Historic Mines & Mining Companies


Where's the Mine?

Search the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) for lists of U.S. mines using "Feature Class."

Books, Government Documents, Articles & Maps

Library Catalog

Colorado Mining Database [under construction]

Prospector (regional catalog)


Restricted access  Academic Search Premier (EBSCOHost)-- Includes some engineering industry journals, for example: Engineering & Mining Journal, ENR, Mining Engineering, and Bulletin of the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

Restricted access  GeoRef

List of PublicationsPDF versionText only version


Russell L. & Lyn Wood Mining History Archive, Arthur Lakes Library

Image Database

American Memory, Library of Congress

Western History and Genealogy Collection, Denver Public Library

U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library. Includes "Historical Mining Operations in Colorado and Utah from the USGS Library," 1994.

Colorado State Archives photograph collections

Mine and Company Records

EDGAR, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) -- Includes filings by domestic and foreign companies.

Goldsheet Mining Directory -- Covers a range of mining news and commodity information. "Obsolete Shares" points to websites that can help you determine the value of stock certificates. (Stocks may have value as collector's items as well.)

InfoMine (subscription site) -- Includes some publicly accessible information.

Technical information:

For incorporations, stocks issued, etc.:

  • Fisher Manual of Obsolete and Worthless Stocks. Ask A LIbrarian for assistance.
  • Dealer catalogs for old mining stocks (print and on the Web)
  • Colorado
    • 1861-1875. Colorado State Archives. Includes "Colorado Corporations," an electronic list of businesses incorporated in Colorado in 1861-1875.
    • pre-1977. Public Records Archives, State of Colorado (303-894-2055). There may be a fee for a search.
    • 1977-1990. Secretary of the State of Colorado, Corporation Division (303-894-2251)
    • 1990-present. Securities Division, State of Colorado (303-894-2320
  • Other states -- Contact the state's securities division or equivalent.

Mining Handbook (continues Copper Handbook). Annual directory of mining companies.

County assessors' offices and/or archives, for mining claim documents (if available).

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado State Office -- Claim information and assistance.

People in Mining (Colorado)

Colorado GenWeb Project

Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection

History of Colorado (1927), State Historical Society of Colorado. Includes 2 volumes of biographies.

Western History and Genealogy Collection, Denver Public Library

Mine Accidents:


Mines By State, U.S.


Of the hundreds of mines, companies, and processing operations in Colorado during the mining booms starting in the 1860s, almost all were gone by the 1940s. Most left little in the way of records.

Likely finds:  Location, claim information, confirmation of a company's existence, worth of stock, summaries of activity and production for the region.

Difficult: Employees, production figures, assay records, maps of underground workings.

Research Steps:

  1. Identify the location of the mine or the company's operations as accurately as possible.
  2. Start with a narrow search by the name of the mine or company. Use:
    • Colorado mining and business directories
    • Library Catalog
    • Web search
    • County records
  3. Broaden your search to materials that could include your mine or company within them. Use:
    • Names of towns, mining district, or county to identify more general works that may include your mine.
    • Commodities (gold, silver, coal, etc.) to identify summaries that may include your mine.
  4. Browse industry journals and local newspapers of the time.
  5. Check local histories -- some have been thoroughly researched.
  6. Identify special collections or archives on your area -- Contact public and academic libraries, county archives, and local historical societies.
  7. Expect to use print materials -- most of this information is not available electronically.

© 2017 Colorado School of Mines | | Equal Opportunity | Privacy Policy | Directories | Text Only | Mines.edu | rss

Last Updated: 10/16/2017 08:33:14