Over the past eighty years, the Watts Museum has acquired thousands of objects representing distinct eras in the coal and petroleum industries. The Museum’s permanent collection includes a wide selection of mining and drilling artifacts, including flame safety lamps, mine rescue equipment, canary cages and model oil derricks. Additionally, the Museum owns a diverse collection of petroleum products from regional oil fields and an extensive sampling of rare minerals found both globally and locally. Books, archival documents and historical photographs are also included in the Museum’s holdings.
The majority of the Museum’s collection has been donated by mining and petroleum companies, friends of the mining and petroleum industries and alumni of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU. The Museum’s collection continues to grow through donations, bequests and purchases.