Our Partners and Available Resources

(Please click the blue title links to be directed to facility homepages.)

Swansea University Richard Burton Archives

The Richard Burton Archives is the home of Swansea University’s archive collections. The archives are situated in the library and information centre on the Singleton Campus of Swansea University.

The key strengths of the archives are:

Local archives: including business archives of the metal and engineering industries in Swansea and the surrounding area and Mumbles Railway, Methodist records for Swansea and Gower circuit and parish records of St David’s Priory.

South Wales Coalfield Collection: records of the NUM (South Wales Area) and its branches or lodges, Miners’ Institutes and photographs and personal collections from individuals throughout the South Wales Coalfield.

Literary collections: particularly records of Welsh writers in English. University records: records of the University from its establishment in 1920 onwards.

The archives are open to all and staff are always willing to answer queries and give advice, simply make an appointment if you wish to use the archives.

Opening times
Monday to Friday: 9.15am-1pm and 2-4.45pm
Tuesday evening during term time by prior arrangement

Tel. 01792 295021; Email archives@swan.ac.uk

South Wales Miners’ Library

Established in 1973, the South Wales Miners’ Library holds a diverse and comprehensive resource for researching the history and legacy of the South Wales Coalfield.

The collection includes books, pamphlets, journals, trade directories and yearbooks, posters, oral history recordings, videos and banners relating to the social, cultural, educational and political histories of the South Wales Coalfield.

The library also supports the wide range of courses taught by Swansea University’s Adult Continuing Education Department, and includes an extensive local history collection.

The library is open to everyone and staff members are always willing to help with queries and give advice. No appointment is necessary.

Opening times
Term TimeMonday to Thursday: 9am-8pm
Friday & Saturday: 9am-5pm
Sunday: Closed

Monday to Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

National Waterfront Museum – Research Library

In addition to displays telling the story of industry and innovation throughout Wales over the last three centuries, the Museum houses an extensive research library. The library comprises more than 25,000 volumes and a photographic archive of over 40,000 images relating to the industrial, maritime and transport history of Wales. Researchers can also access the expertise of a team of specialist curators and the collections of the whole of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

As well as a representative collection of industrial histories, the library also holds technical and instructional works for these industries. The library includes a complete set of Lloyds Registers from 1836 to present day (plus selected volumes from 1764 to 1832), and a series of volumes listing the shipwrecks that have occurred around the coast of the British Isles. The library also holds good runs of published lists of working mines and quarries from the 1850s to the present day, and runs of significant periodicals including H.M. Inspectors of Mines Annual Reports, which include lists of fatal accidents from 1850 to 1914. We presently subscribe to over forty current periodicals.

The reference library is open to the public, by appointment only. As a reference library the books may not be borrowed although books may be loaned to other libraries through an inter- library loan service.

If you would like to use the library you will need to make an appointment; this should be made with the curator responsible for the section of the library that you wish to see.

Opening times
Library: Monday to Friday: 10.30am-1pm & 2—4.30pm. Closed on weekends and national holidays.
Museum: Daily: 10am–5pm

West Glamorgan Archive Service

The West Glamorgan Archive Service collects documents, maps, photographs, film and sound recordings relating to all aspects of the history of West Glamorgan. It is a joint service for the Councils of the City & County of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot County Borough.

All items held by the Archives that are contained in the public catalogue and marked as available can be used for research by the general public in the archive search room in Swansea Civic Centre. The archive operates a reader’s ticket system, which also gives you access to other archives in Wales, including Swansea University Archives.

Opening times
Tuesday: 9am–7pm
Wednesday to Friday: 9am–5pm
Saturday: 10am–4pm (Family History Centre only)
Closed Sunday

City & County of Swansea Library Service Local Studies Collection

The City & County of Swansea Library Service maintains a major local history collection at the Central Library, in the Civic Centre. It contains source material for local history and genealogical research, relating not only to Swansea but also to the rest of Wales, and includes:

Printed Works
The Welsh and Swansea Collections comprise over 120,000 books, pamphlets and volumes of periodicals, both antiquarian and modern, including the journals or transactions of numerous historical and archaeological societies. It also includes extensive runs of trade directories, electoral registers, telephone directories, guide books etc.

Newspapers and periodicals
The Library holds extensive runs of local and Welsh newspapers on microfilm, including The Cambrian, which was the first to be published in Wales and dates back to 1804.

The Cambrian Index
The computerised index to The Cambrian (www.swansea.gov.uk/cambrian) has been developed by Swansea Library Service and is an important resource for those researching the history of south Wales. It is an ongoing project, constantly growing.

Maps and plans
These cover the period c. 1835 (tithe map and apportionment copies) to date.

Internet access
The Internet contains much information of interest to researchers in Welsh, local and family history. Email and internet facilities are freely available at Central Library and at all other libraries across the City & County of Swansea, in time slots of 2 hours per day. This includes free access to Ancestry.com, one of the premier family history research websites.

Census Returns
The Library holds microfilmed copies of Census returns for the years 1841,1851,1861,1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901, for all of the City & County of Swansea area. Access to online census information via the Ancestry.com website (up to and including 1901) is provided free of charge.

Ask Library Line Service
This is a free service provided by experienced information librarians who will answer factual questions, help to find relevant information and resources or refer to other agencies when appropriate.

Opening times
Tuesday to Friday: 8.30am-8pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am-4pm
Closed on Monday

Gwent Glamorgan Archaeological Trust

GGAT currently hold about 25,000 records of archaeological and historical interest and make this information available to all those who have an involvement in the past whether as researchers, developers, school children or farmers. GGAT aim is to advance the education of the public in archaeology.

Historic Environment Record
The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust’s Historic Environment Record (HER) is the official register of archaeological sites in Southeast Wales. Currently they hold about 25,000 records of archaeological and historical interest covering the twelve unitary authorities.

The information held within the HER is made available to all interested parties, such as personal or academic researchers, developers, local history groups, students and school children. More details about GGAT and the HER can be found in thier Accessing Information pages (please follow above link.)

Taliesin Arts Centre

The Taliesin Arts centre is at the heart of Swansea University’s Singleton Campus. Open throughout the year, the centre hosts a broad programme of events including cinema screenings, an average of ten visiting exhibitions per year, and a great variety of live performances, from dance and drama to jazz and world music.

The emphasis at Taliesin is on quality and innovation – providing a vital service to both students and the people of Swansea and acting as a regional centre of excellence. As well as events within the building, recently, thanks to increased funding from the Wales Assembly Government and the Arts Council of Wales, the centre has begun to take productions outside of the theatre, holding Dance Days, an annual festival in the city centre, and touring their own productions and co-productions to other venues across Wales & beyond.

The centre recently celebrated their 25th birthday, having first opened in June 1984. Taliesin is named after the 6th century Celtic bard of the same name.

Taliesin also houses the Egypt Centre, a museum of Egyptian antiquities accredited by the MLA.

The People’s Collection

The People’s Collection Wales is dedicated to the story of Wales and its people and is free to use. It is a place to discover, learn and contribute your story of Wales alongside stories and content provided by other people and organisations. People’s Collection Wales represents an innovative approach to collecting, interpreting and discussing Wales’s cultural heritage in an online environment.

Led by Wales’s national heritage institutions, People’s Collection Wales brings together a wide range of partners from different fields to share tools, resources, skills and expertise. The website is supported by a programme of activities to explore new and exciting ways of collecting, exploring, discovering and sharing the stories of Wales and its people. The programme will continue to develop exciting tools to bring our heritage and history to life.

People’s Collection Wales is funded by the Welsh Government, and is a key commitment in the Programme for Government 2011-2016. The programme’s activities support key agendas such as digital inclusion, lifelong learning, cultural tourism and pioneer a range of innovative technological applications through partnership working.

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery



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