the Vice President of Maritime Affairs for Bethlehem Steel. IAL2019.015 includes a video about continuous casting at the Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant.

Processing Information

Processing was completed in February and March 2022.

When multiple copies existed, materials were kept in duplicate. Additional copies of items, such as photographs and press releases, were destroyed.

Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Sparrows Point Plant records
Missy Nerino
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Industrial Archives & Library Repository

18 West 4th Street
Bethlehem Pennsylvania 18015 USA