West Glamorgan Screen and Sound Archive
Our film and sound recording collections housed at the Civic Centre, Swansea
What is the Screen and Sound Archive and where can I access it?
The West Glamorgan Screen and Sound Archive is a collection of audio-visual material, mostly tape and film, which has been converted to digital form. The archive consists of two parts: there are films relating to the local area, and there are oral history recordings, which are the recorded reminiscences of local people.
We have put together a user-friendly interface to make it easier for researchers access the wealth of material that is available. There are subject indexes to help you find your way through the oral history recordings. The recordings and films can be accessed at our Family History Centre. Advance booking is essential. You can use your own headphones if you prefer, or there are headphones you can borrow at the archives.
Oral history recordings
With two world wars, global trade and communication, electricity, cars and aeroplanes, the internet and man on the moon, the twentieth century was one of great change. Official archives generally deal with decision-making, business and accounting, and do not fully reflect the impact great events and changes have had on the lives of ordinary people. However, from the 1960s onwards, many individuals and local history groups made recordings of the memories of local people and have deposited them with the Archive Service. We now hold a priceless archive of recordings, where people, many of whom were born in Victorian times, tell us about their lives in their own words and dialect.
We also hold films from the 1950s onwards. They include civic ceremonies and other films about the area in the past. They show the old streets and railways, Swansea after bombing in the Second World War, the Eisteddfod in Swansea in 1964, and many localities that have changed or disappeared over the years.
Is it possible to have copies of a recording or film?
It may be possible, but copyright on sound recordings and films is a difficult matter. Read our copyright guide for an explanation of the situation.
Can the Archive Service help with an oral history project?
If you are planning an oral history project, we would be more than happy to offer you advice on such matters as documentation, copyright and technology. We are very keen to add to the oral history archive too, and would be very interested to hear from you if you have any recordings of the reminiscences of people from this area that you would be willing to deposit with us.