Richard Burton Archives retains Accreditation Status: Research Facilities at Swansea University


The Richard Burton Archives at Swansea University holds valuable material of local, regional, and national significance. Recently, it has retained its Archive Service Accreditation status in recognition of its high standards and dedicated facilities for researchers and the wider community.

Archive Service Accreditation is the UK standard for archive services. The Richard Burton Archives is the first university archive in the UK, and in Wales, to achieve accreditation status after the launch of the standard in 2013. To meet the standard, archives must show that they are ‘responsive to all their stakeholders and trusted in the management of their unique collections.’

The Richard Burton Archives’ extensive collections are kept in specialist facilities and are made available in the public reading room. Holdings include:

  • The South Wales Coalfield Collection and trade union records, an internationally important research resource, providing a unique picture of life in the coalfield valleys during the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries
  • The Richard Burton collection, including the diaries kept by the Port Talbot-born actor from 1940 through to the 1980s, published in 2012 with worldwide coverage
  • Local archives – records of businesses, religious denominations, the famous Mumbles Railway, and family collections of prominent Swansea industrialists, including the Vivians, Dillwyns and Morrises
  • Records of local metallurgical industries, including copper, tinplate, and steel
  • Documents relating to the history of the University since it was founded in 1920, and student life at Swansea, including photographs, Student Union newspapers and oral histories

Siân Williams, Head of Special Collections at Swansea University, commented: ‘I am delighted that the Richard Burton Archives has successfully retained its accreditation status and note the observations of the panel who recognised our achievements and our commitment to ongoing improvement and development.’

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