Georgius Agricola’s volume, De Re Metallica, is the definitive early treatise on mining methods, engineering, chemistry and geology.

The woodcuts have been used by nearly every later historian to explain mining life and technology. This first edition copy is a virtually unique book for its period in considering both mining methods and way of life. Agricola (Georg Bauer) was a prolific author across many subjects, both mining related and more general. This work on metal mining in Germany was seen as the major authority of that time and for more than a century afterwards. The museum already has copies of the English translation and this work will augment the quality of the museum research library.


John Conway; Thomas Davies, 1768; Fleming, 1768; Buddle Atkinson (bookplate); Mining Institute of Scotland; private collector.

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