Records of south Wales miners to be saved and digitised

image copyrightSwansea University
image captionThe ageing records are in a delicate state

Historic records from the South Wales Miners' Federation will be conserved and digitised to save them from decay.

The documents cover the years 1899-1934 and include details of World War One, the 1926 General Strike and the economic depression of the 1930s.

Until now, it has not been possible for people to consult the volumes because of their fragile state.

Specialists will deconstruct the volumes and clean and repair each document.

image copyrightSwansea University
image captionA voting form on whether or not miners should be conscripted is part of the collection

The documents will then be digitised but the original volumes will be available for those who wish to see them.

media captionThe records are being digitised by Swansea Univeristy

The project will be carried out by the Richard Burton Archives at Swansea University after it was granted £18,456 funding from the Welsh government and the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust.

Elisabeth Bennett, Swansea University archivist, said: "We were fascinated by the wide range of subjects these documents cover.

"From the effect of the First World War on coalminers to protests about the use of Chinese slave labour in the Transvaal.

"The work will ensure their long-term preservation and digitisation will make them more widely available."

image copyrightSwansea University
image captionMiners were opposed to the use of Chinese slave labour

Wayne Thomas, of the National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area), which succeeded the miners' federation, said: "We are very pleased that this conservation work will increase access to them and ensure their long-term preservation."

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