American Spelean History Association (ASHA) is an internal
organization of the National Speleological Society that is devoted to
the study, interpretation,
and dissemination of information about spelean history, which includes
folklore, legends, and historical facts about caves throughout the
world and the people who are associated with them, their thoughts,
philosophies, difficulties, tragedies, and triumphs.
the Association is open to anyone who is interested in the history of
man's use of caves. Membership in the National Speleological
Society is not required. Click here
for a membership application. (If the application doesn't
correctly, a PDF
of the application is also available).
0022-4693): This is the
Association's publication and is mailed to all members. It is
nominally published on a semi-annual basis, but if insufficient
is available for an issue, the publication schedule may not
be met. The Journal
articles covering a wide variety of topics relating to man's use of
caves, including historical cave exploration and use, saltpeter and
mineral extraction, show cave development and history, and other
topics. It is the primary medium for conveying information
ideas within the caving history community. All members are
strongly encouraged to contribute material and to comment on published
material. Items for publication should be submitted to the
Journal of Spelean
and List of
Issues Published: There is a cumulative index to the
issues in searchable
HTML format and a printable version of the cumulative index in PDF format.
Issues: The Journal
publication in 1968 and copies of all back issues greater than five
old are available as PDF files that can be downloaded at no cost.
Click here to go to the
page containing links to the issues that can be downloaded.
subscriptions) are $2.00 per Journal
of Spelean History
issue mailed to U.S. addresses. Checks should be made payable to "ASHA" and sent to the Treasurer.
Sorry, we cannot accept credit cards.
ASHA sponsors the Spelean History session at the annual National
Speleological Society Convention, at which presentations are made on a
variety of topics of interest to the cave historian. Anyone
welcome (and encouraged) to do a presentation at the session.
Contact the President or see the Call
more information. Note: There was no physical NSS convention in 2020 or 2021 so there were no History Sessions.
NSS Convention Session Abstracts: Abstracts of many
Spelean History presentations made at NSS Conventions are available in a searchable PDF file here (94 pages, 530 Kbytes). After downloading, the file can be searched with most PDF viewer programs.
The Association holds its only formal meeting each year at the NSS
Convention. All Association business, including election of
officers, is done at that meeting. Note: There was no NSS convention in 2020 so there was no Annual Meeting.
Printed Back Issues: Paper
copies of all back issues of the Journal of Spelean History are available,
although many of the early issues are reprints. Order back
from the Treasurer. The cost (U.S. postage included) is:
Welcomes members from foreign countries. The rate for all
members is US$5.00 per Journal
issue for printed copies, or $2.00 per issue for electronic (PDF)
copies sent as email attachments. We regret that all checks
must be payable
drawn on a U.S. bank. Send cash at your own risk.
for a single copy
per copy for 2-3 copies
- $1.50 per copy for 4-7
- $1.00 per copy for 8 or more
The Peter M. Hauer
Spelean History Award:
This Award is presented annual to an individual for outstanding work in
the field of cave history. Click here for more information and a list of
Special Interest Material
The Max Kaemper Connection: This
is a 75-minute video about the history of the 1908 map of Mammoth Cave
done by German engineer Max Kaemper. The video discusses the history of
this amazingly accurate early cave map and the story of the man who
created it. The video can viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGRjijNdNWA. The video was made by Bernd Kliebhan, a descendent of Max Kaemper.
Mammoth Cave photographers: Bob Thompson has produced a book titled Early Photography at Mammoth Cave. Click here to download a low resolution PDF copy of the book at no cost.
Cave Post Offices in various states:
Thomas Lera has produced a series of ASHA Special Publications
documenting the history of existing and discontinued post offices in
several states. The PDF versions of the publications can be
downloaded at no cost (click the title to download the PDF file):
Cave Post Offices of Virginia and West Virginia (Revised April 2018, 76 pages, 21 Mbytes)
Cave Post Offices in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina (Revised May 2018, 27 pages, 4 Mbytes)
Cave Post Offices in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania (April 2018, 31 pages, 5 Mbytes)
Cave Post Offices in Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida (May 2018, 19 pages, 2 Mbytes)
Cave Post Offices in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio (May, 2018, 23 pages, 3 Mbytes)
List of Saltpeter Caves:
Many U.S. caves were used a source of saltpeter (an
in gunpowder) until after the Civil War. Doug Plemons has
produced a comprehensive list of these caves and the latest
(2006) edition of his list is available here as a PDF file (75
History of Pendleton County (W. Va.) Caves: This is a chapter from The Caves and Karst of Pendleton County,
by George Dasher. The chapter was written by John C. Taylor and
describes the history of some of the County's famous saltpeter
caves. Click here for more information and to download a PDF version of the chapter (206 Kbytes).
ASHA Administrative Documents:
of the Association
information about the Association:
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any questions about the Association or cave history.
Schnecksville, PA 18078
|7415 Swan Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80908
|6304 Kaybro St.,
Laurel, MD 20707 (301)725-5877 email@example.com
Saint Paul, MN
55103 bric0004 "@" umn.edu
patch. This 4" cloth patch is available for $4.00 and is
free to new members who join for at least 8 issues ($16.00). Send
orders to the Treasurer.
is the National
Speleological Society, the national organization of cavers.
Greg Brick, Editor of the JSH
has an evolving Web site that includes information about caves and cave
history in the upper Midwest.
is the National
Caves Association, a trade group that includes most of the commercial
caves in the United States.
a Web page maintained by Jon Hagee and dedicated to Floyd Collins, the
cave explorer who died in Sand
Cave (Kentucky) in 1925 after being trapped for several days.
This Web site, titled The Carbide
contains lots of useful information about the operation, history,
and maintenance of carbide lamps. The site belongs to Mike
or validated on October 20, 2021)