A World of Welsh Copper: Major Exhibition Opens In Swansea
Visitors to a major new exhibition opening in Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum this week will be asked what our world would be like without coins, telephones and cars as the rich heritage of the copper industry in Wales is examined.
A World of Welsh Copper opens on Saturday 2 July and looks at how Wales led the world’s historic copper industry and how it became the first fully integrated global heavy industry.
The event ,which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has been planned by the Global and Local Worlds of Welsh Copper project, which is a partnership of five organisations, led by Swansea University along with the National Waterfront Museum, the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, the City and County of Swansea and the University of Glamorgan.
While exploring how this global industry affected the social, cultural and urban development of Wales, the exhibition also looks at its impact on technological innovations, international trade and slavery as well as the industry’s aftermath in reclamation and regeneration.
The project embraces academia, the heritage sector and global communities to tell the story of copper through exhibitions, websites, social media, 3D animations and a host of events. It is also working with the Richard Burton Archives at Swansea University to raise awareness of its copper business archives.
Dr Tehmina Goskar, Research Officer for the ESRC Copper Project said “The copper industry propelled so many scientific developments like early telecommunications and harnessing electricity for power, without which our lives today would be completely unrecognisable. The wealth that it created made a huge contribution to our cultural heritage that we can still see today, from original workers housing to Singleton Abbey, built by the Vivian family, which was the founding building of Swansea University.”
Prof. Huw Bowen, Professor of Modern History at Swansea University, said, “We tend to think that the history of Wales is written in coal dust and iron and steel. But in fact it's really copper that lies at the heart of Wales' development as an industrial nation.”