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, miners' institutes, co-operative societies, and individuals connected with the mining community. Material in the Archives relates to:
This collection encompasses a significant collection of photographs.
Please note that:
The Collection was established in 1969 as an attempt to preserve the documentary records of the mining community of South Wales. At that time over one hundred mines had been closed since nationalisation, more pit closures were threatened and such records were in danger of being destroyed. Fortunately the officers of the National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area) were aware of the problem and began the transfer of their non-current records to the Library at University College Swansea while encouraging their constituent lodges to do the same.
In 1971 the South Wales Coalfield History Project was set up, funded by the Social Science Research Council, to locate and collect manuscript and printed material of archival significance. Such was the success of the Project which lasted until 1974, that it was followed by a second from 1979-82. A great deal of archive material was deposited from miners' lodges and institutes, co-operative societies and by individuals. Another aspect of the project was the recording of interviews with people connected with the mining community.