About the Archives

The Richard Burton Archives is the corporate memory and archive repository of Swansea University and holds material of local, regional and national significance. The Archives selects, preserves and makes accessible to all the records of historical value created or acquired by the University. Through its holdings and the expertise of its staff the Archives actively supports the mission of the University to provide an environment of research excellence, to deliver an outstanding student experience with teaching of the highest quality, and to enrich the community and cultural life of Wales and beyond.

Visiting and Reader's Tickets

Opening Hours

The Archives are open to all. Visits are by appointment. Appointments for Tuesday evening must be made by 13:00 on the previous Friday.

Monday 9:15-13:00, 14:00-16:45
Tuesday 9:15-13:00, 14:00-16:45
  17:30-19:30 (during term time)
Wednesday 9:15-13:00, 14:00-16:45
Thursday 9:15-13:00, 14:00-16:45
Friday 9:15-13:00, 14:00-16:45


Reader's Tickets

We are part of the Archives Wales reader's ticket scheme and visitors will need to register at their first visit, unless they already hold a card issued by another participating record office or archive service. As part of the registration process readers' will agree to adhere to the rules in place at the Richard Burton Archives.

For further details about the reader's tickets or the rules please contact us.

Accessing the Archives

Where are the Archives?

The Archives are on level 1 west of the Library and Information Centre on the Singleton Campus of Swansea University (building 7 on the campus plan).

For details of how to reach the University see the main pages on transport and directions.


Access to the Library and Information Centre is an automatic entrance on level 3. Public areas within the Library and Information Centre, including the Archives are accessible to wheelchairs.

A choice of chairs with and without arms are available in the Archives, together with height adjustable tables.

If you have any particular requirements please contact us. 

Enquiries and Contact


The Archives are pleased to receive enquiries by telephone, e-mail or in writing about the collections held. There is no paid enquiry service, so we are not able to undertake lengthy enquiries, but we aim to assist wherever possible. Please provide as much information as is possible (such as names, time and place).

Contact Us

Richard Burton Archives
Library and Information Centre
Swansea University
Singleton Park

01792 295021



Facilities and Services


The Library and Information Centre contains a Costa Coffee on level 3, close to the main entrance. Refreshments are also available from catering outlets across campus. 

Toilets, including an accessible toilet, are located in the library, and other accessible toilet and baby changing facilities are available in other buildings on campus.



Photocopying or other forms of reprographics are carried out by Archive staff.

The cost of photocopying is 35p per A4 / A3 sheet, plus VAT where this is payable.

If you have any questions about reprographics or requesting copies of documents please contact us. 

The Collections

Local Archive Collection

These collections are particularly varied and include the records of many local businesses, such as the Mumbles Railway. The metallurgical industries in the area are well represented, especially copper, tinplate and steel.

Family collections include those of the Vivian, Dillwyn and Morris families.

Records are also held of the Roman Catholic Church of St David's Priory, Swansea, and the Methodist Circuit of Swansea and Gower (excluding the registers which are held at West Glamorgan Archive Service).

Literary and Richard Burton Collections

Welsh Writers in English Collection

The records of Welsh writers in English are the focus of this collection and include the papers of Raymond Williams, Ron Berry and others. The Raymond Williams collection has been catalogued courtesy of funding from the Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust. The papers of the renowned cultural critic and writer Raymond Williams (1921-1988) range from the creative works of his childhood through his time at Cambridge and World War Two, to his later academic life. The collection reveals the development of this leading intellectual figure.


Richard Burton Collection

The collection illustrates the life and career of Richard Burton as a world-famous actor on the stage and screen.

South Wales Coalfield Collection

The South Wales Coalfield Collection is an internationally important research resource. The collection provides a unique picture of life in the coalfield valleys during the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, concentrating on the workers and the organisations they created. It contains records of trade unions, notably the National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area) and the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, miners' institutes, co-operative societies, and individuals connected with the mining community. The Collection is split between the Richard Burton Archives on the Singleton Campus and the South Wales Miners' Library at Hendrefoelan.

Swansea University Records

The core records of the University are held in the Archives, together with collections reflecting the research interests of the University.

Richard Burton Archives Policies

In due course the suite of policies used in the Archives will be made available online. In the interim please contact the Archives.