Mining maps and plans of the Main Chamber - Count Office in Banská Štiavnica
Documentary heritage submitted by Slovakia and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2007.
The documentary heritage “Mining maps and plans of the Main Chamber - Count Office in Banská Štiavnica” represents a collection of almost 20 thousand of items from the 17th century up to the early years of the 20th century, which are an essential part of the archival fonds of this the most significant authority for mining, metallurgy and minting in the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The maps and plans display underground mining works as well as above-ground objects in all the mining regions of Slovakia or abroad (Hungary, Transylvania, Banat, Slovenia and many others). Some of the maps display mining works and other technical sights, including a unique system of water reservoirs, in the town Banská Štiavnica and its surroundings, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993. The collection of maps also contains new patterns for drawing of mining maps and construction plans designed by Gabriel Svaiczer and Anton Péch the most important officials of the Main Chamber - Count Office in Banská Štiavnica (MCHO). The work of mining surveyors was carried out according to these patterns both in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany. New methods were implemented not only by administrative regulations but were also introduced by so-called “trainees” or thousands of students who studied in the Mining and Forestry Academy in Banská Štiavnica from 1764 to 1918. The students came from a great number of regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Europe.
The mentioned facts suggest that the mining cartography in Slovakia significantly affected the development of mining mapping in the Habsburg kingdom and abroad.
The fact that recently all the documents are placed in the vice-chancellor’s building of the first world mining university remains really remarkable. A great interest of researchers in the documents definitely highlights and proves their irreplaceable value for plenty of historical studies as well as for practical mining, constructing and preservation projects. However, frequent manipulation causes considerable damage to originals. In order to prevent from their complete deterioration and not to limit researchers’ access to them we suggest making the oldest and most valuable items accessible in digital form.