Papers on Mining in Saxony, 18th century

Scope and Content

The material is composed of papers on mining in the district of Freiberg, Saxony.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mining in Germany has a long history. German mining knowledge and practice in the late medieval period marked the beginning of European metal mining and it was the discovery of rich silver ores in particular that prompted innovation in mining and processing.

Saxony was the main mining area in the German states from the fourteenth century onwards, with the Erzgebirge (the Ore Mountains) producing large amounts of silver, lead and tin. The city of Freiberg grew and prospered on the industry. Contributing to the success of Saxony as a mining region was the early use of four-wheeled vehicles travelling on parallel wooden planks, and later iron-capped wooden rails, then iron rails.

Another significant mining resource in Saxony was coal, and also brown coal or lignite mined in the area around Leipzig.

Uranium mines and mills occur in southern Saxony along the German-Czech border, and around Dresden and Chemnitz.

Freiberg is still home to a mining academy and teaching mine.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using various encyclopaedic reference works.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show a reference to mining (Saxony) related material (check the Indexes for more details) in the collection of 'Letters of Professor Robert Jameson': mines at Halle, Eisenerz, Bleiberg, Graetz and Freiberg mentioned in letters of T. J. Torrie, 1832, at Gen. 1996/9/60, 64, 67.