International

Mining Museums and Displays

Canada

  • The Dawson City Museum – situated in Dawson City on the Yukon River and in the heart of the historic Klondike gold field has exhibits that explore Dawson’s social and mining history, the Hän First Nations People, pre-gold rush history, the colourful Gold Rush era, and the natural history of the Klondike. Dawson City itself is a living museum of the gold rush with numerous sites and buildings of mining history interest.

Germany

  • German Mining Museum (Bergbau Museum) – located in Bochum in the Ruhr, was founded in 1930, as the Leibniz Research Museum for Georesources. Considered the largest mining museum in the world it is a renowned research establishment for mining history. It features above-ground exhibitions, and a faithfully reconstructed show mine below the museum.
  • Rammelsberg Mining Museum – situated at Goslar, the Rammelsberg mines were operated uninterrupted for over 1000 years. There are guided tours of the Roeder Gallery and Railway. A complex of buildings above ground contain exhibits on the geological and cultural history of Rammelsberg. The mines and the medieval Old Town of Goslar were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.

Norway

  • Norsk Mining Museum – located at Kongsberg, southern Norway this facility incorporates the Mining Museum at Smeltehytta and the nearby (8km) historic Kongsberg Silver Mines. At the Silver Mines visitors are able to take an underground tour of the mines.
  • Orkla Industrimuseum – located in  the small village of Lokken Verk, Trondelag, this museum also has the nearby historic copper mine discovered and worked from 1654. It is possible to take a guided tour of the old underground workings.
  • Røros Museum – is a world heritage site located at the former copper mining centre of Røros in the Sør Trondelag region of Norway. Mining commenced here in 1646 and continued until 1977. The museum has four separate visitor centres: Smelthytta, the Preservation Centre and Doktortjønna in the town of Røros, and Olav’s Mine located in the Stowartz mining area, 13 km east of Røros. There are guided mine tours of Olav’s mine.

Poland

  • Krakow Salt Works Museum, southern Poland – one of the largest mining museums in Europe and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was established in 1951 and is a museum of Two Worlds, underground with a large exhibit in the salt mine at a depth of 135m below ground and above ground in the Salt Works Castle (13th to 19th century), the former head office of the mine.
  • The Historic Silver Mine (Zabytkowa Kopalnia Srebra) – located at Tarnowskie Gory in Silesia. Since 16th century it was one of the most important industrial centres in this part of Europe. The mine is open for tourists with guided tours. The tour starts in a museum and goes underground to visit the corridors from the 18th and 19th centuries. The total length of the route is 1.7 km. The mine and undergound management system are UNESCO Heritage listed.
  • Museum of Iron Ore Mining –  shows the history and development of iron ore mining in Poland. It is organized in underground corridors cut in  1974-1976 between Pavilions of the Museum of Częstochowa in Stanisław Staszic Park. It is a complete model of underground excavations in rock  characteristic of iron ore mining.

Spain

  • Almaden Mining Park – the historic Almaden mercury mine is located 300 km south of Madrid in Ciudad Real Province. Mining extended from pre-Roman times until 1973 and was central to the history of Spain as the produced mercury was critical to early gold and silver extraction from ores worldwide. The site includes the Mercury Museum, interpretation centre and an underground tour of the mine.
  • Las Medulas – this site located  near Ponferrada, comarca of El Bierzo, northwest Spain is described as the mountains of Roman gold.  Worked for alluvial gold over two hundred years the site was the largest open cut gold mine in the Roman Empire. This spectacular cultural landscape is now a Unesco World Heritage Site. The site has an interpretive museum and it is possible to see evidence of the unusual hydraulic mining method (ruina montium) used by the Roman miners.
  • La Carolina Mine Museum – this excellent modern museum is located at La Carolina in Jaen.  It explains the history of the mining industry in the area surrounding La Carolina and charts its development from ancient times to the mining boom of the 19th century when foreign capita and Cornish technology was introduced into the mines.
  • Mining Landscape Interpretation Center –  located in the historic silver-lead mining district  of Linares the center is housed in the old loading dock of the Madrid railway station. Exhibitions illustrate and analyse the history and development of mining in the region. Information is also provided about visiting the mining heritage of the region by car or on walks along well-marked trails, some of them on old railway lines.
  • Riotinto Mining Park and Museum – situated in the Rio Tinto area of Heulva, SW Spain boasts 3,000 years of mining history, from the Phoenicians, then Romans, up to the 1990s. Within the park you can visit the museum in the old hospital, the Peña de Hierro mine, and a Victorian-era British house; and take a 22km train ride.

UK

  • Geevor Tin Mine – set in stunning scenery on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall this was the last mine to work the famous St Just Mining district. Visitors can explore the mine buildings, of the largest preserved mining site in the UK, visit an excellent museum and go underground in the Wheal Mexico mine dating back to the 18th century.
  • Botallack – sited on the wild Tin Coast, of Cornwall the famed Crowns engine houses cling to the foot of the cliffs in a landscape transformed by its industrial past. Part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, and the filming location for Wheal Leisure in BBC’s Poldark.
  • Museum of Lead Mining – situated in the historic lead mining village of Wanlockhead near Leadhills amidst the Lowther Hills of southern Scotland, this museum features an 18th Century lead mine with an underground tour. You can also visit a typical miner’s cottage of the period and pan for gold nearby.
  • Peak District Mining Museum – is situated within The Grand Pavilion, in the picturesque spa town of Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, on the edge of the Peak District. The museum highlights the fascinating history of the Derbyshire mining industry, and of the many families who made their living working in the industry. It is also possible to take a guided tour into an authentic 1920s lead and fluorspar mine. The museum is operated by the by the Peak District Mines Historical Society.
  • Dolaucolthi – is the UK’s only known Roman gold mine located near Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Expert guides \unveil the secrets of Roman mining and take you underground into the mine itself, ending with the chance to try gold panning. Mining at this site continued into the twentieth century, ending in 1938.
  • Big Pit National Coal Museum – is an industrial heritage museum in Blaenavon, Torfaen, Wales. A working coal mine from 1880 to 1980, it was opened to the public in 1983. The site is dedicated to operational preservation of the Welsh heritage of coal mining, during the Industrial Revolution. Big Pit is part of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, a World Heritage Site.

U.S.A.

  • Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum – located at Bisbee, Arizona in the historic Bisbee copper mining camp, this museum houses an excellent display of the mining history of the area and an extensive and popular mineral collection.
  • Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (Sutter’s Mill) – located at Coloma, California this state park marks the discovery site of gold by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, sparking the California Gold Rush. The site includes much of the historic ghost town of Coloma and features a museum, many original and restored buildings, and costumed volunteers. It is possible to visit the still visible tailrace of Sutter’s sawmill where gold was first discovered.
  • National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum – located at Leadville, Colorado the  Hall of Fame holds more than 250 stories of men and women associated with the mining and resources industry. The museum has fascinating mining-related displays, mineral and rock specimens and the associated surface tour of the famous Matchless Mine.
  • Underground Mining Museum and Community Centre – Located in Creede, Colorado this unusual museum was blasted out of a solid rock cliff by three Creede miners.  Construction of the museum began in 1990 and County-hired laborers and volunteers completed all the other work by 1992. The museum features tours that highlight the history of mining and blasting methods.
  • Telluride Historical Museum – is located in the historic silver mining town of Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The museum is housed in the restored 1896 miners’ hospital and highlights the mining and geological history of the region as well as the skiing and transport histories. The eclectic collection is displayed in contextual, dramatic settings – telling stories in three dimensions with theatrical groupings of displays and hands on, interactive features.
  • The Last Chance Mining Museum – located in Juneau, Alaska this museum occupies the historic compressor building of the former Alaska-Juneau Gold Mining Company’s The museum has an extensive collection of artefacts that highlight the mining history of the region.
  • Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Museum – operated by the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation is in Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska. The city was founded as a trading post and became a booming centre during the Fairbanks gold rush of 1903.