The Archives and the University Centenary

In order to celebrate the centenary of Swansea University, the Richard Burton Archives are working on a project to catalogue the University’s archive collections. These include collections of former students, academic staff, employees and other associates. The involvement of the Archives in the centenary is two-fold. The first aspect is the cataloguing and preservation of material to facilitate access for centenary and future research. Secondly, the work will increase potential engagement between the archives and other aspects of the university such as the academic departments.

As part of our Heritage Work Placement we contributed to the project by listing personal and institutional collections, summarising oral history recordings from the Voices of Swansea: 1920-2020 Oral History Project, and identifying copyright issues within the student newspaper collection. The wealth of sources spanning throughout the 100 years has provided us with a well-rounded knowledge of life at Swansea University. The oral history recordings in particular covered almost all aspects of university life, and their accounts were largely supported by articles in the student newspaper Crefft concerning social life on campus.

The personal and institutional collections are useful sources for researchers investigating the history of the University and its staff and students. The personal collections include documents relating to an individual’s academic and social life while at Swansea University, such as personal correspondence, photographs and exam papers. The institutional collections provide insight into the various workings of the university, including the creation of prospectuses and the building of facilities such as the Law Library and Fulton House.

The student newspapers reveal the importance of community life at the university. The authors tackled political and social issues concerning student life. The oral history recordings appear to support the idea of a close-knit community, with some interviewees noting a change in the student experience in recent years.

The material that we have worked with has provided us with a good knowledge of the history of our university and we are pleased to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the preparations for the University’s centenary.

Benjamin Stephens & Hannah Munkley

Canmlwyddiant yr Archifdy a’r Brifysgol

I ddathlu canmlwyddiant Prifysgol Abertawe mae Archifau Richard Burton yn gweithio ar brosiect i gatalogio casgliadau archif y Brifysgol. Mae’r rhain yn cynnwys casgliadau gan gyn-fyfyrwyr, staff academaidd, gweithwyr a pherthnasau eraill. Mae gan yr Archifau dwy ran yn nathliadau’r canmlwyddiant. Y rhan gyntaf yw catalogio a chadw deunydd i hwyluso mynediad ar gyfer ymchwil sy’n ymwneud â’r canmlwyddiant ac ymchwil y dyfodol. Yr ail ran yw’r gwaith i gynyddu’r ymgysylltu posib rhwng yr archifau a rhannau eraill o’r brifysgol megis adrannau academaidd.

Fel rhan o’n Lleoliad Gwaith Treftadaeth cyfrannwyd at y prosiect trwy restru casgliadau personol a sefydliadol, rhoi crynodeb ar gyfer recordiadau hanes llafar o Voices of Swansea:    1920-2020 Oral History Project, a chydnabod materion hawlfraint yng nghasgliad papurau newydd y myfyrwyr. Mae’r gwledd o ffynonellau sy’n lledu trwy’r 100 mlynedd wedi rhoi gwybodaeth gadarn i ni am fywyd ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe. Roedd y recordiadau llafar yn enwedig wedi cynnwys bron pob rhan o fywyd prifysgol a chefnogwyd eu hanesion yn helaeth gan erthyglau ym mhapur y myfyrwyr Crefft ynglyn â bywyd cymdeithasol ar y campws.

Mae’r casgliadau personol a sefydliadol yn ffynonellau defnyddiol ar gyfer ymchwilwyr sy’n archwilio hanes y Brifysgol a’i staff a’i myfyrwyr. Mae’r casgliadau personol yn cynnwys dogfennau sy’n ymwneud â bywyd academaidd a bywyd cymdeithasol unigolyn wrth astudio ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe megis gohebiaeth bersonol, lluniau a phapurau arholiad. Mae’r casgliadau sefydliadol yn rhoi ciplun o amryw weithredoedd y brifysgol gan gynnwys llunio’r prosbectws ac adeiladu cyfleusterau megis Llyfrgell y Gyfraith a Thŷ Fulton.

Datgela papurau’r myfyrwyr bwysigrwydd bywyd cymunedol yn y brifysgol. Aeth yr awduron i’r afael â materion gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol sy’n ymwneud â bywyd myfyrwyr. Ymddengys bod y recordiadau hanesion llafar yn cefnogi’r syniad o gymuned glos ac mae rhai o’r cyfweliadau yn sôn am newid ym mhrofiad y myfyriwr yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf.

Mae’r deunydd y buom yn gweithio gydag ef wedi rhoi gwybodaeth dda i ni am hanes ein prifysgol ac rydym yn falch o gael cyfle i gyfrannu at y paratoadau ar gyfer canmlwyddiant y Brifysgol.

Benjamin Stephens & Hannah Munkley

 

June 14th, 2017

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International Conscientious Objectors’ Day (15th May 2016) 

 

When faced with the prospect of war, many people rally to their country’s call. Patriotic sentiments often act as motivating factors for volunteers to the armed forces. However, when these attitudes lose their appeal and recruiting figures stall, the state may introduce conscription, forcing able bodied men to enlist. This was evident in Britain during the twentieth century as thousands of young men joined the ranks during the First World War, Second World War, and also through National Service during the Korean War and other conflicts.

 

Yet, not all eligible citizens complied with the demands of conscription. Many refused to serve in the armed forces on moral or religious grounds. These individuals were called conscientious objectors. Their experiences were mostly unpleasant and the process of obtaining the right to refuse serving in the armed forces was often difficult. Frowned upon by sections of society, their stories are sometimes misunderstood or neglected. But with International Conscientious Objectors’ Day being held on Sunday 15th May, what better opportunity to re-examine some of these compelling stories and the different social reactions evoked by war.

 

Held at the Richard Burton Archives at Swansea University are several documents relating to conscientious objectors and anti-war sentiments during the twentieth century. Read letters from the First and Second World Wars sent by conscientious objectors detained at Swansea and Cardiff prisons. Cast your eye over an application form in a bid to obtain conscientious objector status during World War Two, or witness various letters of support criticising intervention in the Korean War, as the campaign for global disarmament was championed. See also anti-war leaflets and pamphlets from numerous individuals and organizations, which, when considered collectively, show that discourses of peace often juxtaposed and accompanied rallying calls for war.

 

Diwrnod Rhyngwladol Gwrthwynebwyr Cydwybodol (15fed o Fai 2016) 

 

Pan mae rhyfel ar y gorwel, dewis nifer o bobl yw i rhuthro tuag at y lliwiau ac ymladd dros eu gwlad. Profa teimladau cenedlaetholgar yn bwysig i gymell gwirfoddolwyr i’r lluoedd arfog. Ond pan golla’r gwarediadau hyn eu hapêl, a syrthia’r ffigurau recriwtio, gall y wladwriaeth gyflwyno consgripsiwn gan orfodi dynion abl i ymrestru. Roedd hyn yn amlwg ym Mhrydain yn ystod yr ugeinfed ganrif wrth i filoedd o ddynion ifanc ymuno a’r lluoedd arfog adeg y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf, Ail Rhyfel Byd, ac hefyd drwy Wasanaeth Cenedlaethol yn ystod Rhyfel Corea ac eraill.

 

Fodd bynnag, ni chydymffurffiodd pawb gyda gofynion consgripsiwn. Gwrthododd sawl un i wasanaethu yn y lluoedd arfog ar seiliau moesol neu chrefyddol. Gelwir yr unigolion hyn yn wrthwynebwyr cydwybodol. Roedd ei profiadau yn aml yn annymunol ac roedd y broses o ennill yr hawl i wrthod gwasanaethu yn y lluoedd arfog yn lafurus. Gwgwyd nhw gan rhannau o gymdeithas, ac mae eu straeon weithiau yn cael eu camddeall. Ond gyda Diwrnod Rhyngwladol Gwrthwynebwyr Cydwybodol yn digwydd ar Ddydd Sul, 15fed o Fai, pa well gyfle i ail-ystyried rhai o’r straeon hyn a’r gwahanol ymatebion cymdeithasol sy’n cael eu ennyn gan rhyfel.

 

Yn Archifau Richard Burton ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe mae sawl dogfen perthnasol i wrthwynebwyr cydwybodol a theimladau gwrth-ryfel yn ystod yr ugeinfed ganrif. Darllenwch lythyrau o’r ddau rhyfel byd a ddanfonwyd gan wrthwynebwyr cydwybodol a garcharwyd yng ngharchardai Abertawe a Chaerdydd. Cymerwch gip ar ffurflen gais unigolyn i ennill statws gwrthwynebydd cydwybodol yn ystod yr Ail Rhyfel Byd, a byddwch yn dyst i amryw o lythyrau yn cefnogi beirniadaeth o ymyrraeth yn Rhyfel Corea gan bleidio achos diarfogiad fyd-eang. Arsylwch hefyd ar nifer o dalennau a phamffledi gwrth-ryfel gan amryw o unigolion a fudiadau sydd, drwy eu hystyried yn gasgliadol, yn dangos fod disgyrsau heddwch yn aml yn gyfosod ac yn cyd-fynd â rhethreg rhyfelgar.

 

May 13th, 2016

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In the 1920s, in February or March, an inter-collegiate event took place between the university colleges in Wales. This was quite similar to modern day Varsity, but alongside Swansea and Cardiff it also included Bangor and Aberystwyth. This sporting event lasted for a week, even taking place on Saturdays when lectures were usually scheduled, and also included social functions.

Unlike the modern equivalent, which includes 35 different sports, in the 1920s there was only hockey (men and women’s), ‘rugger’ (rugby) and soccer (football). So, how did Swansea fare against its rivals? The rugby team got off to a good start (beating Cardiff in 1923 and 1924) but the women’s hockey wasn’t as successful, being defeated by Bangor in the same years. However, they did defeat Aberystwyth in 1923, with a score of 2-1, and also beat Cardiff in 1924 and 1925 with scores of 4-2 and 3-2.

There were functions every evening throughout the week – dances, theatre, concerts, dinners, debates and socials. In February 1925, a men’s smoker evening on Wednesday was followed by a student pie night on Thursday. At the dances you would have a small programme with a list of dances, with space to write the name of each dance partner (very helpfully a dainty pencil was attached to the dance card).

The week of friendly sporting rivalry and social functions was usually rounded off with a St David’s Day celebration.

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Yn y 1920au, bob mis Chwefror neu fis Mawrth, cynhaliwyd digwyddiad rhyng-golegol rhwng colegau prifysgolion Cymru. Roedd hwn yn debyg i’r Gemau’r Prifysgolion modern, ond roedd Bangor ac Aberystwyth yn cystadlu ochr yn ochr ag Abertawe a Chaerdydd. Roedd yn ddigwyddiad wythnos o hyd, a gynhaliwyd hyd yn oed ar ddydd Sadwrn, pan drefnwyd darlithoedd fel arfer, ac roedd yn cynnwys digwyddiadau cymdeithasol.

Yn wahanol i’r gystadleuaeth fodern, sy’n cynnwys 35 o gampau gwahanol, hoci (dynion a menywod ), rugger (rygbi) a phêl-droed oedd yn unig. Felly, sut wnaeth Abertawe yn erbyn ei gwrthwynebwyr? Dechreuodd y tîm rygbi’n dda (gan faeddu Caerdydd ym 1923 a 1924), ond nid oedd tîm hoci’r menywod mor llwyddiannus, gan golli i Bangor yn yr un blynyddoedd. Gwnaethant faeddu Aberystwyth, fodd bynnag, ym 1923 (2-1), a Chaerdydd hefyd ym 1924 a 1925 (4-2 a 3-2).

Bu digwyddiadau bob nos drwy gydol yr wythnos, gan gynnwys dawnsiau, theatr, cyngherddau, siarad cyhoeddus a nosweithiau cymdeithasol. Fis Chwefror 1925, roedd noson ysmygwyr y dynion ar y nos Fercher, yna noson basteiod i fyfyrwyr ar y nos Iau. Yn y dawnsiau byddai rhaglen fach â rhestr o ddawnsiau, gyda lle i ysgrifennu enw pob partner dawns (i gynorthwyo, rhoddwyd pensil bach gyda’r cerdyn dawnsiau).

Diweddglo’r wythnos o gystadlu cyfeillgar a digwyddiadau cymdeithasol fel arfer fyddai dathliad Dydd Gŵyl Dewi.

April 19th, 2016

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Over the summer Katie worked in the Richard Burton Archives helping us to catalogue the papers of Reginald John Hollingdale (1930-2001), the highly regarded translator of Nietzsche and other writers. The catalogue is now available online and more about the man and his translations of philosophy can be found on our website.

Dros yr haf gweithiodd Katie yn Archifau Richard Burton a rhoi cymorth i ni gatalogio papurau Reginald John Hollingdale (1930-2001), sef cyfieithydd nodedig Nietzsche ac awduron eraill. Mae’r catalog ar gael yn awr ar-lein gyda rhagor o wybodaeth am y gŵr a’i gyfieithiadau athroniaeth ar ein gwefan.

 

 

September 4th, 2015

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If you’re interested in the history of Swansea University here’s a photograph taken c.1894 showing Singleton Abbey. Then it was the family home of the copper industrialists, the Vivians; now the Abbey is the administrative hub of the University. If you’d like to discover other photographs of the Abbey see http://education.gtj.org.uk/en/item10/28730 or contact the Archives (archives@swansea.ac.uk).

Os oes gennych chi ddiddordeb yn hanes Prifysgol Abertawe, dyma lun a dynnwyd tua 1894 yn dangos Abaty Singleton. Ar yr adeg honno roedd yn gartref i’r teulu Vivian, sef diwydiannwyr copr, ond heddiw mae’r Abaty’n ganolbwynt gweinyddol i’r Brifysgol. Os hoffech fwynhau rhagor o luniau o’r Abaty ewch i http://education.gtj.org.uk/cy/item10/28730 neu cysylltwch â’r Archifdy (archives@swansea.ac.uk).

June 9th, 2015

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This Saturday 6th June, dog-walkers, cyclists and families of ice cream eaters on the seafront may be stopped in their tracks by the presence of Soapbox Science 2015. The aim of the event is to raise the profile of women in STEMM subjects. This is a mission that can claim a long legacy of women in science who have recognised the need for strong role models to encourage young women to pursue careers in areas traditionally biased towards men. The work of generations of women have opened up the field and captured the imaginations of girls making these career decisions. In the 1920’s a group of women science teachers recognised the importance of their role and joined together to form The Association of Women Science Teachers: Welsh Branch. The records for this ground-breaking association are held at the Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University and make for fascinating reading.

Amongst the records is the first minute book of the Association. Although the initial planning meeting was held in Cardiff, the inaugural meeting took place at Swansea University on 7th May 1921. The Principal, Professor Sibley, emphasised at that meeting the vital importance of nurturing relationships between schools and science colleges – an emphasis that is still very much acted upon by the University today. The minute books also show the respect that the association received from local industry and the interest shown by the members in the ways in which science contributes to contemporary business success. In June 1923, for example “eight members visited Vivian’s Copper works, Hafod, and were shown the electro-deposition process and the sulphuric acid works” and they “saw a leaden chamber in construction”.

A more traditional interpretation of women in science was taken by another speaker. In the Summer term of 1924, following a tour of the Science Laboratories at the university, the members were addressed by a Mr Wakefield. The subject “Agricultural Research as an opening for girls with Science degrees” sounded hopeful. However, his main point noted in the minutes is that “girls who could combine both Art and Botany might take posts as Botanical Artists at Kew or similar institutions.” Perhaps not quite the impact and range of careers the teachers were hoping to inspire their girls to. As the Soapbox Scientists will be able to demonstrate on Saturday, the opportunities available today don’t necessarily require skills in water colours.

For more information about this small, but interesting collection please contact archives@swansea.ac.uk

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Os ydych yn mynd â’r ci am dro ar lan y môr ddydd Sadwrn 6 Mehefin, yn mynd am dro ar y beic neu’n mwynhau hufen iâ gyda’r teulu, bydd Gwyddoniaeth Bocs Sebon 2015 yn siŵr o ddenu’ch sylw. Nod y digwyddiad yw cynyddu proffil menywod sy’n dilyn gyrfa mewn Gwyddoniaeth, Technoleg, Peirianneg, Meddygaeth a Mathemateg (y pynciau STEMM). Ysbrydolir y genhadaeth hon gan dreftadaeth hir o fenywod mewn gwyddoniaeth sydd wedi cydnabod yr angen am rolau model cryf er mwyn annog menywod ifanc i ddilyn gyrfaoedd yr arferid meddwl yn draddodiadol mai meysydd i ddynion oeddent. Mae gwaith cenedlaethau o fenywod wedi agor y maes a thanio dychymyg merched sy’n dewis gyrfaoedd. Yn y 1920au, cydnabu grŵp o fenywod a oedd yn addysgu’r gwyddorau  bwysigrwydd eu rôl ac aethant ati i sefydlu Cymdeithas Menywod sy’n Addysgu’r Gwyddorau: Cangen Cymru. Mae cofnodion y gymdeithas arloesol hon wedi’u cadw yn Archifau Richard Burton Prifysgol Abertawe ac maent yn hynod ddiddorol.

Yn yr archifau ceir llyfr cofnodion cyntaf y Gymdeithas. Er y cynhaliwyd y cyfarfod cynllunio cyntaf yng Nghaerdydd, cynhaliwyd cyfarfod agoriadol y Gymdeithas ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe ar 7 Mai 1921. Yn y cyfarfod hwnnw, pwysleisiodd y Pennaeth, yr Athro Sibley, bwysigrwydd allweddol meithrin perthnasoedd rhwng ysgolion a cholegau gwyddoniaeth – pwyslais sy’n parhau i fod wrth wraidd gweithgareddau’r Brifysgol heddiw. Mae’r llyfrau cofnodion hefyd yn dangos y parch a oedd gan fyd diwydiant lleol tuag at y gymdeithas a diddordeb yr aelodau yn y ffyrdd y gallai gwyddoniaeth gyfrannu at lwyddiant busnes. Ym mis Mehefin 1923, er enghraifft, bu wyth aelod yn ymweld â gwaith copr Vivian yn yr Hafod a chawsant weld y broses electro-dyddodi a’r gwaith asid sylffwrig a gwelsant siambr wedi’i leinio â phlwm yn cael ei hadeiladu.

Cafwyd dehongliad mwy traddodiadol o rôl menywod mewn gwyddoniaeth gan siaradwr arall. Yn nhymor yr haf 1924, yn dilyn taith o’r labordai gwyddoniaeth yn y brifysgol, bu siaradwr o’r enw Mr Wakefield yn annerch yr aelodau. Roedd y pwnc, “Ymchwil Amaethyddol fel gyrfa i ferched â graddau Gwyddoniaeth”, yn swnio’n addawol. Fodd bynnag, ei brif bwynt, fel y nodwyd yn y cofnodion, oedd “y gallai merched a oedd yn gallu cyfuno Celf a Botaneg gymryd swyddi fel Artistiaid Botaneg yng ngerddi Kew neu sefydliadau tebyg.” Efallai nad yr effaith a’r dewis o yrfaoedd yr oedd yr athrawon yn gobeithio ysbrydoli eu merched i anelu amdanynt. Fel y bydd y Gwyddonwyr Bocs Sebon yn ei ddangos ddydd Sadwrn, nid yw’r cyfleoedd sydd ar gael heddiw yn gofyn am sgiliau dyfrlliwiau o angenrheidrwydd.

I gael mwy o wybodaeth am y casgliad bach ond hynod ddiddorol hwn, e-bostiwch archives@abertawe.ac.uk.

June 4th, 2015

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During our first week at the Richard Burton Archives we learnt about how they scan archival documents. This is an important part of an archivist’s work as it can help to preserve documents by minimising the need for the original to be produced and it can enable access to those who can’t visit. Digitisation can also help promote the wealth of material in the Archives.

 

 

Unlike scanning we’d undertaken previously there were more things to consider with archival documents:

  • Photographs are removed from their protective Melinex sleeves and are only handled when wearing nitrile gloves
  • Quality checks are performed including zooming in on the document to check the image is not distorted, and greyscale checks to ensure the colour has been replicated
  • No alterations are made to the ‘Master Copy’
  • Agreed conventions are used to name the file

 

We used both the flat bed and overhead scanners that the Archives have. This choice of scanners enables a wide variety of documents to be digitally copied and during our placement we had the opportunity to scan photographs and a silk play bill.

 

This experience has shown us how varied the role of an archivist can be and we are interested to find out more about digital preservation and the digitisation of documents.

 

 

 

Yn ystod ein hwythnos gyntaf yn Archifau Richard Burton, dysgasom am sut maent yn sganio dogfennau archifol. Mae hon yn rhan bwysig o waith archifydd ac mae’n gallu helpu i gadw dogfennau trwy leihau’r angen i’r ddogfen wreiddiol gael ei chyflwyno. Hefyd mae’n galluogi’r rhai nad oes modd iddynt ymweld â’r safle i gael mynediad i’r ddogfen. Hefyd gall digideiddio helpu i hyrwyddo’r wledd o ddeunydd yn yr Archifau.

 

Yn wahanol i’r sganio roeddem wedi’i wneud o’r blaen, roedd mwy o bethau i’w hystyried wrth sganio dogfennau archifol:

  • Caiff ffotograffau eu tynnu o’u pocedi Melinex diogelu ac ni chaiff neb gyffwrdd â nhw oni bai ei fod yn gwisgo menig nitril
  • Caiff gwiriadau ansawdd eu cynnal gan gynnwys closio ar y ddogfen i wirio nad yw’r ddelwedd wedi’i hystumio, a chynhelir gwiriadau graddlwyd i sicrhau bod y lliw wedi’i atgynhyrchu
  • Ni wneir unrhyw newidiadau i’r ‘Prif Gopi’
  • Defnyddir confensiynau y cytunwyd arnynt i enwi’r ffeil

 

Buom yn defnyddio’r peiriannau sganio wyneb gwastad a’r peiriannau sganio uwchben sydd gan yr Archifau. Mae cael dewis rhwng y peiriannau sganio yn galluogi amrywiaeth eang o ddogfennau i gael eu copïo yn ddigidol ac yn ystod ein lleoliad cawsom gyfle i sganio ffotograffau a phosteri sidan am sioe.

 

Mae’r profiad hwn wedi dangos i ni pa mor amrywiol y gall rôl archifydd fod ac mae gennym ni ddiddordeb mewn dod o hyd i wybodaeth bellach am gadwraeth ddigidol a digideiddio dogfennau.

April 27th, 2015

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On Monday 13 April we started our two week placement in the Richard Burton Archives as part of the Heritage Skills Programme. Our first task has been to look at Student Union newspapers and records of Seven Sisters Rugby Football Club, and we have been listing the material which is contained in the collections.

 

The Seven Sisters club records consist of minute books, financial records and fixture lists, and cover the history of the club from 1938 to 1995. The documents give an interesting insight into the administration of a rugby club.

 

The Student Union magazines comment on a range of aspects including student life, academic matters, clubs and societies and student involvement in local and national affairs. Through the newspapers it is also possible to trace the involvement with the National Union of Students, NUS. There are two main publications, Crefft (which means craft) and Dawn. Crefft is more of a news publication, whilst Dawn offers more literary and cultural contributions. Within Crefft it is also possible to see students’ opinion on matters of the time, such as music and world news. Also, the Students’ Union frequently had guest speeches from high profile politicians such as James Griffiths and Harold Wilson, which attracted hundreds of students. This collection is extensive and covers from the 1920s, when the publication was called ‘The Undergrad’, to today’s ‘Waterfront’. The collection is an essential resource for anyone researching any aspect of the life of a Swansea University student.

 

We’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the two weeks has to offer!

 

Jeff Arnett (MA History) and Emma Garland (MA Modern History)

Department of History and Classics

 

Ar ddydd Llun 13 Ebrill, cychwynasom ni ar ein lleoliad dwy wythnos yn Archifau Richard Burton fel rhan o’r Rhaglen Sgiliau Treftadaeth. Ein tasg gyntaf oedd edrych ar bapurau newyddion Undeb y Myfyrwyr a chofnodion Clwb Rygbi Blaendulais, ac rydym wedi bod yn rhestru’r deunydd yn y casgliadau.

 

Mae cofnodion clwb Blaendulais yn cynnwys cofnodion o gyfarfodydd, cofnodion ariannol a rhaglenni’r tymor, sy’n cynnwys y cyfnod o 1938 hyd at 1995. Mae’r dogfennau’n rhoi cipolwg diddorol ar ochr weinyddol clwb rygbi.

 

Mae cylchgronau Undeb y Myfyrwyr yn rhoi sylw i ystod o elfennau gan gynnwys bywyd myfyrwyr, materion academaidd, clybiau a chymdeithasau a chyfranogaeth myfyrwyr mewn materion lleol a chenedlaethol. Trwy’r papurau newydd, y mae hefyd yn bosib olrhain y cysylltiad ag Undeb Cenedlaethol y Myfyrwyr. Mae dau brif gyhoeddiad, Crefft a Dawn. Mae Crefft yn fwy o gyhoeddiad newyddion, ond mae Dawn yn cynnig cyfraniadau mwy llenyddol a diwylliannol. Trwy ddarllen Crefft y mae hefyd modd i ni weld barn myfyrwyr ar faterion y cyfnod, fel cerddoriaeth a newyddion y byd. Hefyd, yn aml rhoddwyd areithiau i Undeb y Myfyrwyr gan siaradwyr gwadd megis gwleidyddion proffil uchel fel James Griffiths a Harold Wilson, a ddenodd gannoedd o fyfyrwyr. Mae’r casgliad hwn yn un helaeth ac mae’n cynnwys y cyfnod o’r 1920au, pan ‘The Undergrad’ oedd yr enw ar ‘Waterfront’ heddiw. Mae’r casgliad yn adnodd hanfodol i unrhyw un sy’n ymchwilio i unrhyw agwedd ar fywyd myfyriwr ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe.

 

Rydym yn edrych ymlaen at weld yr hyn sydd gan weddill y ddwy wythnos i’w gynnig!

 

Jeff Arnett (MA Hanes) ac Emma Garland (MA Hanes Modern)

Yr Adran Hanes a’r Clasuron

 

April 23rd, 2015

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This silk playbill produced by Ebley portable theatre highlights the important role played by district nurses in providing much needed care in a pre-NHS South Wales Coalfield when the risk of injury and death was ever present.

 

Performances were often given in aid of a local patron’s chosen charity thus promoting the Theatre owner as being of a charitable disposition. The patron would attend the opening night and be presented with a pure silk handbill advertising the current play.

 

The Ebley Theatre was a wooden shuttered structure with a canvas roof and collapsible, removable seats which was transported from town to town by horse drawn wagons. Ebley’s Theatre visited many parts of Wales including Dowlais (1883), Maesteg (1896) and Bridgend (1906), where the theatre was assembled in the market place, and Wrexham, Hay, Pontycymer, Senghenydd and Caerphilly. The whole family took part in the performances and the audience was treated to 3 hours of entertainment for threepence. The actors and actresses had other duties other than simply performing. The men had to assemble and dismantle the theatre, according to strict rules, in each location whilst the women repaired costumes and drapes. The theatre stayed in a town for between two and six months performing a different play every night. Those performing in the show stayed in local lodgings but Mr Ebley’s accommodation consisted of a sleeping van and living van which travelled with him. The vans were finished with figured glass, polished wood and brasswork and as the theatre was electric powered, a gas engine generator would also be towed along.

 

To perform in a town the Ebleys required a license from the local magistrates for which they needed supporting references regarding their moral character. The chapels often regarded the Portable Theatre as a bad influence and threatened members with excommunication if they attended a performance. (Edward) Ted Ebley, however, refused to put up with bad behaviour and it was reported in one performance that he left the stage to bang the heads of two brawlers together and then returned to his part in the play!

 

As with many theatres The First World War brought an end to Travelling Theatre. Ebley’s Olympic Theatre was in Aberkenfig at the outbreak of war and all the male members of the cast left to join the war. Edward (Ted) Ebley and his son were left to dismantle the Theatre alone. The Theatre was then towed to Cwmavon where it was rented to the Caerau Coliseum Company and opened as a cinema. In 1916 it closed and then reopened under the Ebley name. In 1927 the Olympic Cinema opened in Depot Road showing silent films and converted to sound in 1932. In 1970 it became The Olympic Bingo Hall and in 1980 Edward (Ted) Ebley sold the building. Thus ended a fascinating family link with a long gone form of entertainment.

 

To find out more about portable theatres see http://www.nfa.dept.shef.ac.uk/history/invited_articles/ebley.html

 

 

Mae’r poster sidan hwn a gynhyrchwyd gan gwmni theatr cludadwy Ebley yn amlygu’r rôl bwysig a chwaraeodd nyrsys ardal wrth ddarparu gofal yr oedd ei angen yn fawr ym meysydd glo de Cymru cyn y GIG, pan oedd y perygl o anafiadau a marwolaeth yn llechu’n dragwyddol.

 

Yn aml byddai perfformiadau’n cael eu rhoi er budd elusen a ddewiswyd gan noddwr lleol, a fyddai felly’n hyrwyddo perchennog y Theatr fel unigolyn hael. Byddai’r noddwr yn mynychu’r noson agoriadol a byddai hefyd yn derbyn rhaglen a wnaed allan o sidan bur am hysbysebu’r ddrama ddiweddaraf.

 

Strwythur dan gaeadau pren oedd Theatr Ebley ac roedd ganddi do cynfas a chadeiriau plygu cludadwy. Byddai’r theatr yn cael ei chludo o dref i dref gan wagenni a cheffyl.  Gwnaeth Theatr Ebley ymweld â llawer o rannau o Gymru gan gynnwys  Dowlais (1883), Maesteg (1896) a Phen-y-bont ar Ogwr (1906), lle cafodd y theatr ei hadeiladu yn y farchnad, ac yn Wrecsam, y Gelli, Pontycymer, Senghennydd a Chaerffili. Byddai’r teulu cyfan yn cymryd rhan yn y perfformiadau a byddai’r gynulleidfa’n mwynhau 3 awr o adloniant am 3 cheiniog. Yn ogystal â pherfformio, roedd gan yr actorion a’r actoresau ddyletswyddau eraill. Roedd yn rhaid i’r dynion adeiladu’r theatr a’i thynnu i lawr, gan ddilyn rheolau llym ym mhob lleoliad, tra byddai’r menywod yn trwsio gwisgoedd a gorchuddion. Byddai’r theatr yn aros mewn tref am rhwng dau a chwe mis yn perfformio drama wahanol bob nos. Byddai’r rhai a oedd yn perfformio yn y sioe yn aros mewn llety lleol ond roedd llety Mr Ebley yn cynnwys fan cysgu a fan byw a fyddai’n teithio gyda fe. Roedd y faniau wedi’u haddurno gyda gwydr patrymog, pren caboledig a gwaith pres a chan fod y theatr â chyflenwad trydan, byddai generadur injan nwy hefyd yn cael ei halio.

 

I berfformio mewn tref roedd angen trwydded gan yr ynadon lleol ar yr Ebleys ac er mwyn cael y drwydded hon, roedd angen tystlythyrau cefnogol arnynt ynghylch eu moesoldeb. Yn aml byddai’r capeli’n ystyried y Theatr Gludadwy yn ddylanwad drwg ac felly byddent yn bygwth esgymuno aelodau pe baent yn mynychu perfformiad. Fodd bynnag, gwrthododd (Edward) Ted Ebley, ddygymod ag ymddygiad drwg a chafwyd adroddiad iddo adael y llwyfan yn ystod un perfformiad i guro pennau dau ymladdwr yn erbyn ei gilydd ac yna gwrthododd ddychwelyd i’w ran yn y sioe!

 

Yn yr un modd â llawer o theatrau, daeth y Theatr Deithiol i ben o ganlyniad i’r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf. Roedd Theatr Olympaidd Ebley yn Abercynffig pan gychwynnodd y rhyfel a gadawodd yr holl ddynion a oedd yn actio yn y theatr er mwyn ymuno â’r rhyfel. Gadawyd Edward (Ted) Ebley a’i fab i dynnu’r theatr i lawr ar eu pennau eu hunain. Yna haliwyd y Theatr i Gwmafon lle cafodd ei rhentu i Gwmni Colisëwm Caerau a’i hagor fel sinema. Yn 1916 fe’i caewyd cyn cael ei hailagor dan enw Ebley. Yn 1927 agorodd y Sinema Olympaidd yn Ffordd Depot lle dangosid ffilmiau mud ac yna newidiodd i ddangos ffilmiau sain yn 1932. Yn 1970 daeth yn Neuadd Fingo Olympaidd ac yn 1980 gwnaeth Edward (Ted) Ebley werthu’r adeilad. Gyda hynny daeth cysylltiad teuluol hudol â hen fath o adloniant i ben.

 

Am ragor o wybodaeth ynghylch theatrau cludadwy, gweler http://www.nfa.dept.shef.ac.uk/history/invited_articles/ebley.html

April 21st, 2015

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