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Transitioning from Year 13 to HE: Special Collections

Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg:

Welcome to our Special Collections

Swansea University is fortunate to have a number of significant library, archive and museum collections which are used to support research, teaching and learning.  They are open to students, researchers, academics and the general public to look at and use.   

The Special Collections team manage these unique and distinct collections which include archives, rare books, oral history, posters, banners and miners' institute libraries.  The collections can be accessed via the Richard Burton Archives and Rare Book Collection in the Singleton Park Library and the South Wales Miners' Library on the Hendrefoilan Campus.  

Explore some of our Special Collections

Introducing the Richard Burton Archives

The Richard Burton Archives selects, preserves and makes accessible to all the records of historical value created or acquired by the University. Our collections are available for students, staff and external researchers to access in our reading room. They provide a fascinating insight into the industrial, cultural, social, political and educational history of Wales and beyond. 

Why use the archives?

  • They are contemporary with the events described; immediate, first hand accounts or primary sources
  • They provide evidence of what happened, usually created by the people involved
  • They will help develop your critical thinking skills
  • Archivists are on hand to help you find and use exciting material

One of the collections held in the Archives is the Swansea University Students' Union collection.  As part of his second year of Swansea University course, ‘Researching and Re-telling the Past: Swansea Student Union History Project’, Sion Durham used the collection in his research.   Watch the film below to hear Sion describe how he was able to explore the unique history of Swansea University Students' Union through countless sources which are held in the Archives.

You can read more about the Students' Union collection and the project by reading this blog.

To find out about all the other collections we have, please visit our website.



Richard Burton Archives Blog

Introducing the South Wales Miners' Library

The South Wales Miners’ Library is a research library which holds primary and secondary source material relevant to the social, cultural and political history of industrial south Wales.  It also provides library services to part time students and to students living at the Hendrefoilan student village site.

Our research collections contain many unusual and valuable resources.  They include books, pamphlets, posters, newspaper cuttings and oral history recordings on major historical events and periods such as: the Russian Revolution; the First World War; the inter-war period; the Leagues of Nations; the Spanish Civil War; the rise of fascism in Europe; World War Two (both international and the “home front”), the Spanish Civil War, the 1984-85 Miners' Strike and a great deal more.

Our book collections may be searched using Swansea University's library catalogue iFind.  Some books can be borrowed, but most are for reference purposes only and may only be viewed in the library.

To introduce you to some of our diverse and often unique holdings, below are some brief bibliographies which highlight some of the titles we hold, including where they may be found in the Miners’ Library.  

More information about our research collections can be found on our website.


South Wales Miners' Library Blog

Some books of interest

Social Media for Special Collections