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Tri-State Mining Collection: Home

Special Collections, SC#2, Tri-State Mining Collection

Tri-State Mining Collection

The Tri-State Mining collection was originally put together by the United States Bureau of Mines and kept at their office in the Joplin Federal Building, which was at 302 South Joplin Avenue. They recorded a total of 95,721 descriptive prospecting, or drill logs, and over 4000 mining maps of over 2,036 properties. The Bureau of Mines used this information to create 134 half-section maps, which combined all of the information from the maps and drill logs to give an overview of all known activity within a half-section, which is exactly as described, a half-section by the public land survey system. 

The United States Bureau of Mines’ project to catalog and create half-section maps out of all their material lasted for around 17 years. This project was canceled, unfinished, in 1959 with the decline of mining in the region. However, the collection remained accessible in the Joplin Federal building for the next 20 years.

In 1979 the United States Bureau of Mines finally closed their office in the Joplin Federal Building. Missouri Southern quickly acquired the collection, with the goal of making it more readily accessible to the public.

In the early 2000s, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission sponsored the digitization of many of the mining maps. Their initial goal was to receive scans of the maps they were interested in, specifically maps of the northeastern Oklahoma area. However, as the project progressed the Missouri Southern archive was able scan a majority of its mining map collection, including maps from Missouri and Kansas. In 2005 the Tri-State Mining Map Collection was added to the Missouri Digital Heritage website. On May 10, 2018 Missouri Southern State University’s Spiva Library was awarded a grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, monitored by the Missouri State Library to begin work digitizing the drill/prospecting log portion of the collection.

How do I use this collection?

  1. If you know what you are looking for, you can Search the collection in the bar at the top of the page.
  • You can narrow down your search query by clicking the 'Search the Collection' button at the bottom of the page or 'Advanced Search' beside the search bar at the top of the page.
  • Note: Each log in the Tri-State Mining Drill Log collection is full-text searchable using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and any information on the logs themselves can be typed in the search bar (with limited success; see OCR on the landing page).
  1. If you would rather browse the collection yourself, the 'View the Collection' button will allow you to view all of the different objects in the collection.
  2. Maps are provided on the landing pages of the Tri-State Mining Map Collection and the Tri-State Mining Drill Log Collection. These maps are organized by the section (meridian)-township-range system of the public land survey system. This is how information was organized by the mining companies who made the maps and logs. If you know your latitude and longitude, you can search for your section (meridian)-township-range here.

Accessibility Statement

The Missouri Digital Heritage website features a simple search system, along with a user-friendly advanced search system for narrowing down the scope of a search; all of the drill logs are full-text-searchable.  Moreover, the website on which this collection is hosted complies with the Missouri IT Accessibility Standard, which is based on Federal Section 508 website standards.

Federal Grant Information

This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.  

Grant ID: 2018-LSD8-DIG18CN8-8962

Grant Type: Long Term

Project Director: Whitney Hamm

Grant Period: 05/01/2018 to 04/30/2019​


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Tri-State Mining Drill Log Collection Preview

Faculty Project Team Members

Whitney Hamm



Room: L-143


Student Project Team Members

EmmaLeigh Pierson

Student Project Assistant

Caleb Smith

Student Project Assistant

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