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.