Mining the Past


  • University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Project summary

This is a project to conserve, catalogue and exploit the archives of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It presents the opportunity to develop a nationally significant archive for occupational and industrial health at the MRC and a Midlands network for coal related archive collections. The NUM records are currently held in poor conditions at the union’s headquarters in Barnsley. The project involves the removal of the archives to professional conservation facilities for drying and cleaning prior to storage at the MRC. It includes the sorting and cataloguing of the collection for research use as well as a public engagement programme. The project will:

Remove the collection to Harwells for conservation treatment

Re-box, sort and summarise the collection for immediate access and use in promotional activities

File/item list the collection for full online catalogue access

Select and digitise items for research, teaching and exhibitions.

Develop a project website

Co-host seminars with the Centre for the History of Medicine (Warwick) on coal, industry and health

Develop a Midlands network of coal related archive collections for future collaboration, education and outreach activities

Use the NUM archive as a focus for the development of a national industrial health and welfare archive