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UCAC Archives: General description

1 Location Identity

1.1 Cardiff University (Salisbury Library, Information Services)
1.2 UCAC Archive (Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru)
1.3 2000
1.4 File Descriptions.
1.5 20 metres.

2 Collection context

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

3 Content and Organisation of the Collection

3.1 Historical Background

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 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.

3.2 Description of the Collection

The International Standard for Archival Description (General) was followed in drafting the description of the archive. The searchable database description of the collection was produced with Access 97. Only brief descriptions of each file are given, especially when they are bilingual. Following the administrative practice of UCAC, Welsh is the main medium of description of the archive. There are bilingual descriptions of files which include English language or bilingual material. This has implications for searching on the database, because of the mutations of words. Users need to remember this while searching for keywords in Welsh.

3.2 Further Accruals

Further accruals are expected of documents for the period c.1980-1999.

3.3 Organisation of the Collection

The description of each file includes the following elements.
Cyfeirnod/Code Number (a unique file number).
Iaith y Deunydd/Material Language (wel=Welsh, eng=English, wel/eng=Bilingual).
Cynnwys/Contents (brief description of the material and its contents).
Dogfen/Documents (number and type of documents, e.g. 33 pieces of correspondence).
Dyddiad/Date (year the document was produced, or the earliest document).
Nodiadau/Notes additional, relevant information about the contents of the file, e.g. correspondence by W. Ambrose Bebb neu Margaret Thatcher).

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.

Each class has its own unique letters or code:
Cyn= y Gynhadledd Flynyddol
Pg= y Pwyllgor Gwaith
Can/g= y Canghennau
Adr= yr Adrannau
All= Cyrff allanol.

3.41 The Classifications

The Annual Conference / Y Gynhadledd Flynyddol, 1941 - 1988 (cyn)
The Annual conference is the only body that can decide UCAC’s policies and change its constitution. The collection reflects many aspects of the Conference’s work, including Correspondence of its organisers, the programme, agenda, motions, and decisions of the Conference; Minutes of the full sessions, notes and handwritten records of the discussions, speeches and press statements. Special Conferences were organised from time to time, to discuss special topics, for example, going on strike for the first time in 1969.

The National Executive / Y Pwyllgor Gwaith, 1940 - 1990 (pg)
The National Executive (which has been called the National Council / Cyngor Cenedlaethol since 1976) is the main executive body of the union. This class includes extensive correspondence of the union, minutes of the National Executive, publications in the name of the union, research undertaken by officers and members of the union, and statements and memoranda of opinion of the union on appropriate matters. The class Eraill/Misc. in this class includes files of press cuttings kept for the National Executive as well as lists of officials and members of the union.

The Branches / Y Canghennau, 1942 - 1993 (can/g)
With the growth of the union beyond its original home in Cardiff a number of local branches were formed across the country. With time a structure was established for these branches, and the arrangement that was adopted was the county organisation. In line with the national Annual conference of the union, county conferences were also held by the county organisations. In the same way as the National Executive, there are minutes of meetings, correspondence, etc for the counties. The branches operated on a smaller scale, and as a result this part of the collection is less complete. See the preface to the Branches classification for a detailed description of the arrangement of the branches in this collection.

The Sections / Yr Adrannau, 1940 - 1991 (adr)
As well as the National Executive members of the union were appointed to serve on a number of Sections, committees and sub-committees. The fullest Section in this collection is that of the Treasurer’s Section, which dealt with financial matters including all of the accounts and membership payments of the union. Other Sections dealt with financial services to members of the union, namely Y Gymhorthfa, Cronfa Claf and the Cronfa Cad. In the files of the Adran Lenyddiaeth there is correspondence and draft articles related to the union’s own publications and other publications. Two Sections that saw very active periods were the Panel Iaith, that prepared tests and work plans for Welsh medium classes, and the Cymdeithas y Colegau, which was established to deal with matters of further and higher education.

4 Access and Use Conditions

4.1 Legal

UCAC owns the collections, and it is administered by Cardiff University (Arts Library).

4.2 Access

The collection is available between 0900-1700 Monday to Friday.

4.3 Copyright / Reproduction

Photocopies are allowed only with the permission of the Library.

4.4 Language

Welsh is the main language of the Union and its members. The collection includes many documents in Welsh, in English, and bilingual documents, by the union and external bodies. The following abbreviations denote the language of the material.
wel=Welsh, eng=English, wel/eng=Welsh & English.

4.5 Physical Features

Very few of the documents in the collection are of a fragile nature. The most fragile materials are the files of newspaper press cuttings.

4.6 Searching the Database

An A-Z index of subjects is available on the Web database. A number of keywords were added to the descriptions of each file to prepare this searchable index. Index terms from Cardiff University Library’s online catalogue were used where appropriate. Since Welsh is the main language of the database, the Welsh Academy English-Welsh Dictionary (1995) and the Termiadur Ysgol (1998) were used to assist in the preparation of Welsh index terms. Note that word mutations can affect search results. For local place names the following were used, Gazetteer of Welsh Place Names (1967), and Welsh Territorial and Administrative Units (1969).

Because of the specialist nature of the union, which was established to care for the welfare of teachers as well as promote Welsh education, it was decided to limit the terms in the index to avoid duplication and irrelevance. Therefore the following short list of common terms were excluded since they are relevant to every file without exception:
Addysg / Education (except compound terms, e.g. Addysg Oedolion)
Athro / Teacher
Athrawon / Teachers (except compound terms, e.g. Athrawon Dros Dro)
Cymraeg / Welsh (except where Welsh is the school subject rather than language medium).

5 Related Materials

5.5 Publications

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