Publications on “roofing slate” topic

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This is a graphic on the number of scientific-technical publications/reports/articles/patents published under the roofing slate topic. It is not 100% accurate, since there is much literature not easily reachable, or even lost and forgotten forever. However, some interesting general conclusions can be taken from this graphic. The first point is the role of the US on roofing slate research. During the first half of the XX century, several high-quality scientific reports were published, mainly by the US Geological Survey and the Journal of the Franklin Institute. The most prominent authors were Nelson T. Dale, Edwin C. Eckel and Oliver Bowles. Personally, I have greatly enjoyed reading these papers. The conclusions of these papers are completely valid today. The US scientific production decayed in the second half on the XX century, and for the first years of the XXI century, again the number of works increased, but this time focusing on roofing techniques.

In Europe the tendency is opposed. Most of the publications are from the end of the XX century-beginning of the XXI century. Here can be deduced two tendencies: publications from the former producing countries, like France, UK, Germany and Belgium have a clear bias to heritage-related issues, while for the producing country (Spain) the publications have a strong technical component. The first tendency is especially perceptible for the UK, in which the Heritage Associations (Historic Scotland and English Stone Forum) have played an important role in preservation and documentation of ancient slate roofs.

For the new producing countries (China, Brazil and India), the number of international publications is still low. In the case of Brazil, several reports were issued during the first years of the 2000’s, related to the “Brazilian Slate – CE mark” conflict.

Some interesting publications available on the internet:


Eckel, E.C., 1904. On the chemical composition of American shales and roofing slates. The Journal of Geology 12, 25-29.

Dale, N.T., Eckel, E.C., Hilldebrand, W.F., Coons, T., 1906. Slate deposits and slate industry of the United States. USGS Bulletin #275. United States Geological Survey.

Bowles, O., 1926. Recent progress in slate technology. Journal of the Franklin Institute 202, 668-669.


Davies, D.C., 1880. A treatise on slate and slate quarrying, London.

Hughes, T., 2005. Vernacular slate and stone roofs in England, England’s Heritage in Stone. English Stone Forum, Tempest Anderson Hall, York, pp. 28-42.


Filho, C.C., 2011. As ardósias Bambuí na Marcação CE. ABIROCHAS, p. 19.


Cárdenes, V., Cnudde, V., Cnudde, J.P., 2015. Iberian roofing slate as a global heritage stone province resource. Episodes 38, 97-105.


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