Index to Articles on California Mines in the Mining and Scientific Press (1860 - 1922)


The Mining and Scientific Press was a weekly periodical published from 1860 to 1922 containing articles on mining and industry related topics.  It focused on California and North America, but also contained articles on mining in other parts of the world.   It included news and articles relevant to the industry as well as detailed descriptions of mines or mining districts. Copies of the Mining and Scientific Press can be found in some institutional and academic libraries and can also be found in digital form on the internet.

This index was compiled in the mid-1930s as a card catalog by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for the California Division of Mines and Geology. The card catalog contains more than 22,000 individual cards indexing articles related to California mines in the journal. In 1986, the California State Library Foundation copied the card catalog to microfiche. The microfiche have now been scanned to digital (pdf) files and which are available below.

The User's Guide to the microfiche, included below explains the layout of the catalog and gives tips on its use.

Using the Index

The Index to Articles on California Mines in Mining and Scientific Press is now available as pdfs for download.

The User's Guide is transcribed for your reference here, but is also available in pdf format.

Each file numbered 01 through 19 contains a portion of the index, organized alphabetically by mine name as described in the file organization section of the documentation. A few mines with names starting with "X" were scanned out of order and area included at the end of file 19. A pdf with all of the index records (208MB) is available also available for download.

Users' Guide to the Microfiche

Transcribed from: User's Guide for the microfiche


California history for many people begins with the Gold Rush. The tales of miners, of mines, of gold are told in many ways. The stories are well known to those interested in the growth and development of the state. The California State Library has made a special effort to include in its collection the broadest range possible of material on the Gold Rush. Of particular interest has been the identification of special indexes and guides to information that will assist the historian and scholar in conducting research on this important period of California history.


The California State Library Foundation is pleased to be able to make available on microfiche the Index to Articles on California Mines in the MINING AND SCIENTIFIC PRESS, volume 1, 1860 through volume 124, March 1922. This unique index which was created as a Works Progress Administration project sponsored by the then Division of Mines of the Department of Natural Resources between 1935 and 1938 was loaned to the Foundation by the Library of the Division of Mines and Geology for purposes of preservation microfilming. We are grateful to Mr. Perry Amimoto, Geologic Information Officer and Ms. Angela Brunton, Senior Librarian, Division of Mines and Geology, Department of Conservation for their cooperation.

Index Contents

The Index is limited to articles which appeared in the Mining and Scientific Press that related to the various kinds of mines -- gold, silver, copper, iron, chrome, etc. that existed in California and were reported between 1860 and 1922.

It is necessary to know the name of the specific mine to locate references to articles. Useful sources for names include Consolidated Index of Publications of the Division of Mines and Predecessor State Mining Bureau, 1880-1943 Inclusive, Bulletin 131 (September 1945) and Erwin G. Gudde, California Gold Camps, 1975.

The Mining and Scientific Press is actually only one of several names by which this publication was known over its sixty-two year history. During this time it was also issued as the Scientific Press (1870-1872) and the Scientific Press and Mining Advocate. The entries in the index do not differentiate among the various titles; they are all referred to as "M&SP."

Display Formats

Because the index was created retrospectively over a relatively short period of time there is a fair degree of consistency in the content of the entries. There are two basic formats, both of which contain the same information:


File Organization

The only point of access to the file is through the name of the mine. The mine names are arranged alphabetically by the form of the name chosen by the indexer. In the case of personal names, there are some inconsistencies, eg.

      Lew Wallace Mine
but Lewis (Robert) Mine
and Lick (James) Mining Co.
and Quinn (Tim) Mine

It is a good idea to check under both the first and last names if the mine name includes a personal name.

Similarly, it is useful to look through several entries starting with the same word or name since there are some names that appear to be out of strict alphabetical order, eg,

McKinney, Joe & Co. Mine
McKinney & Granice Mine
McKinney, Billy & Co. Mine

It should also be noted that 'Mc' is filed as 'Mc' not as 'Mac.'

Order of Entries on Cards

Generally the articles are listed in chronological order starting with the oldest volumes/year and ending with the latest volumes/years.

In a few instances, however, the indexers added a reference to an earlier article/volume at the end of the later citations so one needs to scan through all the entries to be sure that an earlier article is not missed.

Accuracy of Index Entries

Users of the card file report that there are some references to volumes, issues, and pages that do not actually contain the article listed or in other cases the article may turn out to be on a different page than the one listed in the index.

Availability of Mining and Scientific Press

Update: for access information or interlibrary loan requests please contact the California State Library using the "Ask A Librarian" link. 

The California State Library has a complete run of the Mining and Scientific Press on microfilm and in paper. Most of the issues of Mining and Scientific Press are also available online.

Abbreviation of Types of Mines

Most types of mines have been abbreviated based on the symbols for elements, although a few names have been written out.

​AuPGold - placer​
​Au-QGold - quartz​
​Mg-C03Magnesium Carbonate​

File Download

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Volumes 6-124 are available for viewing at

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