The Richard Burton 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. This includes:
In 1961 the Lower Swansea Valley Project was launched, aiming to research and return an area to the attractive valley it had been prior to the development of the copper smelting industry in the early 18th century, and other subsequent metal industries. The project was sponsored mainly by the Nuffield Foundation, the Welsh Office, Swansea Council and the former Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Researchers based at the then University of Wales Swansea undertook surveys of the valley to get an accurate picture and analysis of the valley in terms of physical environment, social environment and economic situation. A final report was produced in 1967 and the development and regeneration of the area has been going on since then.
This collection covers the period 1936 to 1967 and includes items such as:
Find out more about this collection at the Lower Swansea Valley Project webguide created by MA students from Swansea University. The website explores the project and key figures, the university's and local community's involvement, and much more.
This material consists of the business records of some of the key families and organisations that developed the copper industry in the Swansea region. The records provide an insight into the development of the copper industry, links with companies in other countries, financial developments, production patents and the social problems of copper smoke.
Plan of Hafod works, 1916 (Ref. LAC/126/C/16)
Raissa Page Collection
Includes photographic items such as:
South Wales Coalfield Collection
Examples of Items of potential interest are:
Raymond Williams Collection
Includes various papers of the Socialist Environment & Resources Association (SERA), such as newsletters, minutes and circulars as well as versions of 'Socialism and Ecology' by Raymond Williams, which was published as a SERA pamphlet in 1982 (Ref. WWE/2/1/15/1/7).
Ron Berry Collection
Includes a series of 20th century bird watching diaries and ornithological writings (Ref. WWE/1/7/2), as well as letters and other items relating to the Rhondda Forest Recreation Project, 1973-1979 (Ref. WWE/1/10/14).
Individual Items From Across the Collections
South Wales Miners' Library
The SWML houses the printed book and pamphlet collections, as well as access copies of oral history recordings from the South Wales Coalfield Collection, which may relate to the environment and landscape in the South Wales Coalfield.
The South Wales Coalfield Collection provides a unique picture of life in the coalfield valleys during the late 19th and 20th 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), miners' institutes, co-operative societies, and individuals connected with the mining community.
The Collection is split across two sites.
Photograph of the sinking of Markham Colliery, showing men in the pit which will eventually become the mine shaft, 1911 (Ref. SWCC/PHO/COL/63)
Ty Toronto Project
The project came into existence in response to the Aberfan disaster in 1966, when a coal waste tip slid down a mountainside killing 144 people, 116 of them children. The name of the project comes from the Welsh community in Toronto whose donations helped to set up a centre in Aberfan, headed by the Reverend Erastus Jones. In March 1973 'The Call to the Valleys' heralded a number of conferences and events aimed at highlighting the valley communities' concerns and the issues affecting them. There is one section relating to the 'Valleys and the Environment Conference', containing correspondence, papers and registration records, 1974-1975 (Ref. SWCC/MNC/TT/13)
Haydn Evans Collection
Aberfan Disaster Inquiry proceedings 1966, including numerous reports and papers, as well as copies of correspondence and memoranda relating to complaints about the danger of coal tips, flooding and pollution at Aberfan (Ref. SWCC/MNA/PP/26/3).
Items from the South Wales Coalfield Collection that may be of interest include:
South Wales Transport
In 1807, the Swansea and Mumbles Railway became the world's first passenger railway service.
The Mumbles Railway collections are a comprehensive resource for bus, railway and tramway transportation in South Wales, mainly for Swansea and the surrounding areas. They contain records from all of the companies associated with the Mumbles Railway and Mumbles Pier -
The collections contain many different types of document, including maps and plans, legal papers and correspondence, and can show the impact of transport on Swansea and the surrounding area. The records include:
Photograph of 'MUMBLES TRAIN NEARLY FULL', 1906 (Ref. LAC/85/A/19)