Researching Welsh coalfields

Interested in the history of the Welsh Coalfields?

The list of source material on the Welsh coal industry is wide and varied.  We receive queries on subjects ranging from information on individual collieries through to coal mining ancestors.  This page is designed to list some of the more useful sources of information.

Company records

Prior to the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947 the coal mines were in private ownership.  From January 1947 the industry traded as the National Coal Board until June 1986 when it became British Coal. Many of the records of these organisations have been deposited in public records offices and some useful addresses are listed later.

Historical Photographs


National Waterfront Museum

has a large number of Welsh coal mining related photographs but many other coalfield based museums and record offices also hold collections.

Museum Library

The museum library holds copies of the following useful works:-

  • The Colliery Year Book and Trades Directory. Began publishing in 1922 and was published annually until 1964 when it became a directory for the coal distributive trade.  It listed all collieries in production, their location, numbers of workers employed and seams worked.
  • Guide to the Coalfields published annually by the Colliery Guardian.  As well as covering national organisation and subsidiary industries, these are divided into sections dealing with the collieries in an NCB or British Coal administrative area.  A section on small, licensed mines is also included.
  • HM Inspectorate of Mines Divisional Annual Reports as well as separate, individual reports on serious mining incidents.

NB The runs of the above held by the library are not always complete, please contact for full details.

In addition, a wide selection of technical works and books on Welsh coalfield history are held.

Welsh coal field based Record Offices

Carmarthenshire Archive Service
Parc Myrddin
Ricmond Terrace
Carmarthen SA31 3DS
Flintshire Record Office
The Old Rectory
Clwyd  LL15 1HP
Glamorgan Archive Service
County Hall
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF1 3NE
Gwent Archives [Formerly Gwent Record Office]
Steelworks Road
Blaenau Gwent NP23 6DN
01495 353363
Pembrokeshire Record Office
The Castle,
Pembs., SA
West Glamorgan Archive Service
County Hall
Oystermouth Rd.,
Swansea, SA1 3SN

National Library of Wales
Ceredigion SY23 3BU

Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Wales,
Plas Crug,
Ceregigion, SY23 1NJ
Tel: 01970 621200