Frostburg State University is launching an effort to preserve the historical record of mining in Maryland by seeking out old coal mine maps and other mining documents from Allegany and Garrett counties to scan into an electronic database of digital images.
Archivists believe there is a treasure trove of information about an important part of Western Maryland's history deteriorating in closets and attics, and this may be the last chance to save it from disappearing forever. They are particularly interested in materials from before the 1970s, especially deep mine maps or engineering drawings that actually depict the mine workings, as well as photographs related to coal mining. All other mine-related materials are also welcome.
Once scanned, all maps will be returned to the owner. In addition, FSU will provide the map owner with a free CD containing the scanned image, and, if they wish, a printed copy as well.
The Lewis J. Ort Library first received a large collection of deep mine maps and related materials in 1987 from the daughter of John J. Rutledge, Maryland's first mining superintendent. Funding for the project has come from grants from several sources.
For more information, call the Maryland Coal Mine Mapping Project office at FSU at (301) 687-4253.