Oroszlány, 80 km west of Budapest in the Vértes Mountains was a mining boom town of the mid-twentieth century. The area was ruled for much of the eighteenth century by the Ottoman Empire, and re-populated towards the end of the century by Slovaks, who remain a significant minority in the region and have their own ethnic museum. Mining began in the area in 1939 when the population was only 15,000. With the growth of the industry during and after the Second World War it increased to more than 21,000, and Oroszlány gained the formal status of a town in 1954. In recent decades most coal has been extracted by open cast methods, but the museum is located at the XX (i.e. twentieth) shaft of the Márkushegyi pit where it was established in 2001 with the support of the Vértes (electric) Power Co.
It was the last deep coal mine in Hungary, and the establishment of the museum was part of a co-ordinated programme to mitigate the economic and social consequences of closure. The collection dates from 1970 when it was first displayed at the XVI (sixteenth) shaft of the Márkushegyi pit. The museum shows tools and machines used in mining in the second half of the twentieth century, together with mineral specimens and the flags and uniforms that were part of the culture of Hungarian mining. It is a branch of the Central Museum of Mining at Sopron.