Women's Freedom League material, 1930s, from the Kirkland Collection (Ref. LAC/58)
We hold various collections of relevance to the study of women’s history and the political, professional, social, economic, and educational aspects of this topic.
Handball tournament in Nelson, c1900 (Ref. SWCC/PHO/REC/1/16)
The records of many of the welfare associations, institutes, and recreation organisations found in the South Wales coalfield are a rich resource for examining the development of sports. The collection includes photographs of facilities, teams and activities.
Sources from other collections include records of
Photograph of Harry Dobson (Ref. SWCC/PHO/SWC/14)
The South Wales Coalfield Collection includes significant material relating to the Spanish Civil War and the part played by Welsh volunteers, many of whom were politically active miners from the South Wales coalfield.
Student dance at Union House, 1960s © John Maltby (Ref. UNI/SU/AS/4/1/6/16)
The collections in the Archives hold a significant amount of material concerning leisure and recreation, an important of community life in the South Wales Coalfield, including
Other collections which include references to days out, dances, theatre shows etc include our Mumbles Railway collections, the Theatre Collection, and the University records.
Patients and Matron at Porthcawl Miners' Rest Home (Ref. SWCC/PHO/NUM/6/7)
Records in the Archives can be a useful resource for the representation of people with disabilities, ill-health and mental health conditions. They can give insight into hidden histories, the use of language, and how things have (or haven't) changed.
Photograph of Spanish immigrant workers in front of Dowlais ironworks, c1900 (Ref. SWCC/PHO/TOP/33)
The Archives has a broad range of sources for the study of migration to, from and around Wales as well as elsewhere. This includes:
The Richard Burton Archives hold various collections from before and after the creation of the National Health Service that are of relevance to the history of medicine, health and various associated professions. These cover:
Photograph of a march to Bristol from South Wales, 1931 (Ref. SWCC/PHO/DIS/56)
The South Wales Coalfield Collection contains a lot of material relating to strikes and disputes in the coal industry, primarily in relation to trade unions such as the South Wales Miners' Federation and the National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area).
There is also material relating to national unrest as well as other trade union disputes.
As well as written records there is a substantial collection of photographs. This is complemented by published material, oral histories and items at the South Wales Miners' Library.
The Archives also holds business collections for the local copper and tinplate industry which often record such events and the impact on the company.
Swansea University Students' Union Rag Magazine, 1933 (Ref. UNI/SSO/1/2)
The University holds archives pre-dating its foundation in 1920. These are a rich resource for those interested in the development of the University, its social and cultural past, the history of its architecture, and student life.
The collection includes the official minutes of the University’s established committees, alongside departmental records, correspondence, photographs and newspaper cuttings. A particular strength is the Student Union newspaper collection, which provides an insight into student experience throughout the decades.
Part of decorated family tree of the de la Beche family
If your ancestor was a prominent figure in a trade union, a coal miner involved in significant events (such as a mining disaster), worked in local industry or went to Swansea University, we may have records which could tell you more about them. Other sources for family history include
Playbill for Latimer's Mammoth Theatre 'Dog of the Regiment or Fidelity, Hatred & Revenge!' (Ref. LAC/106/E/30)
Our Welsh writers in English collections include papers of
We also hold material relating to poetry, including Vernon Watkins, D G and Islwyn Williams, and Dylan Thomas.
Our theatre collection contains items from the 18th century to 1980 and relates to Swansea Little Theatre, the University of Wales Swansea, theatre in London, provincial theatres, 'The Portable Theatre', and television productions.
Plan of Hafod Works, 1918 (Ref. LAC/126/C/16)
The Local Archive Collections includes 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.
We hold records of some of the key families and organisations that developed the copper industry in the Swansea region. They provide an insight into the development of the industry, links with companies in other countries, financial developments, production patents and the impact of copper smoke.
These collections vary in date, scope and content, containing a wide variety of material including minute books, financial ledgers, legal documents, staff records and technical papers.
The Archives hold sources for researching changes to landscape and the environment, particularly relating to coal mining and metal industries in the Swansea area and South Wales. These include:
Prison officer, Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London, August 1982 (Ref. DC3/15/1/2)
The Richard Burton Archives hold various collections of relevance to the study of crime, policing, prisons, punishment and the law. These include-
records in the South Wales Coalfield Collection relating to crime, disputes, policing and law reform - at an individual, colliery or national level
photography showing policing, protest and institutions, including images by documentary photographer Raissa Page
Church collections which detail 'crimes' of a religious nature, blaspheming, failure to attend church, immoral behaviour etc.
records concerning the role of voluntary organisations, such as women's shelters, within law and order
the University collections, such as the student newspapers and oral history interviews