Based on our various experiences researching coal mining, Thomann Bernard (INALCO), Takashi Miyamoto (University of Tokyo), Naoko Shimazaki (Waseda University) and I presented on the theme of "Mining Grass-Roots Archives" at the June 2018 AAS-in-Asia conference in Delhi. We were joined by Dhiraj Kumar Nite (Ambedkar University), who served as our discussant.
Our central question was how we could think about the historical processes that shaped the creation of archives, particularly bottom-up attempts at archiving produced by coal-mining communities. What could we know about the development (and decline) of coal-mining as an industry, and its influence on local populations and individual identities?
Takashi Miyamoto and I outline these issues and those that shape the Japanese mining experience in our introduction to our collected proceedings, which were published by Waseda's RILAS Journal (Special Feature 7).