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!


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

Watch for Details Coming Soon

Call for Papers and Presentations
28th Annual Conference
Mining History Association

June 15-19, 2017
Fairbanks, Alaska

The Program Committee of the Mining History Association invites proposals for individual presentations or complete sessions (including chair) on any topic or aspect of mining history. Sessions normally include three papers of twenty minutes each. There are no temporal or geographic limits. Presentations that address mining history in Alaska and the Far North are particularly welcome.

Proposals should include title of presentation, an abstract (not to exceed one page) for each presentation, plus biographical information about each presenter, including mailing/email address. Please note, speakers must register for the conference in order to give their presentations. Please send the written proposals to Eric Nystrom, the program sessions committee chair, by November 30, 2016. Submission by email attachment is preferred.

The Program Committee for the MHA's 2017 conference in Fairbanks consists of: Jeremy Mouat (University of Alberta), Eric Nystrom (Chair, Arizona State University), Robert L. Spude (National Park Service, retired), and Paul White (University of Alaska-Anchorage).

Eric Nystrom, MHA-Fairbanks Program Chair
Arizona State University, MC 2780
7271 Sonoran Arroyo Mall
Mesa, AZ 85212

Mining History Search


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New on the Web

Idaho Gold Dredging Map Available.  Clark Spence’s excellent, recent book, “A History of Gold Dredging in Idaho,” was to contain a map of Major Gold Dredging Sites in Idaho.  Due to an unfortunate printing error, the map was not included.  It is now available on-line.  Just CLICK HERE to download a copy.  The map is also available from the publisher’s website.  In the book, the author provides his usual comprehensive treatment of the evolution of dredging technology, the history of the major gold dredging locations across the state, the controversy and conflicts regarding dredging, and the aftermath and clean-up of the environmental effects.  It is a “must read” for those interested in Idaho’s mining history and the role of dredging in gold production.


MHA Members Inducted into National Mining Hall of Fame.  Two of our long time MHA members and supporters, Stan Dempsey and Bob Shoemaker, along with two other worthy recipients, Hayden Murray and Bill Poundstone, were inducted into prestigious  National Mining Hall of Fame on September 24, 2016 at the annual Induction Banquet.  Bob’s daughter, Jan, accepted the award due to her father’s passing earlier in the year. The Woman’s Mining Coalition received the Prazen Living Legend of Mining Award at the same event.  CLICK ON the links to see YouTube videos about the amazing achievements of each recipient.  The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, Colorado tells the story of mining, its people, and its importance to America.  It was the site of the MHA Annual Meeting in 2007.


2016 Telluride Conference Photos On-Line
Photo Galleries from the 2016 Telluride Conference are now on-line. Join the Uranium Country field trip or the tours in the Telluride area. Find your photo at the social functions. Search for and identify the “Mystery Pictures.”

Photo Galleries of the MHA tours in Bisbee and Tombstone
Just in case you missed the 1998 annual conference in Bisbee, Arizona, you can now experience “virtual tours" of both historic mining towns. Only a few photographs have been found from the actual conference so special thanks to Susan and Mike Canty for providing the 2016 photos that let us retrace the steps of the MHAers who took part in the 1998 tours.


All MHA Newsletters are On-Line
Browse the past issues of the Mining History News and trace the development of the Mining History Association from 1990 to the present. Included are articles on the annual Conferences, new mining history books, historic preservation, and a random collection of topics submitted by MHA members. Search for “Top Ten” lists of the best mining history books. (Several issues) Discover why Roger Burt, MHA Past-President and long time member from the United Kingdom, says “I count Austin [Nevada] as one of the places I would most like to go back to.” (May 1991) Learn from Noel Kirshenbaum about the mining technology used in construction of the Panama Canal. (February 1996) Join Mark and Karen Vendl as they rediscover the Champion Mill near Leadville. (November 1991) Special thanks to Eric Nystrom for scanning the old issues.


E&MJ Celebrates 150 Years
The Engineering and Mining Journal (E&MJ) is celebrating its Sesquicentennial Year in 2016. It started publication in 1866 as the American Journal of Mining (AJM) and was renamed The Engineering and Mining Journal in 1869. For the last 150 years E&MJ has chronicled the development of the mining industry in the USA. It continues to serve the worldwide mining industry as a leading trade journal. Throughout the year, E&MJ is publishing clips from some of its past editions. The September 2016 issue of the journal will be a special Collector’s Edition. E&MJ can be viewed on-line, http://www.e-mj.com. Past digital issues are available through the Digital Archive.


2013 Mining History Journal Papers are On-Line
The papers from the 2013 Mining History Journal are now available for downloading. (CLICK HERE) They join all the articles from the 1994-2012 Journals which were placed on-line during 2015, our 25th Anniversary. Members continue to receive the annual printed version of the Journal as a membership benefit.


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.

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.

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.

(Photos courtesy Peaks Resort & Spa, Telluride Historical Museum, Rudy Davison and Wikipedia Commons-Terry Foote.)

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