• University of Strathclyde

Working Lives in the Coal Mines: Mining History and Heritage

Explore the experiences of workers in the coal mining industry from the 1840s to the 1920s and learn about its impact on Britain.

4,149 enrolled on this course

Working Lives in the Coal Mines: Mining History and Heritage
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours

Uncover the lives of coal industry workers and miners in the long 19th century

On this course, you’ll explore the history and heritage of British mining labour. You’ll discover the evolution of the role of coal-miners in the 19th century, the hardships they endured, and learn how mining has affected British industrial heritage today. Through online resources and museum archives, you’ll gain historical, literary and genealogical research skills, and learn to critically assess mining artefacts and representations of life in the mines. You’ll also learn how these representations relate to wider issues of class, gender, and political and professional identity.

What topics will you cover?

The course will consist of 4 modules, each focused on a different kind of worker associated with the mining industry and the particular challenges they faced: 1. The collier 2. The child miner 3. The surface worker 4. The trade unionist

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the range of activities involved in working in the mining industry in the long nineteenth century, and how these changed during the period covered by the course.
  • Assess representations of working lives in the mines and mining artefacts and discuss how they relate to wider questions of class, gender, and political and professional identity.
  • Reflect how mining work impacted on the body in this period
  • Engage with written and oral material on workers’ lives within the appropriate historical and material contexts.
  • Engage with online resources, including museum archives, and perform searches in these and other archives for material relevant to mining history and workers’ lives.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for people with an interest in mining history or heritage, or industrial heritage more broadly.

The course will also be of interest to professionals working in or aiming to work in the heritage sector and students at school or university who have an interest in the long Victorian period.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Chair in English Studies at the University of Strathclyde and currently lead the research project 'Piston, Pen & Press: Literary Cultures in the Industrial Workplace.'

Professor of Social History, University of Strathclyde, & Director of the Scottish Oral History Centre. My research interests lie in the history of work, occupational health & deindustrialization.

Who developed the course?

University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university located in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, committed to useful learning.

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