Posted by: Rosebud | April 7, 2010

For the latent Cartographer in you

WOW! I’ve heard these exist but I’ve never seen one before:

CONSOL mine map

Maps of underground mining operations.  Here’s one that’s recently be scanned as part of the CONSOL Map Restoration Project, described in detail below:

CONSOL Energy Inc. began placing mine map materials at the Archives of the University of Pittsburgh in 1991. The collection has grown with additional deposits of material to include over 8,000 individual map sheets relating to mines once operated by the CONSOL Energy subsidiary Consolidation Coal Company.  The collection dates from 1854 to 2002, with the bulk dating from 1880 to 1940.
           The project focuses on a subset of the collection, approximately 700 “hardback” maps.  The term “hardback” refers to the map’s construction of heavyweight paper adhered to canvas backing.  The oversized dimensions of the maps (5 ft. tall and 10-30 ft. long) present challenges in use and preservation.  The hardback maps served as master copies and often contain the most complete diagram of underground mines owned and/or operated by Consolidated Coal Company and its constituents in the counties of Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Greene, Fayette, and Somerset. 
           The project is supported by a partnership in funding among the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP), the U.S. Dept. of the Interior Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), the University Library System (ULS) at the University of Pittsburgh and CONSOL Energy.  The hardback maps are surveyed, cleaned and repaired at the ULS Preservation Dept.  Once stabilized, the maps are transported to the OSMRE National Mine Map Repository (NMMR) where they are cataloged and digitized.  The digital images are transferred to the PA-DEP California District Office for georeferencing and use in GIS applications.  Lastly, the physical maps return to the University of Pittsburgh for long-term archival storage.  The ULS Preservation Dept. began stabilizing maps for scanning in June, 2007.

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