Skip to main content

Changing Gears: End of an Era documentary film records

Identifier: MSS-332

Scope and Contents

This collection includes project documentation and digital files from the Changing Gears: End of an Era documentary film regarding the closing of the Warner Gear plant in 2009.


  • Creation: circa 2008-2014

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Historical Note

The Ball State University Center for Middletown Studies in conjunction with the university’s Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education produced a feature documentary film about the changes in the manufacturing industry and its effects throughout the Midwest.

With the historical and sociological context of the Middletown studies, the film examines the continuing decline of industry in and around Muncie, Indiana, which experienced a boom of industrial growth in the 1890s that thrived into the 1980s. The end of Muncie’s manufacturing era is illustrated with the 2009 closing of Borg Warner (formerly Warner Gear). Borg Warner’s legacy—the creation of the differential gear and automatic transmission—is forever tied to the U.S. auto industry and lives on each year when the winner of the Indianapolis 500 is presented with the Borg Warner trophy.

The film contains interviews with workers who took great pride in being multi-generational factory workers as well as in building the world’s best gear and transfer cases for more than 100 years. These union workers in Muncie and throughout the Midwest played a significant role in shaping manufacturing and influencing the communities in which they lived. With the closing of Borg Warner in Muncie, like many other manufacturers in the Midwest and across the nation, a once steady way of life has ended, and they find themselves in unknown, uncertain territory.

Source: Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education, Ball State University, "Changing Gears," (accessed October 21, 2015)


0.8 Cubic Feet (3 boxes; 7.57 TB of digital files)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Changing Gears: End of an Era project documentation

Series 2: Changing Gears: End of an Era digital files

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a records transfer from the Center for Middletown Studies.


No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Select materials from this collection are available online in the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository:

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2013/11/26 by Leslie Nellis. EAD finding aid created 2013/03/06 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid revised 2013/11/26 by Leslie Nellis.

Changing Gears: End of an Era documentary film records
In Process
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA