Who We Are


The Mining History Association (MHA) is an organization of individuals interested in the history of mining and metallurgy. Members include independent scholars, laypersons, college and university professors, historians, miners, geologists, retired mining industry personnel, and many others.



What We Do


The MHA holds an annual meeting, publishes a scholarly journal and a quarterly newsletter, and provides a forum for discussion of the history of mining. 


Why is Mining History Important?

History buffs from academics to amateurs are frequently asked what they like about mining history. CLICK HERE to see how MHA members are answering these questions.

We invite you to join us today in the

discovery of our mining past!

Save the Dates
Mining History Association
2016 Annual Conference
Telluride, Colorado
June 9-12, 2016

Call for Papers
2016 Mining History Association
Annual Conference

June 9-12, 2016
Telluride, Colorado

In 2016 the Mining History Association will meet at the Peaks Resort and Spa in Telluride, Colorado, in the historic San Juan Mountains. The Program Committee invites proposals for papers, presentations, and panels on any aspect of mining history in any era or location around the world. Related fields may include science and technology, law and governance, labor and social history, industrial archaeology, business history, preservation, reclamation, and environmental history. Given Telluride’s past mine production, proposals on precious and base metal mining in the San Juans are especially encouraged.

Each proposal should be submitted by e-mail, and contain an abstract of no more than 500 words, along with a brief c.v. that includes the address, phone number, and e-mail address for each participant. If submitting an entire session, include an abstract that outlines the purpose of the session and lists names, addresses, phone numbers and emails of all participants. The Program Committee assumes all listed individuals in a session proposal agree to participate. Deadline for submissions is January 15, 2016.

Send proposals to Duane Smith (smith_d@fortlewis.edu) with a copy (cc) to Bill Culver (culverww@plattsburgh.edu).

Mining History Association
2017 Annual Conference
Fairbanks, Alaska
June 15-19, 2017

Stay Tuned for More Details
Celebrate our 25th Anniversary by learning how your Association got started. Read all about it in Duane Smith’s 2001Mining History Journal article “A Leap of Faith: The Early Years of the Mining History Association.” This paper and all of the papers published in the Mining History Journal from 1994 to 2013 are now available on-line. In each of the years ahead, we will be adding a new volume to the on-line collection. CLICK HERE for Duane’s paper.

The first annual MHA Conference was held in conjunction with the Western History Association Conference in Reno, Nevada, October 17-20, 1990.The two mining history program sessions had the themes “The Big Bonanza: Mining Historians Look at their Profession” and “The ‘Other’ Mining History: Coal Mining in the West.” The first session was held in the historic 4th Ward School in Virginia City.A bus tour of the Comstock included sites in Virginia City and Gold Hill, plus the Sutro Tunnel. CLICK HERE for the full program in the Mining History Association News, Vol. 1, No. 2, September 1990.

Mining History Search


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New on the Web


Photographs of Historic Idaho Mining Towns

Several new photo galleries of historic Idaho mining towns and camps are now on-line.  Patty Pickett has shared some of the collection of photos she has taken of many of Idaho’s old mining towns, including Idaho City and Silver City which were visited on the MHA field trips.  CLICK HERE to enjoy her evocative pictures of Idaho’s mining heritage.

Crowd Funding to Document the Hanging Flume, Uravan, Colorado
The Interpretive Association of Western Colorado (IAWC) is conducting a 45 day crowd funding campaign to send a team of experts to document the Hanging Flume in southwest Colorado. The approximately six mile long flume is a three-sided wooden structure attached to the walls of the Dolores and San Miguel Canyons, at a level of 150 to 400 feet above the Dolores and San Miguel Rivers. It was constructed in 1889-1890 to bring water to the Lone Tree Placer mine. Subsequent poor economic conditions resulted in its circa 1900 abandonment. CLICK HERE to help.

2015 Virginia City Conference Photos On-Line.
Photo Galleries are now on-line for the 2015 MHA Conference in Virginia City and Gold Hill, Nevada. Included are photos from all of the tours and field trips and the social events.

MHA President, Bill Culver’s Presidential Address is On-Line
POWER RESTORED! A power outage in Gold Hill foiled Bill Culver’s Powerpoint presentation. Bill did a great job describing what we were supposed to see on the dark screen. Now we can fully enjoy this fascinating presentation, “How a Political Scientist Had His Head Turned by Mining History.” CLICK HERE for the Powerpoint Slides and here for the Presentation Text.

The Mining History Journal Papers Now On-Line
2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Mining History Association.  To help celebrate this milestone, the papers and book reviews published in the Journal from 1994 through 2012 have been added to the Mining History Association website in portable document format (pdf). This will greatly simplify public access to these important contributions to the literature of mining history.
(CLICK HERE) The Journal will continue to be published in hard copy and distributed to MHA members as a benefit of membership.  A limited number of some of the hard copy volumes are still available for purchase. (Contact the Editor).

1996 Rossland, BC Conference Now On-Line
The 1996 Mining History Association conference was held in Rossland, British Columbia, Canada.  It is the only MHA conference to be held outside the US.  Attendees learned about the history of the development of the mining and smelting industry in BC and associated developments across the border in Washington State.  Field trips included the Cominco (now Teck Resources) Trail, BC smelting complex and the “Silver Slocan” mining district.  CLICK HERE to view the new web page from this meeting.

Emil Fischer Maps (1883-1898) On-Line
Historic maps of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains were described in the 2014 Mining History Journal paper, “Emil Fischer, Guide to the San Juan Mines,” by Larry Godwin.  Their large size made them difficult to display in the Journal.  CLICK HERE to view several of Fischer’s maps in a larger format.

1994 Golden, Colorado Conference Now On-Line
Did you miss the 1994 Mining History Association conference in Golden, Colorado? It was held in conjunction with the Third International Mining History Conference and Symposium on Preservation of Mining Sites. CLICK HERE to view the new web page from this meeting. Although no photographs have been found from the conference, the field trips to Central City, Black Hawk, Idaho Springs,  Georgetown, Silver Plume, Leadville, and Cripple Creek have been “reconstructed” with photo galleries using more recent images.

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