Records of Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru (UCAC), 1937-93

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection represents the archival papers of UCAC from 1940 to the 1980s. UCAC was the first trade union established in Wales in order to serve the needs of Welsh teachers, which would further the aims of the union in the world of Welsh medium teaching in Wales.

UCAC was established on the 6th Of December 1940 in a meeting in the Ty'r Cymry centre, Gordon Road, Cardiff, with Gwyn M. Daniel as the union's first General Secretary. The archive includes the papers kept there while it was the union's headquarters from its foundation until it moved its main office to Aberystwyth in 1983.

The establishment of a professional trade union was of the utmost importance to the founders, in order for it to contribute to the creation of a national movement in the education world in Wales which would discuss relevant matters in a Welsh context. Some of the main aims of the union's founders were to establish an independent educational system in Wales, and to promote the language and culture of Wales through pressing for education through the medium of Welsh and courses that would give appropriate attention to the history, geography and literature of Wales. As a result numerous references are seen in its Annual Conference to promoting bilingual education and Welsh medium schools, as well as dealing with other matters which affect education in Wales.

The archive represents a valuable resource for studying the Welsh language and culture in the twentieth century, and UCAC had a role in the campaign to win legal status for the Welsh language. The union's pioneering role as a national body for Wales means the archive is an important source for its political development in this period, and reflects obvious developments such as the growth of nationalism, establishing the Welsh Office and the post of Secretary of State for Wales, and the great changes that came in the wake of local government re-organisation, and it will be seen that UCAC has connections with almost every educational body in Wales. Nevertheless, education in Wales is the main subject of the union's papers, and that across all aspects, from nursery schools to adult education. Beyond the cultural, political and educational interests of its founders, and their followers, UCAC is seen as maturing as a professional trade union defending the interests of members and campaigning on their behalf, as well as providing services to its members.

Administrative / Biographical History

The archive was collected together by Iorwerth Morgan, ex-UCAC General Secretary. Transferred by UCAC to Cardiff University, 1999.

Arrangement

The material has been sorted into a number of special classes to reflect the constitutional organisation of the union. UCAC's main policy forum is the Annual Conference (Cynhadledd Flynyddol), and therefore this class comes first in the collection. Secondly, comes the National Executive (Pwyllgor Gwaith), which was called the Cyngor Cenedlaethol since 1976. The National Executive was responsible for the day to day correspondence of the union, and acted on decisions of the Conference, and because of that, the majority of the minutes, correspondence, publications, statements/memoranda, and research flow from the National Executive. UCAC's Branches (Canghennau) follow the National Executive in the organisation of the collection. The archive tries to reflect the county organisation of the union, as well as the activities of the individual branches. After the Branches come UCAC's Sections (Adrannau). To a large extent the Sections class reflects the arrangement of the ex-General Secretary, Iorwerth Morgan, who cared for the collection for a long time and whose work kept the collection together and in order. The final class is External Bodies (Cyrff Allanol). The correspondence of the National Executive, Branches and Sections contains a lot letters from External Bodies, so this Section contains many publications of external bodies which were collected by the National Executive in its main office.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is available by prior appointment, during 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Related Material

Williams, Mel (ed). Hanes UCAC, Cyfrol y Dathlu. Caernarfon, UCAC, 1990.