This is an extremely rare mining map of Donets (Donetsk) in eastern Ukraine, the primary coal-producing region of the Russian Empire, and later the Soviet Union and independent Ukraine. At the time this map was made, the Donets region provided over 80% of the Russian Empire’s coal. Since mining operations started in Donets in the 1870s, coal has been closely tied to the region’s economy and identity. In fact, the name Donbas (Ukrainian: Донба́с; Russian: Донба́сс) is an abbreviation of “Donets Coal Basin” (Ukrainian: Донецький вугільний басейн, Russian: Донецкий угольный бассейн).
The map shows major roads, waterways, cities, industrial centers, ports, and railway stations. Coal mines and their owners are marked in red font. The shading on the map represents deposits of minerals from geological eras. The inset map at the top-right is a road map of the broader region of southwestern Russia and eastern Ukraine. The inset map at left is the Ekaterininsky Railway, the main artery through the region that carried coal and other industrial products. The red text at the bottom-left indicates that the map was approved by censors on January 13, 1890.
This is a chromolithographed folding pocket map consisting of 24 segments. It was compiled by A. Mevius [A. Мевиус] and was of critical importance to mining interests in the region due to the large amount of information it contained.
An accompanying booklet includes additional maps and tables, including a listing of mine owners and their annual freight. At least four editions exist but this is an early edition, perhaps a first edition, that is not known to exist in any institution’s holdings.