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Historic Mines & Mining Companies

Research Librarian; Special Collections Manager

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Lisa Dunn

Now available!

Golden Rocks, by Donna S. Anderson and Paul B. Haseman, 2021: An Open Access publication in the Mines Repository

What You Can Expect

Of the thousands of mines, mining companies and processing operations in the US, most are abandoned and left few records. It can take a bit of detective work to find the Information that's still out there.

Relatively easy finds:  Information about "famous" mines; property and claim records; regional production data and geology; mining districts; existence of a company and stock values

Difficult to find:  Production figures, assay records for a specific mine; lists of employees; information about the equipment and surface operations; maps of underground workings.

Top Picks

Research Tips

1.  Identify the location of the mine or the company's operations -- the more specific, the better.

2.  Search using the mine/company's name. Look in:

  • Historic state mining and business directories
  • State Bureau of Mines publications
  • Mining industry-related journals
  • Web search
  • County records; property records

3.  Broaden your search. Use:

  • Mining district
  • Geography -- Nearby towns or the county to discover publications about your mine.
  • Commodities -- Search for publications on gold, silver, coal, etc. for geographical summaries or mention of your company.
  • Look at a wider range of publications:
    • Local histories
    • Newspapers