The current cataloguing and conservation of the National Coal Board and pre-vesting colliery company records held at Glamorgan Archives has been made possible by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant. The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health and as such one of the project’s main aims has been to improve access to records related to medical and welfare issues. In this series of blog posts project archivist, Louise Clarke, highlights some of the types of material that you are able to find on this topic within the coalfield collection.
Volumes containing newspaper cuttings are an excellent way to get a snapshot of life in the coalfield. Although of lot of newspaper material is now available online, the advantage of these kind of volumes is that they bring material on the same subject together – a handy tool for any researcher!
One particular volume within the National Coal Board collection concerns the provision of social welfare for miners, including the opening of workmen’s institutes and pithead baths, grants for welfare schemes, and recreational activities. Dating from 1926-1934, this volume can be used to give a sense of the welfare activities taking place at the time.
Fourteen of the newspaper cutting volumes within the collection relate to strikes and stoppages, mainly the Tonypandy Riots of 1910-1911.
Alongside newspaper cuttings, press digests also feature within the collection. These offer a wider view of the representation of the coal industry within the media, and overall they cover the periods 1943-1958 and 1988-1991. Within the National Coal Board collection there is also a set of local and national newspaper cuttings and press releases concerning the Aberfan disaster.