|Dr Stuart Howard|
The North East England Mining Archive and Research Centre (NEEMARC), founded by Department of Culture member Dr Stuart Howard (History and Politics) has digitised the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Durham Association minutes books. The books, which cover the period 1876 to 1942 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 of England. The volumes are now available online for historians, academics, universities, students, and the general public to view without having to leave their desks. They are the first NUM materials anywhere to be digitised.
The site will be invaluable for researchers interested in trade union proceedings, minutes, debates, health and safety records, geology, mining technology reports and legal records relating to mining legislation.
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.”
You can see how ITV Tyne Tees reported the news here.