Josef Herman Foundation oral history recordings

Scope and Content

1. Mining Josef Herman project oral history recordings by Catrin James, 2014-2015

2. Oral history recordings originally made on cassette tapes by an unidentified female interviewer, 2003-2004, subsequently digitised by Catrin James

Administrative / Biographical History

Josef Herman was born in 1911 into a poor Jewish family in Poland. After attending the Warsaw School of Art from 1930-1932, he left the country due to mounting anti-Semitism in 1938, shortly before the Second World War, moving to Belgium, then France, then Scotland in 1940, before moving to Ystradgynlais in 1944, living there until 1955. The paintings, drawings and prints Josef Herman made during this time captured the life of the community, most notably in his images of miners He died in 2000.

The Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru was established in 2002. It is based at the Welfare Hall, Ystradgynlais and is dedicated to promoting an appreciation of the life and work of Josef Herman and in his name fostering a wider participation in the arts. From 2013-15 it worked with the Tate on a two-year partnership project called Mining Josef Herman. This included a commitment to conducting an oral history project, the results of which make up the first series of recordings in this collection. As part of this, the project officer Catrin James discovered another set of recordings on cassette tape, which she digitised. These form the second series.

All the recordings are digital files. Nos. 1/1-7 were recorded digitally in the WAV format, which is retained, where available, as a preservation file, and then converted to MP3 format for access. Nos. 2/1-4 were digitised from cassette tapes using the Audacity programme and converted to MP3 format. Documentation and recording agreements exist on file for nos. 1/1-6; copyright in all recordings is retained by the Josef Herman Foundation.


Arranged into series according to provenance and in date order.

Access Information

No restrictions

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy is available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records received by the West Glamorgan Archive Service have been retained


Accruals are not expected.