The Society began collecting records relating to lead mining in Yorkshire in 1960 and quickly added other areas and topics to reflect the interests of its members. The collection is very much a miscellany, with papers, plans and photographs, but it offers researchers a good indication of potential sources of primary and secondary data. The Recorder also has a broad knowledge of current and past work on British mining and is always happy to discuss aspects of anyone’s area of research.
The data is kept in files which are based on the pre-1974 counties because their boundaries were well established. Wherever possible, data is then sub-divided by civil parish and again by mine. The foregoing are served by a series of paper and computerised indexes to specific mines, shafts, levels and other features. In addition, the Records also has over 900 maps, plans and sections of various sizes, which are also indexed.
Besides its paper records, the Society also has computerised (Microsoft Access) data bases relating to mines, mining personalities (shareholders, mine owners etc) and mining companies. There is also material gathered for the ‘Yorkshire Dales Mining Population Project’. This data is kept on computer and includes individual entries from Parish Registers and Census Returns for lead mining villages in the Yorkshire Dales. This powerful research tool is constantly being added to and already holds over 36,500 entries from parish registers and 17,500 entries from census returns.