Our library exists for the convenience of our staff, our clients and colleagues,
and for those among our neighbours who are interested in the geological,
technological and historical intricacies of the Vancouver Island coals,
colliers and coal-pits. We have compiled several bibliographies which may
assist those visitors who would like to dig a little deeper into the written
record of our industry. Since a well-rounded life includes recreation,
we have also laid out a few photographic tours of various mines, some of
which are still open for visitors and some of which are now closed.
From time to time we receive requests for photocopies or for loans of
materials from our library. Because of our limited staff resources, we are
more likely to be able to fulfill such requests from non-profit groups,
government agencies or educational institutions. However, and in the spirit
of scientific scholarship, it never hurts to ask. Please do allow us lots
of time to reply, as we by far prefer to spend time in the field or down
the mines, looking at the rocks we know and love.
-- geological and technological papers on the coalfield, including numerous
Mine Tour -- a photographic exploration of Wolf Mountain Colliery as
it was just before its closure in January of 1987, with commentary on the
mine geologist's daily routines.
-- geology in the Nanaimo Coalfield, focussing on the geological structures
and sedimentary history of the coal-measures at Wolf Mountain; this is
the text (illustrations are not yet scanned) of a Master's thesis completed in 1993.
Georgia Basin as a whole
-- geological papers which take a broader view of the basin.
Outside Georgia Basin but of interest
Mine Tour (in Scranton, Pennsylvania) -- a photographic exploration
of the Contenental No.190 Slope, which was reopened as an underground tour
site by the local County; now known as Lackawanna Mine, this is an excellent
place to learn about anthracite mining methods from actual miners and engineers
who now work as tour guides.
The collier's bookshelf
Here we have collected excerpts of classic books and technical papers on
coal-mining subjects, which afford some insights into the technologies
of coal-mining during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
by Longwall -- a classic paper by William Alexander, in which he speculates
on the history and development of the longwall method of coal-mining in
Scotland. This paper was published in Volume 5 (1862) of the Transactions
of the Institution of Engineers in Scotland.
Mining -- notes concerning this method's advantages and drawbacks,
from the second (1876) edition of Johnathon Hyslop's book, Colliery
Method of Working -- a desciption from Caleb Pamely's 1891 book, Colliery
Thoughts for our visitors:
||“The uninitiated may think that one coal seam is very much like
another, and even that all seams may be worked to advantage on one plan.
As a matter of fact, there is endless variety, both in the natural conditions
of the seams, and in the means best adapted for working them.
Coal seams are found varying in thickness
from a few inches to thirty feet or more, and lying at all angles between
a horizontal and a vertical line; differing much in hardness and texture;
often containing bands of stone or clay interstratified with them some
of them; liberating during the process of working large volumes of explosive
gases, while others are entirely free from gas; some dry and dusty; others
abounding in water.
Sometimes the “roof” will stand
without any support over considerable areas of excavation, and sometimes
it will break down the strongest supports. Similarly the “floor” is sometimes
hard and firm, and sometimes it heaves up readily when the coal has been
All seams have been subject,
more or less, to geological dislocations – “faults,” “dykes,” “nip-outs,”
and “balks” – and these, being in many instances previously indeterminable
quantities, are apt to disturb the best-laid plans of development and working.”
... as found in the Preface, pages v and vi, of Colliery Working
and Management, written by H.F. Bulman and R.A.S. Redmayne, published
in London by George Lockwood and Son in 1896. These words stand true 105
years later, as they have been amply borne out by the experiences of the
colliers of Vancouver Island.
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document was most recently revised on July 2, 2011. Copyright to original
material included herein is held by Dunsmuir Geoscience, © 1999-2011.
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