The Bergbau-Bücherei is the largest and oldest of the three libraries, which were marged to the "Library of the Ruhr". After the "Society for mining interests in the Mines district of Dortmund" as a lobby group of colliery companies in the region have been founded in 1859, there arose soon the need for a library for the society and its members.
An ongoing collection development began, which took not only account into the literature of the economic aspects of the mining industry, but also dealss comprehensive with the general issues of transport, economic and social policies.Since the 1890s the society's intrests turned increasingly to the technical problems of the industry, according to that the collection profile of its library changed. In the 20th century the focus of the acquisition was always on scientific-technical literature. Especially after the Second World War, the library had to met the demands of literature of its several times changing institution, which functioned as the research center for the West German coal industry. Nevertheless there is still a wealth of social science literature that covers mining in its economic, legal, political and social conditioning. In addition there was always put attention to the development of the Ruhr area as a region characterised by coal and steel industry. The high appreciation of periodical literature is showed in the fact that a documentation service systematically evaluated dependent literature between 1924 and 1998.
Until 1998, the mining library in their primary function as a service organization of the company German Mining Technology Co., Ltd. was primarily a public, technical-scientific special library. But the Date of establishment and the collection profile makes their collections also for economic, social and technic historians extremely interesting. The Bergbau-Bücherei contains a wealth of writings from the 19th and the first half of the 20th Century, which are not necessarily rare in thenational level, but are not avaible in an other authority in the region, where exist no universitys until 1964. Timely removal kept the library in the Second World War against large losses, so the old stock - enriched by the legacy of valuable pieces - is almost completely preserved. Probably unique is its collection of mining literature, with include rare items from around the area of the gray literature. The Library of the Ruhr itself feels obligated to that tradition and will continue to actively maintain this focus.