Charting Coal Mine Secrets


October 14, 2009—IUP’s Institute for Mine Mapping, Archival Procedures, and Safety (IMAPS) is playing a leading role in the prevention of future mine disasters by scanning archival mine maps into an accessible database. Coal mine maps and artifacts are on display at the University Museum through December 5, 2009. For additional coverage of the IMAPS project, see ‘Where Pap Worked’ and Remnants of Coal Culture in the Fall 2009 issue of IUP Magazine.

Charting Coal Mine Secrets

Researchers at IUP are working to prevent mine accidents by scanning old mine maps into modern databases. 2:25, 14.4 MB

John Benhart with the Cruse large-format, digital scanner.

John Benhart with the Cruse large-format, digital scanner.

The mine map below covers Ernest and Creekside in central Indiana County, Pennsylvania from the early 1920s through the 1950s. This map, like others in in IUP’s collection, was drawn by hand and continuously updated. It measures 59 inches × 100 inches. Some of the maps in the collection are close to 14 feet long.

Mine map of Earnest and Creekside in central Indiana County, Pennsylvania from the early 1920s through the 1950s

Click on the images below to see close-ups of the numbered areas of the map above.

Inset 1: Creekside Borough area, mined in the early 1920s.
Inset 2: Southwest of Ernest Borough. Ernest no. 2 mine entrance, mined in the early 1920s.
Inset 3: Ernest Borough area. Ernest no. 1 mine entrance, mined in the early 1920s. E section sealed with masonry stoppings in 1951.
Inset 4: East of Ernest Borough and west of Tonkin Road. Eastern extent of Ernest No. 1 Mine.