Gold miners and mining

Find information about gold miners, mining companies and daily life in historic Victorian goldfields.

Mining techniques & machinery

The eGold: electronic encyclopedia of gold in Australia website

Gold! Gold! Gold! The language of the nineteenth-century Australian gold rushes.

  • the names of many types of mining techniques and machines are listed and defined in the book

The gold fields and mineral districts of Victoria (available online)

  • Robert Brough Smyth's 1869 book includes detailed descriptions and diagrams of mining processes and machinery.

Life on the Australian goldfields

  • includes a chapter on early gold mining techniques from across Australia, and includes a wide range of images showing mining technologies from the 1850s onwards.

Life cycle of a goldmine

  • an account of the gold mining process that includes information of current gold mining across the world

The following articles may also be of interest. They are both available online:

 Research guide to patents

Images from the Library's collections

Drawing, iewed from rear, two men digging at wall in square cut tunnel, one man standing with a pick, other other kneeling at his feet, space lit by candle, shadows on wall.

Tunnelling in White Hill H87.63/1/22B

Photograph, Looking across earth works with miners using a gold washing cradle in foreground, man standing beside horse-drawn whim and crushing battery and conveyor in background.

Mining scene showing horse-drawn whim and crushing battery  H2009.84/36

Watercolour, two miners standing beside water, one handling a wooden cradle used for sifting the sand and gravel from the gold, the other holding a bucket on a long handle.

Cradling / S.T.Gill H86.7/8

Lithograph, print, The Black Hill Quartz Mining Comany's claim, Ballarat: elevated view of buildings with brick chimney, tracks with rail trucks up hill in background

The Black Hill Quartz Mining Company's claim, Ballarat H. Deutsch. [Detail]  H26049

Lithograph, print, The Black Hill Company's Quartz crushing machinery: view of interior of building showing revolving stamps, man with rail truck in foreground.

The Black Hill Quartz Mining Company's claim, Ballarat H. Deutsch. [Detail] H26049

Images of mining techniques & machinery

Photograph, View shows seven men standing around gold cradle, with mine shafts and trees behind them.

Detail from [Group of miners cradling for gold], H37604

To find digitised drawings, etchings, paintings and photographs of mining techniques and machinery, search our catalogue using combinations of words like:

State Library Victoria

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In line with the stage 3 restrictions announced by the Premier, State Library Victoria closed on Thursday 9 July.

We will advise when there is any update to this situation.

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