The National Mining Museum Scotland is a key member of the Scottish Coal Collections subject specialist network which brings together a wide group of people ranging from museum professionals through academics to amateur historians who all have an interest in the history of coal mining in Scotland and collections associated with it. The Group has produced a website that brings together collections of mining objects from all over Scotland: http://www.coalcollections.org/, and has just embarked on an exciting new project to map oral history collections, and then hopefully build on existing collections so that we can build up as full a history as possible of the industry through oral testimony. If you have any oral histories that could be included in our audit, please contact Ellie Swinbank at
In 2009 and 2010 the Group held very successful conferences that were free of charge and open to all. The next conference will be held at the National Mining Museum Scotland on 18th November 2011, and the theme will be the intangible heritage of mining and mining communities.
Over the next year, the National Mining Museum Scotland will be working hard to improve the way in which we care for some of our large object collections that are currently stored outside making them vulnerable to the elements. First of all we will need to make sure that the objects are safe to handle and move, and then we will find new homes for them in our large object store, or in the newly renovated Undercroft area of the site. There are also some large objects at Prestongrange Museum that will be moved to the Mining Museum and put into appropriate storage. This is all a very big job as the objects are not easy to work with, but not only will it mean that they are kept safe for the future, but also that our visitors will be able to look at them properly as part of our “Big Stuff” tours.
By next spring, our Education Room should have a brand new look! We are currently investigating ways of making it a bit more fun and user-friendly. For a start, we hope to display some of our lovely models that are currently in storage and that we know lots of our visitors (and staff!) would like to see. We also hope to make the space into a more comfortable learning zone, with some comfy seating and lots of interesting books for both children and grown ups.
Several of our dedicated volunteers are currently working on our extensive collection of oral history interviews, making sure that they are fully transcribed and summarised so that we know exactly what the content is and can make use of the wealth of information contained in them. Once this has been done, we will be able to make more of them available to researchers, and use them to support our exhibitions and tours. We will also be in a position to start actively collecting oral histories again, and participating in the Scottish Coal Collections Group oral history project. If you were involved in Scottish coal mining and would like to be interviewed about your life and work, please contact the Keeper:
The curatorial team is very excited about the possible exhibitions that will be coming soon! We have had a couple of intriguing offers of exhibitions to borrow from other sources, and we have the seeds of some interesting in-house exhibitions that we hope to stage in the next few years. We don’t want to give away too much at the moment, but if you like photography, and if you like sport, we should have some treats for you.
The education support officer and the curatorial team are currently in the middle of an exciting and valuable project funded by the Museums Association Effective Collections fund. The project involves the creation and provision of loan boxes for carrying out therapeutic reminiscence work in care homes. We will include in the loan boxes objects from our collections that haven’t been on display before.
We are in the initial planning stages of updating our ‘Big Stuff’ tour. It currently takes place every Wednesday and Sunday and visitors are offered a unique opportunity for a glimpse behind the scenes at the National Mining Museum Scotland. As part of the existing tour, one of our guides takes visitors around our large object store. This will remain the core part of the experience but, among other things, we hope to incorporate some small exhibition panels in order to make the tour even better.
A number of our dedicated volunteers are carrying out ongoing work to improve our reference library. These projects include indexing journals such as the Colliery Guardian, listing and sorting through material relating to Trade Unions, and researching Royal Commission reports. We also have a team of knowledgeable and skilled researchers available to deal with the large volume of enquiries we receive on a weekly basis. To find out further information on our library, see the library and archive section of the website.
© 2011 National Mining Museum Scotland
National Mining Museum Scotland, Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, Midlothian, EH22 4QN
T. 0131 663 7519, F. 0131 654 1618, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Scottish Mining Museum Trust is registered in Scotland.
Registered Office: Pagan Osborne, 55 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3PA.
Registered No. SCO88361.