Frank Little

Candidate for Pelenna in 20th June by-election Learn more

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by franklittle on 5 July, 2009

The community council is sent a copy of the annual report of the West Glamorgan county archivist. I was lucky enough to be first in the queue to see the 2008-9 report, and fascinating reading it is too.

Most of the features are Swansea-orientated, since that is where the HQ is based, but the Neath Antiquarian Society and the Neath access point (in the Mechanics Institute) get their fair share of coverage. Visitor numbers have increased across West Glamorgan (Port Talbot 22%, Neath 29%, Swansea 32%) in the last year to a new record of 11,080.

An exciting development is West Glamorgan’s trialling in Wales of a software package, ParseCat. This should enable the creation of an online archive down to item level, eventually linked to the all-Wales collection level catalogue.

Other items which caught my eye were the opening up of the Neath Abbey Ironworks archive, the documentation of Neath’s awarding the freedom of the borough to Liberal PM David Lloyd George in 1918, and the acquisition of historic records of Neath Borough Council, Neath Rural District Council and of Dwr-y-Felin school going back to the 1890s. The archive has also been given the vouchers and correspondence of the Vale of Neath Dinas Fire Brick and Cement Company, 1886-1919. I would be interested in any further information on the latter, previously unknown to me.

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