Coal was once the most important commodity in the world. It fuelled the industrial revolution, lit the streets of towns and cities, shaped landscapes and created unique communities. Today coal is still a major source of energy. It powers 40% of the world’s electricity and is mined all over the world. At the same time it is known to be a major source of pollution and a key factor in global warming, so that many countries are pledged to abandon it. Most of what we know about mines and miners comes from novels, films and photographs. Drawing on his recently published book, Coal Cultures, Dr Derrick Price, a cultural historian who has published widely on photography and film, will take an illustrated look at this fascinating commodity, at the people who mine it, the worlds they have created and the impact on our world today.