The Museum opened in 1988 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum and much of the collections came to the site in the late 1980s and early 1990s when many pits in the region were closing. The British Coal Collection, a large group of objects of national significance, became part of the Museum collections in 1995. This had been assembled by the National Coal Board (subsequently British Coal) and had been housed first at Lound Hall Museum, Nottinghamshire, then at the Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum in Staffordshire.
The Museum continues to acquire, both by gift and purchase, items that help to tell the story of coal mining in England
Winner of Sandford Award 2003, 2008