Our Collections

The Archives hold a wealth of material that could be used for a wide range of research. A brief overview of some of the key collections is below but for more information please contact the Archives.

An Overview of Our 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 Collections and Richard Burton

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 Collection

The University’s core records include minute books and departmental records, prospectuses and press cuttings, photographs, architectural plans, and items relating to student life. The Archives also hold the personal papers of some former staff, including the philosopher Rush Rhees.