The Wyoming State Library collaborated with the Department of Environmental Quality, Abandoned Mine Land Division, to create the Abandoned Mines Digital 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.
“It was a great project,” said Travis Pollok, WSL Digital Initiatives Librarian, “We put more than 20,000 records in a user-friendly database so anyone can access them without having to go and look at the physical documents.”
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.
“The feedback I’ve received has mostly been from our consultants,” said Jane Nuoci, AML office support specialist. “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.”
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.”
The Abandoned Mine Land Division Files housed in the digital library are linked from deq.wyoming.gov/aml/consultants.