Document ReferenceNCB
TitlePrinted reports and translations of the National Coal Board, 1937-1989
Date Of Creation1937-1989
Extent6141 items
AbstractThe collection comprises reports and translations made by the National Coal Board. They relate to a wide variety of aspects of coal and mining in the UK and abroad.
LevelFonds
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers.
Admin HistoryThe reports and translations that comprise this collection were compiled by the National Coal Board's library at Bretby, Derbyshire. It was established in 1955 as a research library for the National Coal Board (NCB) and its research and development divisions. The library absorbed the holdings of the NCB's Mining Research Establishment at Isleworth, Middlesex in 1968 and began concentrating on underground mining techniques. In 1995, the library at Bretby was relocated to The University of Nottingham.

The NCB was established on 12 July 1946 following the nationalisation of the British coal industry under the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946. The NCB was established with the responsibility of managing the industry and running it on business lines. On the vesting date, 1 January 1947, the productive assets of over 800 private colliery undertakings and the service contracts of their employees were transferred to the NCB.

The NCB was initially run by a board of between nine and eleven members, appointed by the Minister of Fuel and Power, who presented the board's reports to Parliament. General powers over the NCB later transferred to the Ministry of Technology (from October 1969), the Department of Trade and Industry (from October 1970), and the Department of Energy (from January 1974). The NCB was headed by a chairman and deputy chairman and the other members of the board took charge of an executive department or research establishment. The NCB became the British Coal Corporation on 1 January 1987 which in turn was wound up in 1997.
Custodial HistoryThe collection was given to the University of Nottingham in 1995. Most of the 33,000 or so volumes from the library are held at the University's George Green Library of Science and Engineering. The collection described here, however, contains a series of reports that come under the provisions of the Public Records Act 1958.

The cataloguing of these extensive series of reports was made possible by the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) ‘Mine of Information’ project in 2000-2002, led by Swansea University and focusing primarily on the South Wales Coalfield. Although the reports have the status of public records, they were catalogued as printed items, rather than archives, using bibliographical standards. The catalogue records can be accessed through Nottingham University Library's online catalogue. The reports themselves are available for consultation in the Reading Room of Manuscripts and Special Collections.
DescriptionThe collection contains printed reports and translations published by departments and research establishments of the National Coal Board by its library at Bretby. The reports cover a wide range of subjects such as mine safety, mining equipment, the science of coal, geology, the coal industry, and coal field procedures. The translations, in English, relate to similar subjects and have been made from reports from a wide variety of non-English speaking countries. The reports from which the translations were made, date back to 1937. The items in this collection have been divided into the following sections:

Reports of the Central Engineering Establishment. 1956-1969 (NCB CEE);
The CEE was set up in 1954. It merged with the Mining Research Establishment in 1969 to create the Mining Research Development Establishment. The CEE worked on research and development projects in conjunction with other departments, and was based at Bretby.

Reports of the Mining Research Establishment. 1954-1969 (NCB MRE);
TheMining Research Establishment (MRE) was set up in 1951. It merged with the Central Engineering Establishment in 1969 to create the Mining Research Development Establishment (MRDE). The MRE worked on projects in conjunction with NCB headquarters divisions such as the Production Department and Scientific Department. The MRE was based at Isleworth in West London.

Reports of the Mining Research and Development Establishment. 1969-1989 (NCB MRDE);
The Mining Research Development Establishment (MRDE) was created in 1969 with a merger between the Central Engineering Establishment and the Mining Research Establishment. The MRDE's function was research into and testing of mining equipment and procedures and it was based at Stoke Orchard, Gloucestershire and at Bretby, Derbyshire. Following the rationalisation of the NCB from 1985, the MRDE merged with the Mining Department.

Reports of the Central Research Establishment II. 1953-1955 (NCB CRE);
The Coal Research Establishment (CRE) was set up in 1946. The CRE worked on research and development projects in conjunction with NCB headquarters divisions such as the Scientific Department.

Translations and reports of the Production Department. 1948-1966 (NCB PD);
The Production Department of the National Coal Board was responsible for planning and initiating the development of coal reserves and also ensuring that they were efficiently and safely worked. It dealt with, amongst other matters, re-organisation schemes, training, health and safety in mines, technical aspects of mining, electrical and mechanical devices, coal preparation and supplies. It ran central workshops, a regional geological service, a regional architectural and quantity surveying service, and a mines rescue service. It became the Mining Department in July 1971. Following the Miners' Strike of 1984-1985, the NCB was rationalised and the Mining Department was merged with the Mining Research and Development Department to form the Technical Department.

Translations and reports of the Technical Department, 1972-1989 (NCB HQTD);
Following rationalisation of the National Coal Board from 1985, the Mining Department and the Mining Research and Development Department were merged to form the Technical Department. It was responsible for researching and developing improvements in coal production and mine safety.

Translations made by the Translation Service and the Translating and Interpreting Branch. 1937-1974 (NCB T);
For commercial and research purposes, NCB found it necessary to undertake a large amount of translation work which from 1976 was undertaken by the Secretary's Department. Prior to that, the Translation and Interpreting Branch was part of the International Department, established in 1967. The department's central concern was to safeguard and further the NCB's interests and activities within the European Community and was renamed the International Relations Department in 1976.

Reports of Organisations other than the National Coal Board. 1977-1982 (NCB X).
Health and Safety Executive is a UK government body set up to control the risks to people's health and safety through work activities. It does this through publishing guidance to employers and employees, investigating workplace accidents, enforcing good practice and standards, and carrying out research.
Mining Technology Clearing House was an advisory body to the mining industry.
MgtGroupScientific, research and educational records
Business records
Printed Book Collections
MgtSubGroupCollieries and Coal
ArrangementThe collection has been divided into seven sections. Within each sub-series, items have been numerically arranged.
LanguageEnglish
TermCoal mines and mining
FindingAidsThe collection is catalogued on the University of Nottingham Library Online Catalogue (UNLOC): http://aleph.nottingham.ac.uk/ALEPH. To browse the Collection, on the Basic Search screen, select 'Special Collection' in the Field to Search drop-down menu and enter the search term BCBL (the code for British Coal Board Library). Material relating to the different departments and research establishments can usually be identified clicking on Modify, and using the name of department or establishment as a modifying search term.
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
ConditionGood
Related MaterialOther archive collections relating to the National Coal Board and other organisations of the coal and mining industries are recorded on The National Archives Discovery catalogue

Click the links below to view related name indexes

Click the links below to view related place indexes

Persons
CodePersonNameDates of Existence
NA929National Coal Board
NA930Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Central Engineering Establishment
NA931Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Production Department
NA933Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Scientific Department
NA934Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Technical Department
NA935Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Mining Research and Development Department
NA936Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Mining Research Establishment
NA937Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; International Department; Translating and Interpreting Branch
NA938Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Secretary's Department; Translating and Interpreting Branch
NA939Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Translation Service
NA940Great Britain and Northern Ireland; National Coal Board; Translating and Interpreting Branch
NA941Mining Technology Clearing House
NA942Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Health and Safety Executive
Places
CodePlace name
PL139/England
PL607/Scotland
PL206/Wales
PL517/Bretby/Derbyshire/England
PL1016/Isleworth/Middlesex/England
PL1012/Stoke Orchard/Gloucestershire/England
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