One of region's most definitive mining archives goes online

The Northern Echo: Sunderland University academic Dr Stuart Howard pictured  in front of a former colliery's winding gear at Herrington Country Park with one of the NUM minute books now available online. Sunderland University academic Dr Stuart Howard pictured in front of a former colliery's winding gear at Herrington Country Park with one of the NUM minute books now available online.

THE whole world can dig into the region’s history after a North-East university unveiled one of the most definitive mining archives online.

The North East England Mining Archive and Research Centre (NEEMARC) is founded by Sunderland University academic Dr Stuart Howard in association with a number of the region’s mining institutions.

Dr Howard’s team have digitalised volumes of the National Union of Miners (NUM) Durham Association minutes books.

The books, hosted on Sunderland University’s website, chronicle the records of the most powerful union in the country in what was arguably the most important region for coal mining, the North-East.

They are now online and cover the period 1876 to 1942 and are the first NUM materials anywhere to be digitised.

The archive paints a clear picture of the political, economic, social and cultural life in an industry that was so important to the region.

There is a raft of vital information for researchers interested in trade union proceedings, minutes, debates, health and safety records, geology, mining technology reports and legal records relating to mining legislation. The archives also cover many accidents in the mining industry from minor incidents to large scale disasters.

The volumes are now available online for historians, academics, universities, students, and the general public to view without having to leave their desks.

Dr Stuart Howard said: “North-East England cannot be understood outside of its mining history. This dedicated archive therefore represents the most important thread in the region's modern history.

"It was formed by the co-operation of the region's mining institutions and the University of Sunderland as evidence of the extraordinary history and culture of North East England and for the benefit of posterity. We hope a wide range of people are at once informed and moved by it.”

Dr Kevin Yuill who oversaw the digitising of the archives said: “The result of this now means the minute books are now there for anyone to see in front of you. It means historians can conduct primary research without leaving their desks and democratises the collection, as students, amateur historians and genealogists alike have access too.”

For more information and to view the archives, visit: http://leektar.sunderland.ac.uk/calmview/ and search “digitised”.

 

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