Mining the Seams Update: Part of the National Coal Board Catalogue Goes Live

Throughout the Mining the Seams Project, our main target has been to catalogue the coal mining documents we received from the National Coal Board (NCB), to ensure the public will be able to view them. When the project started in October 2019, it seemed like the target of the first half of the collection going live was a long way off, but now I can gladly say that it is now available to view!

The part of the catalogue which you can now view includes 100 collieries and the associated companies that owned them. These date back to 1703 and go right up until the nationalisation of the coal mining industry in 1947. There is a wide variety of topics covered such as welfare, mineral rights, accidents and a personal favourite of mine, pit ponies. That is just to name a few, I won’t bore you with them all, but there’s a lot. Hopefully there it’s enough to satisfy all interests. We’d love to hear your thoughts on it, so feel free to let us know what you think. To celebrate we are posting highlights of the collection on our Twitter @DerbyshireDRO throughout the month of July.

A snippet view of the part of the NCB catalogue that is now available via this link:*

As you may have guessed, this is not the final publishing of the NCB collection we have. We are still currently busy cataloguing items we have from post 1947, which dates up to 1993, when much of the local collieries were being wound up. Keep a look out for that as it will be available before the project finishes at the end of October this year. The whole collection takes up approximately 177 shelves and includes 1,400 plans and hundreds of photographs, so you can imagine just how busy we’ve been with cataloguing.

I know we have had a few people already enquire about some of the items held in this collection who are looking forward to seeing documents relevant for their own family history research. If you’re interested in using the new catalogue for this, then a research guide of how to use the collection for family history purposes will be out at some point in the near future. In the meantime, do feel free to contact us about any enquires about the collection either via email: or tel: 01629 538347.

Mining the Seams is a Wellcome Trust funded project aiming to catalogue coal mining documents, originally held by the National Coal Board, so they can eventually be viewed by the public. Alongside the Warwickshire County Record Office, the project aims to focus on the welfare and health services provided to miners. 

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