There have been a grand total of 5 Glamorgan Archivists in the 75 years since the first appointment. Interestingly, after the initial, brief, male occupancy, all have been women!
Emyr Gwynne Jones was appointed in 1939 and produced the first lists of Quarter Sessions records. His tenure was interrupted by the Second World War in which he served in the Royal Air Force and following which he became Librarian to Bangor University.
Madeline Elsas restarted the service in 1946 bringing a professional expertise developed in Essex. Under her guidance the establishment grew and vigorous efforts were made to attract deposits from individuals, societies and businesses keeping pace with legislation allowing local authority archives to collect outside their organisation. Before her retirement in 1973 Miss Elsas had established the service on a firm footing and begun the publication and exhibition programmes developed by her successor.
Patricia Moore took over in 1973, just ahead of local government reorganisation, and successfully led the service through the formation of a joint committee for the 3 authorities spawned by the historic county of Glamorgan thus creating the first joint archive service in Wales. Mrs Moore developed the publications list, broadening the appeal of the service to a range of users and instigated regular exhibitions in the County Halls and further afield; she produced an attractive and lavishly illustrated Annual Report, and engaged regularly with local media to advertise the service and promote both use and deposit. She was also responsible for the establishment of the West Glamorgan Archive Service which began as a service point before breaking off to form a separate service leaving Mid and South Glamorgan supporting the Glamorgan Archives. The Archives’ raised profile combined with the contraction of local industries and institutions produced an increased rate of deposits such that by 1993 when Mrs Moore retired the Collection had outgrown the original premises in County Hall and a number of different solutions were being implemented.
Annette Burton began to explore the possibility of a new building for the whole Collection from 1993 and brought a fresh eye to both service delivery and budget control. Under Mrs Burton the number of places where the Collection was stored outside the headquarters was reduced, the lecture programme formalised and communication strategies within the office developed. In her short term of office Mrs Burton synthesised the best of her predecessors’ work and set the service on the road it has successfully followed.
Susan Edwards took over in 1996 and led the project to relocate the service into its present purpose built accommodation with vastly improved facilities for service delivery. The Archives has achieved the Welsh Strategic Leadership Award, has bronze level Investors in People recognition and a thriving volunteer and skill sharing programme. Staff work in mutually beneficial partnership with a range of organisations including local universities, museums and libraries, Cardiff People First, the Parliamentary Archives, and agencies such as Quest and Go Wales.