Mines and Mining

Colorado's rich mining history is documented in archival, photographic, and artifact sources. The resources below are available at our Library & Research Center.

Library Catalog

Search our online library catalog for Subject headings "Mines" or "Mining" for records of books, manuscript collections, maps, and serial titles.

Suggested Books

  • Eberhart, Perry. Guide to the Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps.Athens: Swallow Press, 1981.
  • Fell, James E. Jr. Ores to Metals. The Rocky Mountain Smelting Industry.Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.
  • Fossett, Frank. Colorado: A Historical, Descriptive and Statistical Work on the Rocky Mountain Gold and Silver Mining Region. Denver: Daily Tribune Steam Printing House, 1876.
  • Henderson, Charles W. Mining in Colorado. U.S.G.S. Professional Paper # 138. Washington : G.P.O., 1926.
  • Hollister, Ovando J. Mines of Colorado. Springfield, Mass.: S. Bowles, 1867.
  • Smith, Duane A. Rocky Mountain Mining Camps: The Urban Frontier.Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1967.
  • Tierney, Luke, and William B. Parsons. Pikes Peak Gold Rush Guidebooks of 1859. Edited by Leroy R. Hafen. The Southwest Historical Series. Vol. 9. Glendale, CA: Arthur C. Clark, 1941.
  • West, Elliott. The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, & the Rush to Colorado. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.
  • Whiteside, James. Regulating Danger: The Struggle for Mine Safety in the Rocky Mountain Coal Industry. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990.
  • Wolle, Muriel Sibell. Stampede to Timberline: The Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Colorado. Boulder: Wolle, Poertner Lithographing, 1959.


Colorado City Directories (Search our online index to identify available volumes)

Colorado State Business Directories (1875-1956)

Colorado Mining Directories – 1879, 1883, 1896, 1901. Mines listed by county.

Cripple Creek Mining Directory – 1900

Mines Handbook (serial publication)

Manuscript Collections

Records of manuscript collections are included in the online library catalog. We have over 200 collections that include materials on mining in Colorado, including Colorado Fuel & Iron Company (Mss.01057), Gilpin County Miners' Court (Mss.00267), Ibex Mining Company (Mss.00711), George Andrew Jackson (Mss.00340), and Leadville Strike Reports (Mss.00334).

Collection guides, usually inventories, are available for many manuscript collections; contact cosearch@state.co.us to request a collection guide.


Records of maps are included in the online library catalog. Our collection includes maps of mines, mining camps, claims, districts, underground and surface workings, and plats.  The library also has a collection of uncataloged USGS topographic maps for many areas of Colorado.


History Colorado holds the largest collection of Colorado newspapers available anywhere. Many Colorado newspapers had regular columns on mining. Some newspapers, such as the Denver Mining Record, focused entirely on mining news. Search our online library catalog to find information on available newspapers.

The majority of our newspaper collection is only available on microfilm. A limited number of digitized newspapers are available online at the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Digitized copies of the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and selected additional titles are available onsite at the Library & Research Center.


Some photographs are available to view online at the History Colorado Online Collection and at Denver Public Library's Digital Collections.

Other resources include:

  • Photo Subject Collection Index: Mines (by name), Mining, Cities & Towns (for mining camps)

  • Photography collections may include images of mines, mining, and miners. Notable mining-related collections include Gilette, Otis A. King, Kinney, Stearns Catalytic, Trinidad, and Zellers.


The History Colorado Online Collection is the online public portal for access to the cultural and heritage resources of Colorado. Search images and records of artifacts, photographs, and archival materials.


Serial titles are included in the online library catalog. Examples include Camp and Plant, Mines Handbook, Mines and Minerals, Mining Yearbook, and Colorado History.

Manufacturers' Catalogs

Catalogs of suppliers of mining machinery and equipment are included in the online library catalog. Search by Subject for "catalog" and the term "mines" or "mining."

Special Collections

CWA Index

Subject file: Mines: search by county for mining districts and mines. Also sub-headings for accidents, claims, corporations, engineering, law, machinery, minerals, prospecting, smelting, and statistics.

Dawson Scrapbooks

Volumes 22-27 contain newspaper clippings on mining.

Colorado Subject Collection

Subject: Mines and Mineral Resources; Energy

Other Websites

The Colorado Coal Project (collection held by CU Boulder's Archives department) was conducted by Eric Margolis and Ron McMahan, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado. Between 1974 and 1982 they documented on videotape the history, technology, and lives of the coal miners in Colorado through interviews and photographs. Topics covered include: Boulder County, the Columbine Incident, the Great Depression, Immigration, the IWW, Mother Jones, the Ludlow Massacre, UMWA, labor unions, and strikes.

The Hastings Mine Disaster of 1917 was the deadliest mining disaster in Colorado history. Researcher Mellanee Montgomery has consolidated information on this event.