Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
PSU Home | PSU Search | GUS / Logins | A-Z Index | Campus Map | Contact Info. | Comments | Help

News @ PSU

News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Axe Library receives important collection of mining documents

An important part of the history of the tri-state mining area has a new home at Pittsburg State University’s Axe Library. The library recently received a collection of letters, records and printed documents that help tell the colorful story of lead and zinc mining in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and southwest Missouri.

The collection was originally housed by the Picher Mining Museum in Picher, Okla. When the building in which the mining papers were stored was destroyed by a tornado earlier this year, the Picher Museum Board transferred ownership of the documents to the Baxter Springs Historical Society. That organization recently arranged a long-term loan of the materials to PSU where Axe Library will provide climate controlled-storage, create item records, and work on digitization to provide easy access to the records without damaging fragile materials.

“Axe Library is pleased to be partnering with the Baxter Springs Historical Museum to preserve and make available this collection of our region’s mining heritage,” said Robert Walter, dean of learning resources at PSU.

Walter said the members of the Picher Mining Museum Board and the Baxter Springs Historical Society should be commended for their efforts to see that the records collection is preserved.

Randy Roberts, curator of special collections, said the collection is a significant one.

“Over the years the Picher Mining Museum assembled one of the nation’s outstanding collections of records and artifacts that document the history of mining and, specifically, the miners of the Tri-State Mining district. We are excited to be joining with the Baxter Springs Historical Museum to make this collection of original records available to future generations.”

Features of the collection include the records of the Tri-State Lead and Zinc Ore Producers Association plus materials on the national lead and zinc industries of the era; mine safety and health; and ore production.

Related materials from the Picher Mining Museum Collection consisting of maps, photographs, and artifacts will be on display and available for research at the Baxter Springs Historical Museum.

Walter said that in combination with other PSU resources, the new collection will provide a wealth of information for researchers studying the history of the Tri-State Mining District.

For more information about this and other historical collections at PSU, call University Archives at 620-235-4883 or visit their Web site at

For information about Axe Library, call 620-235-4879 or visit the library’s Web site at

In photo: Randy Roberts, curator of special collections at PSU, scans a historical mining document.

---Pitt State---