The [Museum of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry](https://Museum of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry) celebrates the pioneering work of James Young in developing the techniques to refine mineral oil into useable products at his Bathgate Chemical Works during the 19th century. His innovations were the foundation for the shale oil mining and refining industries that developed in the area and lasted over a century. He was credited as the person who developed the techniques to mass produce paraffin for candles and his business prospered as a result.
Oil recovered from shale oil mining was a very important resource in the 19th century before techniques of drilling for crude oil were developed, although it has faded from significance and doesn’t reside in cultural memory in the same way as coal mining. The museum records the widespread impacts and benefits of the shale oil mining in the area for many companies that ultiately went on to become BP. It also holds archive documents and materials for researchers.
The museum is modern and well presented with a good selection of exhibits aimed at the general audience as well as more specialised information. The website is also carefully thought out and offers a virtual tour and access to the digital collection of documents and images, including geolocated archive images around West Lothian.