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The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

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Dec 20

Kansas Mining Publications of Interest to Historians and Genealogists

Posted on December 20, 2018 at 9:24 AM by Bill Sowers

The State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library has a small online collection of material issued by the state's mining agencies in Kansas.  Chief among the documents are the Annual Reports of the agencies.  These are not just government reports with facts, figures and sunny outlooks.  They are reports on deaths, injuries and inquests into how/why accidents occurred. They included the transcripts of the inquests wherein parties involved testified on the conditions and sometimes tragic outcomes of working in a mine.  They are a great read for the researcher interested in the history of working conditions, operations, labor and management relations and government involvement in this industry during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

For the genealogist, pardon the pun, these reports could be a "gold mine" in locating family who might have been involved in the mining industry in Kansas.  The reports include the names and residences of individuals involved in accidents or testifying during inquests. If there was a death or major injury they often include the name, place of residence, cause of the injury/death, location of the event and date.  All of the reports should be searchable pdfs (i.e. you can do a Control/F command and search for a surname or other term).  If one of the documents doesn't allow this please email me. (

You can view the KGI Online Library Collection of documents by the Kansas state mining agencies here:


Pittsburg State University has quite a bit of information on coal mining in Kansas... historical resources on mining operations, coal miner strikes, coal mining towns and the environmental effect of mining on the land in southeast Kansas.  Here's a sampling of what's available online as well as a link to PSU's Axe Library Special Collections:

Pittsburg State University (PSU)

Pittsburg State University Digital Commons

Masters' Theses About Mining at PSU

PSU Axe Library Material on Mining

Google search for coal mining kansas history at website

Pittsburg State University Special Collections

Also... the Kansas Historical Society's "Kansas Memory" website has online resources on mining in Kansas:

Kansas Memory (Kansas Historical Society)

Business and Industry - Mining and quarrying

Business and Industry - Occupations/Professions - Miners