Resource data for coal occurrences throughout the world are being gathered into a database which aims to provide the energy and chemical resource analysis with the fundamental deposit characterizations to plan the future exploitation of coal. The data concerning the properties of all coal-in-place are obtained for both published and unpublished sources and entered into the database in their original language and conventions. The relational database management system employed is appropriate to such variegated data. The resource data will be run though lexicographic algorithms designed to provide the best available equivalences between source conventions: thus multinational aggregations of the results may become meaningful. The source and derived files will be available for alternative interpretations as required. It is concluded that the database, once developed, is expected to provide a unique and valuable source of information for decision making up to, and beyond, the time when coal replace soil as the principal remaining fossil resource of energy and petro-chemicals.