Published July 1, 2020 | Version v1
Dataset Open

Historians' Perspectives of the Importance and Impact of Mining History Scholarship

  • 1. Arizona State University
  • 2. Augustana College


In 2019, Eric C. Nystrom (Arizona State University) and Brian James Leech (Augustana College) conducted a survey of self-identified mining historians to determine their preferences for mining history scholarship. Our survey asked voluntary respondents to list their top three "classic" books in mining history, and also their top three "recent" mining history books. Respondents were also given an opportunity for optional comments, to accompany their choices. Basic demographic data about occupation, occupation status, and geographic location were collected. Geographic data was aggregated to remove personally identifying information.

All responses were voluntary and anonymous. 40 complete responses were received, and 134 distinct books were mentioned. The data was then regularized, and complete bibliographic data generated. When a book has been issued in multiple editions, the first edition was used, unless a different edition was explicitly specified by the respondent.

Included files

This data release contains:

  • Spreadsheet of responses (TSV), with responses regularized by BibTeX tag, geography grouped to prevent identification, and private comments removed (all in accordance with IRB)
  • Bibliography of all books mentioned as either "classic" or "recent" works by study respondents, in Chicago format, alphabetical by author last name (PDF)
  • BibTeX file containing complete bibliography of all books mentioned by respondents


The survey results were analyzed in the following works:

Brian James Leech and Eric C. Nystrom, "Surveying the Minds: New Trends and Key Classics in Mining History," Mining History Journal 27 (2020): forthcoming.

Brian James Leech and Eric C. Nystrom, "Surveying the Minds: New Trends and Key Classics in Mining History," paper presented at the Mining History Association Conference, Marquette, MI, June 8, 2019.

Notes and Errata

  • For Rodman Paul's Mining Frontiers, one respondent explicitly listed the 2001 Paul & West edition; all others were assumed to be the first edition from 1963.

  • One respondent explicitly mentioned the Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover translation of Agricola's 1556 work De re Metallica; since this English translation is the one almost always used in the modern era, references to Agricola were regularized as the Hoover edition.

  • In a handful of cases, multi-volume works were listed by respondents, and were thus entered in the bibliography this way. See e.g. Lingenfelter, Bonanzas & Borrascas.

  • ASU IRB exemption # STUDY00009309; Augustana IRB exemption # 462452423.



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