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Coalfields of Vancouver Island (and other delightful places): a Virtual Library

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.

Comox Coalfield

Nanaimo Coalfield

Georgia Basin as a whole

Outside Georgia Basin but of interest

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.

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 removed.

       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.
The address of this document is: http://www.westwatermining.com/library.html. This document was most recently revised on July 2, 2011. Copyright to original material included herein is held by Dunsmuir Geoscience, © 1999-2011.
Distribution restriction: This document may be freely copied and distributed, provided that no profit is made on its distribution, and Dunsmuir Geoscience is duly credited, including (in case of Web use) a link to our webspace. 

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