The Wyoming State Library collaborated with the Department of Environmental Quality, Abandoned Mine Land Division, to create the online Abandoned Mines Library. WSL stores, maintains and makes accessible the digitized versions of 20,472 maps, plans, project reports, photographs and miscellaneous reports detailing Wyoming’s abandoned mines. Over the course of the project, more than 566,000 pages were digitized.
These records are used by consultants and contractors, as well as residents looking for history and information. Before they were digitized, those wanting them would make an appointment to go to the AML offices where staff would help them find the documents they were looking for. If needed, they could make copies. Now, they can be quickly accessed online.
“It was a great project,” said Travis Pollok, WSL Digital Initiatives Librarian, “We were able to put more than 20,000 records in a more user-friendly database so that anyone can access them without having to come and look at the physical documents.”
“We’re extremely happy with the amount of time and organization Travis put in on this project, along with who ever else was involved,” said Jane Nuoci, AML office support specialist. “It went very smoothly, and so far it is working great.”
The project came about because of the impending move from the Herschler Building during renovation. The physical library took up a lot of space, so the agency needed a way to minimize it, but still make it accessible.
“The feedback I’ve received has mostly been from our consultants,” Nuoci said. “They’re very happy they can look up the information they need, download and print it without having to make a trip into the office, or even a phone call.”
Future additions will be documents that would have gone into the library, such as additional documents for certain projects or different research documents. These additions will be coordinated between the two agencies.
Nuoci said this project has benefited everyone involved in AML. “It’s saved time for everyone involved, from the consultants to the staff. This project has been one of the most valuable options we have to provide information to the public.”