Our Library is home to a wealth of information on the history of coal mining in England. Whether your research is geographical or technical, or you’re interested in learning about the social, economic and political aspects of the industry, our Librarian can help point you in the right direction.

Our collection holds current and historic mining journals, along with publications dating back to the 1700s. Our oldest book, De Re Metallica, is not only the oldest book, but the oldest artefact on the Museum site.

Using the Library

Our Library welcomes visitors of all ages, however we do ask that children under fourteen must be accompanied by an adult.

Access to our Library is currently by appointment only.



The Museum holds a valuable research resource that details England’s coal mining history. The resources are held by the Library and Collections Teams. The Library looks after published material, books and journals in the main and the Collections team look after art, photography, social history ephemera and objects, plus industrial artefacts and machinery.


Special collections

The library has two very special collections worthy of note: the Eastwood Collection and Coal Meters Collection.


De Re Metallica

De Re Metallica is the oldest artefact on site at the National Coal Mining Museum for England.

Written more than 450 years ago, the book describes working methods and processes in metal mining and was the first of its kind to use a scientific approach. The author was known as Georgius Agricola, a Latin version of his own name, Georg Bauer. He spent twenty years writing the book, which was first published in Switzerland in 1556, a year after his death.