Work has started on cataloguing the records of the South Wales Miners' Museum held by West Glamorgan Archive Service.
Located in Afan Argoed Country Park, the museum conveys the history of the South Wales coal mining industry and its workforce. The demise of heavy industry in Wales left many areas affected and the identity of these communities are often still shaped by their industrial legacy. The South Wales Miners' Museum developed from concern over the rehabilitation of the Afan Valley after mining had ceased in 1970, and a wish to commemorate this industrial past. The museum opened in 1976, and was recently refurbished. It relies heavily on a dedicated team of volunteers and public donations.
In 2001, recognising that storage conditions in the Museum were not suitable, the archive and photographic collections were deposited with West Glamorgan Archive Service. Along with the administrative records of the museum, the collection includes documents from the area’s collieries and other papers donated by the local community.
Cataloguing these records will open up another collection highlighting Wales’s proud industrial past. The records will compliment, in particular, the other coal mining industry collections (Emlyn Colliery and Brickworks and Powell Duffryn Limited) from the Powering the World project. It will also enable West Glamorgan Archive Service (working with Neath Port Talbot Cultural Services) to create a profile showcasing some of the highlights on the People’s Collection Wales (http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/).
For more information on the museum see http://www.southwalesminersmuseum.co.uk/