History of the University Publication

About the project

Swansea University celebrates its centenary year in 2020. In the build-up to this, a history of the University is being researched and written. This project is led by Dr Sam Blaxland, who is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of History. 

When the University College of Wales, Swansea opened its doors in 1920 less than one hundred students were on roll. Now, the institution is a multi-campus thriving University where thousands study and work. This process of change covers many fascinating areas and time periods of history, and Sam is seeking to explore this. 

His work involves two big areas of research. Firstly, he is conducting an ambitious oral history project that aims to engage with as wide a variety of people as possible connected to the University. The aim is to gather interviews with people from all walks of the University's life. Their memories and 'spoken testimonies' will form an oral history archive cared for and overseen by the University's archivists, and will be available for research purposes.

On the other hand, Sam will be utilising the more traditional but excellent collection of material based in the University's Archive to research the history. Both these areas of research form the basis of a book that Sam will produce about the University to mark its one-hundredth year. 



Dr Sam Blaxland was made a post-doctoral fellow in Swansea University's History Department in November 2016. He researches the history of the University in the lead up to its 2020 centenary. He wrote a PhD thesis in the department on the Conservative Party in Wales, 1945-1997, and before that, studied for a BA and MA in History at Cardiff University. He was born and raised in Pembrokeshire and has since lived, worked, or studied in Cardiff, London and Oxford. His broader research interests lie in the field of modern British political and social history. Sam has a wider interest in politics and current affairs and has recently made several appearances on news channels and programmes such as BBC News 24, The Sunday Politics Wales, and Bay TV Swansea. He has also written for outlets like The Conversation, The Western Mail, and The Institute for Welsh Affairs, and has spoken or given conference papers on his research in places like Oxford's Bodleian Library, and Harvard University.


If you would like any information on this project, if you would like to participate in an oral history interview, or if you have material you think might be of interest, Dr Sam Blaxland would be delighted to hear from you. 

Contact details:

Email: s.blaxland@swansea.ac.uk

Phone: 01792 513219

Address: Department of History, James Callaghan Building, Swansea University Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP.