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 with presentations on mining history
topics, amazing field trips to historical mining sites, and an array of social
functions; publishes a scholarly journal and a quarterly newsletter; and
provides a forum for networking and discussion of the history of mining both
on-line and off-line.


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 Date...
Mining History Association Annual Conference
CLICK HERE for Preliminary Information

Socorro, New Mexico

June 8-11, 2023

Help Wanted!

As with all MHA conferences, volunteers will be essential to the success of our 2024 event in Park City, Utah.  We’ll need good hands for all shifts, but now seek early commitments for help with the following:

Registration:  Monitoring both on-line and mail conference registrations; stuffing conference packets; registration table shifts (June 5 – 7, 2024). 

Vendors:  Promotion and management of vendor tables – typically book sellers and mining artifact dealers. (The Park City conference may also generate increased interest in tables/displays by our industry partners.)

Please consider joining the 2024 team, and contact the conference committee at MHA2024Utah@gmail.com



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New on the Web


MHA Nuggets Schedule For 2022.  Join us for the “MHA Nuggets” on-line programs the third Tuesday of the month, 7:00 PM Central Time.  ZOOM in and visit with your MHA friends and hear some interesting mining history presentations.  Save these dates:
September 20, 2022 - The Last Years of the New Almadan Mercury Mine in Santa Clara County, California, Michael Cox
October 18, 2022 - Riddle Nickel Mine, Douglas County, Oregon, Clark Niewendorp
November 15, 2022 – Digging Deeper: Discovering Women in Nevada Mining, Dana Bennett
January 17, 2023 - A Visit to Helgustadanama, Iceland's Historic Spar Mine, Johnny Johnsson
February 21 2023 - Copper Follies: How Some of the Smartest Men in the Business Tried and Failed to Control the Market from 1870-1917, Edward McCarthy
March 21, 2023 -  Touching the Irish Famine in a 19th Century Cemetery: The Effort in Leadville, Colorado to Memorialize 1,000 Irish Immigrants Buried in Sunken, Unmarked Graves, James Walsh
April 18, 2023 - Comstock Photos, Kelly Cluer
May 16, 2023 - TBD

Stay Tuned as new programs are added.  Contact Eric Nystrom or Barb Clements for access links and more information.  Check the MHA Facebook page for up-to-the-minute log-in codes, program additions and changes.  Past "Nuggets" sessions and presentations are on YouTube under Mining History Association.

Anthracite Mining Heritage Month.  A regional observance of Anthracite Mining Heritage Month will take place during January. A January 21, 2023 public event will commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the Lattimer (PA) Massacre. Check the Anthracite Heritage Foundation website for details.

New MHA Brochure Available.  The new tri-fold MHA Brochure can now be downloaded (CLICK HERE). Feel free to print as many two-sided copies as you need and pass them along to any organizations and people who share an interest in mining history and are potential MHA members.

Bards of Cornwall.  Two mining historians have been inducted as Bards of Cornwall by Gorsedh Kernow (https://gorsedhkernow.org.uk ).  The organization seeks to maintain the national Celtic spirit of Cornwall by preserving the Cornish language and Celtic history and culture through poetry, song, dance, music, art, and the spoken word, a tradition that stretches back to the story tellers – the Bards of ancient Celtic countries. 
Damian Nance (left), is a retired Ohio University professor and author of “The Engine Houses of West Cornwall,” was inducted in 2020.  Mark Connar (right), inducted in 2022, is the driving force behind the effort to stabilize and preserve the last remaining Cornish engine house in the USA at the historic Ueberroth Zinc Mine in Friedensville, PA.  Both Damian and Mark have presented at MHA conferences.

2022 National Mining Hall of Fame Inductees. This year’s inductees are Timothy J. Haddon, Pierre Lassonde, Thomas J. O’Neil, Syd S. Peng, and Sheldon P. Wimpfen. Check out their biographies in the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum Newsletter. The 35 th annual Induction Banquet will be held the evening of October 29, 2022 at the Denver Marriott South at Park Meadows in Lone Tree, CO.

A Little German Mining Tradition.  Here is a little something different.  Most mining folk, historians included, have heard the German miners’ greeting “Glück Auf,” Good Luck, but have you heard the song?  It goes back hundreds of years and has become an anthem for German miners and their communities, especially those in Saxony.  Its name and lyrics can vary slightly as you will see in videos of the “Steigerlied” or “Der Steiger Kommt” (many versions are on YouTube).  A Steiger is a mine foreman and the miners want to be busy working when he comes to their workplace.  When he’s gone, they are thinking about their sweethearts and other activities above ground.  Timeless, and yes, the video has English subtitles.

Another German tradition is the “Bergparade,” the Miners’ [and Smelter Workers] Parade.  The parades feature groups and bands of reenactors in Medieval authentic costumes representing the many skills of workers in the mines and the metallurgical industry.  Parades take place in Freiburg and many other towns throughout Saxony, especially during Advent when the Christmas markets are held.  Check out the video from the parade in Annaberg in 2017.  Scroll to the 7 minute mark and you will hear a band playing the “Steigerlied.”  Enjoy and “Glück Auf.”

Mining Videos You Might Like.  There is certainly no shortage of mining history-related videos on the Internet.  In addition to the recorded MHA Nuggets sessions on YouTube, here are a few others that caught our attention:

Gold Mine in the Clouds.  The amazing story of the discovery, development, and operation of the Ertsberg and Grasberg Copper and Gold Mines in the wilderness of Papua Providence (Irian Jaya), Indonesia (1936-present).  A “Super Structures of the World” documentary by Spark.

Remembering the Miners.  Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame, presents an impressive tribute to all miners.  It was filmed at a concert for miners in Morgantown, WV in 2010.

The President Pumping Engine. “The President” was the largest steam engine ever built.  It powered dewatering pumps at the Lehigh Zinc Company’s Ueberroth Zinc Mine in Friedensville, PA from 1972-1891.  The engine was scrapped but its Cornish-style engine house remains.  In 2021, Guy Janssen of Schelle, Belgium, constructed a detailed digital model of the engine.  His amazing video shows the model in action as well as the landscape of the mine itself.

The Petrified River. The story of the Uranium boom on the Colorado Plateau is the subject of this excellent 1956 documentary.  It will be especially meaningful to those MHAers who participated in the Uranium Country tour during the 2016 Telluride conference.  The film was produced by the U. S. Bureau of Mines with the cooperation of Union Carbide, an Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) contractor.




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