The South Wales Coalfield Collection (SWCC), established in 1969 was an attempt to preserve the documentary records of the mining community in South Wales at that time when over one hundred coal mines had been closed since nationalisation and such records were in danger of being destroyed.
By 1971 the South Wales Coalfield History Project was set up, funded by the Social Science Research Council, to specifically locate and collect manuscript and printed material of archival significance. The collection contains records of trade unions (notably the South Wales Miners' Federation, later the National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area) and the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, South Wales Division), miners' institutes, Co-operative societies, and many individuals connected with the mining community.
Such was the success of the project which lasted until 1974, that it was followed by a second from 1979-1982. A great deal of archive material was deposited from miners' lodges and institutes, co-operative societies and by individuals. Another aspect of the project was the recording of interviews with people connected with the mining community which would otherwise have vanished with them.