Agricola’s masterpiece at the record office

As a county Derbyshire has a long tradition with the lead mining industry and to celebrate this we have teamed up with The National Coal Mining Museum for England (NCM) to bring the exhibition The Craft of the Miner to the record office.

The exhibition centres on the book De Re Metallica, written by Gregorius Agricola, an eminent German scholar and scientist, in 1556. The volume, one of only a few copies to survive in Britain, is recognised as the most comprehensive work produced on the subject of mining during the 16th century.

De Re Metallica

A selection of items from the NCM’s collection are on display in our vitrine wall and include 17th century German mining manuals, pick heads, safety bellows and frog lamp.

De Re Metallica, made up of 12 books, describes mining methods and processes, including surveying, mine construction, pumping, haulage and ventilation and also includes information on mine workers’ health, mine administration and owners’ duties.

The importance of De Re Metallica and the superiority of German mining techniques at this time were recognised throughout Europe, Queen Elizabeth I herself encouraged German miners to visit England to share their knowledge and expertise.

Given the importance of mining to the county of Derbyshire, we are delighted to have these specially selected items on display in our reception area. The exhibition is on until Saturday 24th October 2015 and is free to view. The complete exhibition then moves on to The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Newcastle Upon Tyne, from January 2016, so see it here while you can!

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