Photographic Collection

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 214 DNCB/14
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      2488 glass plate negatives, 2306 plastic negatives, 1430 photographs, 410 photographic contact sheets, 203 colour film slides, 34 transparencies, 24 glass lantern slides, 12 volumes, 8 colour strip slides, 5 boxes

Scope and Content

The National Coal Board photographic collection contains photographic material on a variety of physical media, including: prints, glass plate negatives, plastic negatives, photograph albums, lantern slides and transparencies. The material depicts collieries and other scenes from across the south Wales coalfield.

The photographic prints from the National Coal Board collection cover subjects including disasters, strikes, royal visits, views of collieries, underground scenes, groups of workmen, general studies of ‘valley life’, colliery horses, coal face work, the building of Cwm Coking Works and the visit of the Crown Prince of Japan to Deep Navigation Colliery in June 1976. There is also a series of photographs charting the progress of colliery reconstruction in the No.2 (Maesteg Area) of the South Western Division of the National Coal Board in the 1950s. Other printed material includes contact sheets used by the PR Department containing images of individual collieries and photograph albums showing developments at Nantgarw Colliery.

The substantial photographic negative collection includes (but is not limited to) images of individual collieries (above and below ground), pithead baths, medical centres, people, machinery, buildings, ancillary works, scientific equipment, exhibitions and staff training. The transparency and lantern slide collection also contains views of collieries above and below ground.

There is also paperwork relating to the negative collection, including indexes and documents concerning the creation of a coal industry photographic archive.


The photographic material with the National Coal Board collection has been brought together by the archivist under the sub-fonds 'Photographic Collection'. Within the subfonds material has been arranged by type of photographic media (prints, negatives, albums etc). DNCB/14/1/1-3 remain as three separate series of prints based on the original reference/accession numbers.

Custodial History

This subfonds is made up of material brought together from different accessions deposited by the National Coal Board and the British Coal Corporation. DNCB/48 (acc. 1987/207, received from a photographer at National Coal Board, Llanishen)

DNCB/64 (acc. 1987/14, copied by Glamorgan Record Office from negatives in possession of National Coal Board)

DNCB/65 (no accession number has been identified)

DNCB/66 (no accession number has been identified)

DNCB/79 (no accession number has been identified. Details on the original boxes show that the material was transferred by British Coal Corporation Reviewer, British Coal Corporation, Eastwood, Nottingham).

Original National Coal Board negative/photographic references have been recorded where known. The previous reference number for each item is listed in its individual catalogue entry.

Related Material

Further photographs of the south Wales coalfield are held at Glamorgan Archives. See the John O'Sullivan of Cardiff collection, D1061/1; the John Cornwell collection, DXGC189; the P O Davies of Mountain Ash, Papers, D1069; Ernest Carver, Photographs of Maesteg Collieries, DX6; and the Leslie Price South Wales Coalfield photograph collection, D1544. National Coal Board photographs relating to the Aberfan Disaster form part of the National Coal Board Aberfan Tribunal record series, see DNCB/4/1/11.