Further Information

The following are some suggestions of material to read, watch or listen to if you are interested in the history of Scotland’s coal mining industry and its communities. Nearly all of the books are available in our Library, and many are available to buy either from the Museum shop or through other retailers. Most of the audio and visual material is available online and links have been provided where possible.

Items marked * are available in the NMMS Reference Library.

General mining history

Arnott, R. Page. The Miners: A History of the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain, 4 Vols. ( Allen & Unwin, 1949-79) .*

Bright, John. Pit Ponies, (Batsford, 1986). *

Elliott, Brian. Coalminers. (Images of the Past), (Pen & Sword, 2015).

Elliott, Brian. Coal Mine Disasters in the Modern Era c.1900-1980. (Images of the Past), (Pen & Sword, 2017).

Evans, Richard Meurig. Children Working Underground, (National Museum of Wales, 1979).*

Freese, Barbara. Coal – A Human History, (Arrow, 2006). *

Hatcher, John et al. The History of the British Coal Industry, 5 vols. (OUP, 1984-93). *

Hayman, Richard. Coal Mining in Britain, (Shire Publications, 2016).

Hickman, Tom. Called Up, Sent Down: The Bevin Boys’ War, (History Press, 2010).*

Hollows, Derek. Voices in the Dark: Pony Talk and Mining Tales, (Derek Hollows, 2011). *

John, Angela. Coalmining Women: Victoria Lives and Campaigns, (Cambridge University Press, 1984).*

MacGregor, Ian. The Enemies Within: The Story of the Miners’ Strike, (Collins, 1986).*

Milne, Seumas. The Enemy Within: The Secret War Against the Miners, (Verso, 2014 [First pub. 1994]).*

Scottish coalmining

Arnot, R. Page. A History of the Scottish Miners from the Earliest Times, (Allen & Unwin, 1955).*

Campbell, Alan. The Scottish Miners, 1874-1939, 2 vols. (Ashgate Publishing, 2000).*

Duncan, Robert.  The Mineworkers, (Birlinn, 2005).*

Hutton, Guthrie. Coal not Dole: Memories of the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike, (Stenlake, 2005).*

Hutton, Guthrie.  Fife: The Mining Kingdom, (Stenlake, 1999).*

Hutton, Guthrie. Lanarkshire’s Mining Legacy, (Stenlake, 1997).*

Hutton, Guthrie. Mining: Ayrshire’s Lost Industry, (Stenlake, 1996).*

Hutton, Guthrie. Mining from Kirkintilloch to Clackmannan and Stirling to Slammanan, (Stenlake, 2000).*

Hutton, Guthrie. Mining in the Lothians, (Stenlake, 1998).*

Montgomerie, George. A Mining Chronicle. Annals of the Coal Mining Industry of Great Britain from Earliest Times to 1984, (Newcraighall Heritage Society, 1994).*

Oglethorpe, Miles K. Scottish Collieries: An Inventory of the Scottish Coal Industry in the Nationalised Era, (RCAHMS, 2006).*

Phillips, Jim. The industrial politics of devolution: Scotland in the 1960s and 1970s, (Manchester University Press, 2008).

Phillips, Jim. Collieries, communities and the miners’ strike in Scotland, 1984-5, (Manchester University Press, 2012).*

Fiction, Memoir, Drama

Corrie, Joe. The Image o’ God, (Porpoise Press, 1937).*

Corrie, Joe. In Time O’ Strife, (Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2013, [first pub. 1926]).

Ferguson, Ron. Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil; A Chronicle of Coal, Cowdenbeath and Football, (Saint Andrew Press, 2014, [first ed. 1993]).

Hall, Lee. The Pitmen Painters, (Faber and Faber, 2008).*

MacDougall, Ian, ed., Militant Miners, (Polygon, 1981).*

McDermid, Val. A Darker Domain, (Harper Perennial, 2009).

McIlvanney, William. Docherty, (Canongate, 2016 [first pub. 1975]).

Owens, Joe, ed. Miners 1984-1994; A Decade of Endurance, (Polygon, 1994).*

Peace, David. GB84, (Faber & Faber, 2004).*

Terris, Ian. Twenty Years down the Mines, (Stenlake Publishing, 2001).*

Sellwood, Arthur & Mary. Black Avalanche; the Knockshinnoch Pit Disaster, (Amberley Publishing, 2009 [first pub. 1960]).*

Painting, Photography

Cavers, Colin. Black Diamonds: photographs of Longannet Mine, Fife, (Fife Council Museums West, 2001).*

Feaver, Geoffrey. The Pitmen Painters, (Chatto & Windus, 1988).*


Out of Darkness, Light, (1983). Final edition of the NCB Mining Review.

Public Service Broadcasting. Every Valley, (Play It Again, Sam, 2017). A reflection on the history of coalmining in South Wales, integrating archive sound recordings and original music.

The Brave Don’t Cry, (1952, [DVD Panamint Cinema, 2014]).

Feature film dramatising the rescue of miners trapped underground in the Knockshinnoch Castle Colliery disaster of 1950.

The Pitmen Painters: The Ashington Group , (ITV Perspectives, 2011). Documentary presented by the actor, Robson Green, looking at the celebrated group of self-taught artists from a North-East of England mining community.

When Coal was King, (BBC Timewatch, 2013). Exploring the rich social and cultural lives of those who lived and worked in Britain’s lost coalmining communities, told through the NCB’s Mining Review film archive which documents the industry from the 1940s to the 1980s.

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