University of Pittsburgh
May 4, 2005

Pitt Library System Accepts Collection of Historical Mining Maps And Photos from CONSOL Energy Inc.

Materials help document Pittsburgh's national industrial heritage

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—An extensive collection of mining maps, photos, and other archival materials compiled over more than 140 years of operations have been donated by CONSOL Energy Inc. to the University of Pittsburgh Library System.

The CONSOL Energy Mining Archives, most of which date from the 1890s through the first half of the 20th century, comprises more than 8,000 individual map sheets, as well as publications, engineering and survey records, and photographs of mining activities at mines once operated by Consolidation Coal Company, a CONSOL Energy subsidiary. The earliest map dates to 1854, and the entire collection represents CONSOL Energy's former mining operations in Allegheny, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

While most archival collections are used for historical purposes, the CONSOL Energy collection is actively used by geologists, municipal officials, industry representatives, developers, students, and other interested parties.

"With this donation to the University of Pittsburgh, CONSOL Energy has not simply provided a glimpse into the history of a pioneering and leading coal producer," said Ronald E. Smith, CONSOL Energy executive vice president of its gas operations, land resources and engineering services, "but also has given current and future users an important resource that many will find beneficial for a variety of reasons.

"What better place to house such a collection than the University of Pittsburgh, which maintains one of the most modern and extensive archival systems at any major university. It is our pleasure to have established this relationship with Pitt."

In addition to the collection, with an appraised value of more than $228,000, CONSOL Energy also has given a $27,000 grant to the University to help with the costs of preservation and cataloging.

The collection will be housed in Pitt's Archives of Industrial Society [], which comprises hundreds of historical collections of documents, audio recordings, photos, slides, maps, architectural drawings, and blueprints related to the development of 19th and 20th century industries in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Pitt archivists are assessing preservation needs for the mining maps, especially for some of the larger ones—four- to five-feet wide and 15- to 20-feet long—which have to be unrolled with great care to prevent cracking. The collection's photographs, once processed, will be scanned and made available through Pitt's Digital Research Library.

CONSOL Energy is the largest producer of high-Btu bituminous coal in the United States. CONSOL Energy has 17 bituminous coal mining complexes in six states. In addition, the company is one of the largest U.S. producers of coalbed methane, with daily net gas production of approximately 139.6 million cubic feet from wells in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The company also has a joint-venture company to produce natural gas in Virginia and Tennessee, and the company produces electricity from coalbed methane at a joint-venture generating facility in Virginia.

CONSOL Energy has annual revenues of $2.8 billion. Additional information about the company can be found at its Web site,