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Mining Engineering & Metallurgy: Historical Nevada Mining Stocks and Claims

Guide to finding historical mining stocks and claims information in Nevada

The University Libraries staff are not able to determine if there is any value in stocks or certificates. 

The University Libraries do not hold current mining stock or claim reports and documents. Check with the County Recorder's Office.

Researching a mining stock or claim certificate just online can be difficult, time-consuming, and oftentimes doesn't come up with much. Many mining companies have complicated histories and went through consolidations, name changes, takeovers, or no longer exist. This is pretty typical in the mining industry, making it hard to find out if your certificate has any value.

Below is a list of information and resources the library has for you to research on your own.

Fee Based Service

Don't want to do the research yourself? You need a research service to help you. 

  • America West Archives is a stocks and bonds research service company from Cedar City, UT that will investigate old stocks and bonds
  • RM Smythe is an old stocks research and certificate appraisal company since 1880 based out of Virginia.

Stock search firms will charge anywhere from $45 - 150 per company. Additional fees may apply. The University does not endorse the services of these companies listed.

Start your research

Start Your Research

Information Needed for Research: 

  1. Company Name (Company that issued the stock) 
    • Are they still a company?
    • Were they bought out or merged with another company?
  2. Mine Name (Name of mine)
    • Is it still an active mine?
    • Who owns it now?
  3. Date of Issuance (Date stock certificate was issued) 
  4. State and County of Incorporation (Incorporated under the laws of <STATE>) 
    • You will need to go to that state/county office for information.

Additional useful information - Stock certificate number and number of shares issued

Check with these resources:

These are the Nevada agencies that will most likely have information on if the mining company or mine is still in operation, or not.

  • Nevada Division of Minerals (NDOM) Mining Stock Certificates page provides information on how to search for current or historical Mining Stock Certificates. Please refer to this webpage to help guide you.   
  • Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology (NBMG) 's Great Basin Science Sample and Records Library houses mining records for Nevada. They do not have a comprehensive database of all mines. Please refer to their webpage about Mining Records to help guide you.  
  • US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) provides access to General Land Office Records, including land patents, survey plats and field notes, land status records, control document index records, tract books, and land catalog. 
  • Issued County's Assessor or Recorder offices. They will most likely have updated documents. At most County Recorders' offices, you will need to request documentation by filling out their request for documentation form.

Additional Suggested Online Resources 

  • NBMG Mining Districts Interactive Map consists mainly of historical and current maps, reports, articles, reports, photographs, correspondence, essays, and more. Please refer to the Mining Districts User Guide for additional instructions and information.  NBMG's Mining District Database File Search may be used to search by district, county, title, author, date, property, mine, or claim (PMC) and or commodity. You can search all fields, including notes simultaneously, by entering a search string in the "All Fields" box.  
  • Nevada State Library, Archives, and Public Records has a Nevada Mining Reports 1893-1931 Digital Collections with reports to the legislature by the Inspector of Mines, the Ore Sampler, the Virginia City School of Mines, and Others.  The Mining Inspector provided Biennial Reports to the Legislature from 1909 – 1930, which included names and locations of mines in operation, what kinds of extractions, and all kinds of data. They also have a Nevada State Land Patents Digital Collection comprising of 24 volumes of nearly 14,000 land patents ranging from 1865 - 2013. This collection provides information about selling state lands. Search their catalog for these resources.
  • Nevada Historical Society (NHS) has an extensive research collection related to Historical Mining in Nevada.  Check out their Research Library about resources available, location, hours, etc. 
  • NDOM's Nevada Division of Minerals Open Data Site is an interactive mapping and data download tool, including Nevada active mining claims, notices, commodities, and occurrences.  Mining has played a significant role in Nevada's history and continues to be a substantial contributor to Nevada's economy. Over one million mining claims have been located in the state since the mining law of 1872 was passed. As of June 21, 2019, there were 204,588 active mining claims within the state.


Interested in reading more about the process and what to do?

Here are selected articles about evaluating and researching old stock certificates: 

Other Options - Donating your old stock certificates

Old Stock and Bond Certificates 

An old stock or bond certificate may still be valuable even if it no longer trades under the name printed on the certificate. The company may have merged with another company or simply changed its name. Keep in mind that due to corporate reorganizations (such as splits, mergers, or reverse mergers), the current share price may not be useful in determining the certificate's value, if any.  If the name of the transfer agent is printed on the certificate, contacting the transfer agent is the easiest way to learn about the certificate.  If the transfer agent whose name appears on the certificate is no longer in existence, contacting the state agency that handles incorporations in the state in which the company was incorporated may prove useful.  Certificate holders who have a brokerage account may want to ask their broker if they can assist in researching the certificate.

Other research resources may be found on the Internet, at public libraries, stock exchanges, or stockbrokers' offices. Even if you learn that a certificate has no investment value, you may find that the certificate itself has value as a collectible. - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Local - donating old stock certificates

Clark County Heritage Museum 
1830 S. Boulder Highway 
Henderson, NV 89015 

Article: What to do with an Old Stock Certificate, Enoch Pratt Free Library  

Article: Old Stock Certificates: Lost Treasure or Wallpaper? 

Mining Books and Reports

Suggested Books and Reports in the University Libraries

Many of these resources and documents are available online. Physical resources can be accessed from DeLaMare Library, located inside the Mackay Mines Building, the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center or Special Collections & Archives (located in the Knowledge Center). Please check the Libraries catalog records for availability and location. Here is a link to the Libraries’ hours when planning to visit campus.

You can search the library's catalog for the title of the resources listed to find a print copy in the library.

  • The Nevada Mineral Industries - NBMG Annual Reports - MI Publications (1978 -)
  • Major Mines of Nevada (PO) - NBMG Annual Booklet - PO Publications (1991 -) 
  • Mining Districts of Nevada 2nd Ed (1998) By Tingley, J.  - You can download a copy of the report from NBMG OR check out a copy at the DLM Library.
  • Mining Districts and Mineral Resources of Nevada, (1923), Lincoln, F.C.  (Historical Information)
    • You can check out a print copy at the DLM Library Library Catalog Record, or access via HathiTrust 
  • Copper Handbook (1900-1914)
  • The Mines Handbook (1916-1931)
  • Mines Register (1937-1971)
  • World Mines Register (1975-1982)
  • American Mines Handbook (1983-2003)
  • Canadian Mines Handbook (1958-2004)
  • Canadian & American Mines Handbook (2004-2015) 
  • Individual histories of the mines of the Comstock (1942)
  • Comstock mining and miners. Lord, E. (1959)
  • Outline of Nevada mining history (1993)
  • Mines and mills of the Comstock region, western Nevada (1989)
  • Annual Report of the State Mineralogist of the State of Nevada (1866)
  • The Report of the State Mineralogist of Nevada (1867 – 1870)
  • The History of the Comstock Lode (1850-1920)
  • Nevada Place Names
  • A history of the Comstock silver lode & mines.
  • General works on NV history which contain general mining information/history: 
    • Thompson & West’s History of Nevada
    • History of Nevada, Elliot
    • Ghost town books, place name books (for specific county and Comstock) 
  • Geology of Nevada