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Swansea University
Abertridwr Institute

Reference code(s): GB 0217 SWCC : MNC/I/1

Held at: Swansea University

Title: Abertridwr Institute

Short Title: Abertridwr Institute

Creation date(s): 1904-1969

Level of description: fonds

Extent: 18 volumes and 2 files

Name of creator(s):


Administrative/Biographical history: Abertridwr Institute was also known as the Windsor Colliery Workmen's Institute Library and Hall. The library was established in 1911.
The miners' institutes and halls developed from the latter part of the nineteenth century. This coincided with the development of the coalfield when a great influx in population created new demands for self-education and a need for meeting places for both lodge business, evening classes and community recreation. The institutes strongly reflected the role of the community and as a result they became focal points for the mining village and its locality.
The institutes were largely financed by the miners themselves through weekly deductions from each miner's wages at the local colliery although sometimes coal-owners also made contributions. In 1920 under the 1920 Mining Industry Act, the Miners' Welfare Fund was set up to be administered by the Miners' Welfare Commission. The fund provided amenities for the miners, including welfare halls and institutes, pit-baths and scholarships. Many institutes and welfare halls received maintenance grants after 1920 from this fund.
The miners' institutes contained libraries, reading rooms, games rooms and other facilities for recreation such as cinemas, theatres and billiard rooms. They also provided accommodation for meetings, most notably the National Union of Mineworkers [NUM] (South Wales Area) Lodge meetings. In many instances lodge committee members were also heavily involved in the running of the institutes. The libraries provided a rich educational resource for the community and some of these libraries at their peak rivalled the largest public libraries then existing in Britain.
The golden era of the institutes after World War Two was followed by their demise, in line with social trends. These included the provision of secondary education and local library facilities, changes in social activities for example the growing popularity of television, bingo and the development of clubs and most importantly, the contraction of the coalfield following the pit closures from the 1950s onwards. Many of the old halls and institutes ended up being converted into miners' clubs.


Scope and content/abstract: Minute Books, 1904-1961
Financial Records, 1922-1969 including statement of accounts 1922, 1943-54, 1956-69 and weekly account book 1942-1945
Administrative Records, 1924-1966 including committee attendance register 1920-1946 and Welfare Association papers 1924-1966


Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access: Accessible to all researchers by appointment. Please note that some collections contain sensitive information and access may be restricted.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply

Finding aids:

Language codes: eng


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:



Rules or conventions: Created following ISAD(G) and Archives Hub Data Creation Guidelines

Date(s) of descriptions: Prior to 16-11-2004

Coal miners | Wales, South
Community education | Records
Education | Wales | Caerphilly
Industrial welfare | Wales
Libraries and adult education
Libraries and community
Libraries | Wales, South
Mining districts | Wales
Recreation | Wales, South
Wales, South | History | 20th century
Welfare rights movement | Wales, South

Personal names

Corporate names
Abertridwr Workmen's Hall and Institute
Windsor Colliery Workmen's Institute Library and Hall

Abertridwr (Caerphilly, Wales)
Caerphilly (Wales)
Eglwysilan (Wales)
Glamorgan (Wales)

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