History of German Mining

Research Project

History of German Mining

Germany has been one of the most important European mining countries since the early days of mining. In terms of salt-and mineral extraction, the climax of German mining industry was between the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period and in terms of coal and steel, which enabled the rise of Germany in the world economy, at the turn of the 20th century. Nowhere in Europe was such a mining specific culture and nowhere were mining sciences gaining such importance as early as in the German area. German mining industry enabled fame and fortune of entrepreneurs, princes, national economies and nation states more than any other economic activity. The "era of mining industry” still exists everywhere until today, also in Germany.

German research of mining has a long tradition and according to the significance of its subject, it is extensive and highly differentiated. Therefore, it is even more urgent to compile a handbook in which the knowledge of the history of mining industry can be accessed by an academic readership.

The project is funded by the General Association of the German Coal Industry and conducted by the Library Foundation of the Ruhr.  It is planned to publish a four-volume handbook in which experts present German mining history from the early beginnings to the present day covering political, social, cultural and economic contexts. The project will be academically accompanied by a scientific advisory board. Volume one, two, three and four have already been published completely.


For further information please contact: PD Dr. Hans-Christoph Seidel or Dr. Jens Adamski