The Aberfan Disaster Archive
held at Merthyr Tydfil and Dowlais
Public Libraries

The Archive's History

The archive is split into two distinct collections which have different origins. The collection held at Merthyr was assembled by the library staff and consists mostly of material gathered from, or donated by, local sources. The Dowlais collection originated with Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council and was deposited in the library when the council moved from the old Town Hall to the new civic centre. This collection also contains material that originally belonged to the Aberfan Disaster Fund and was stored in the village's community centre. The material was moved to Dowlais when it was catalogued in 1997.

The archive was catalogued and conserved as part of a British Academy-funded project organised by Professor Iain McLean of Nuffield College, Oxford University. The cataloguing was carried out by the project's research officer, Martin Johnes of the University of Wales, Cardiff.

The Merthyr Collection

This is split into thirteen sections as outlined in the catalogue. Little of the material is unique to the collection but it represents an excellent and in-depth introduction to the range of sources available on the disaster. The collection also contains copies of all the monographs written on the subject.

Go to Merthyr Collection Catalogue

The Dowlais Collection

This is a unique set of documents and provides an extensive view of events that followed the disaster. Of particular importance is the Borough Council material which includes the early records of the Aberfan Disaster Fund.

The collection is not on general public access. Prospective researchers must contact the Information staff at Merthyr Tydfil Central Library (01685 723057) to make an appointment to view the material. Please do not contact Dowlais Library staff directly.

Go to Dowlais Collection Introduction Page

Return to Aberfan Disaster Homepage