The National Library of Wales is inviting volunteers to assist with a project collating the history of the Great War as it affected all aspects of Welsh life, language and culture.
The collection includes audio tapes of interviews with people from the South Wales coalfields, who lived through the war, sharing their experiences; the aim is to make this collection fully accessible.
The work involves checking and editing existing transcriptions of the audio tapes, as well as creating new transcriptions. Volunteers will receive the audio tapes on a USB stick and will be asked to transfer the content to a ‘Word’ document, which can then be e-mailed to the project officer. Guidelines will be provided.
• The ability to work independently;
• IT skills – ‘Word’, e-mail, and experience of working with Realplayer or Quicktime;
• Excellent literacy skills in Welsh and/or English;
• An eye for detail and methodical.
Volunteers can work from home at their convenience.
For more information, or to register an interest, contact:
Gwyneth Davies, Volunteers’ Co-ordinator,
Phone – 01970 632991
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the many artworks held at the National Library of Wales will be projected onto buildings in three of Wales’s cities this evening as part of an event to celebrate Your Paintings - a website showing the entire UK national collection of over 210,000 oil paintings.
Between 4.30pm and 10pm, Sunflowers with mountains beyond, 1940-1950 by Sir Kyffin Williams will be among the paintings projected onto the walls of The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff; the Miss Selfridge Building, Princess Way, Swansea; and Marks & Spencer’s, Wrecsam.
The projections mark the start of a month of exhibitions and events organised by the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation to celebrate the completion of Your Paintings. The Library has displayed almost 2,000 works from its collections on the website and you can view them all here
Tuesday 12 February
On Shrove Tuesday, the Pen Dinas Café will be serving up some delicious mouthwatering pancakes in the afternoon with an assortment of fillings.
Call in to get some before they all disappear!
Hitler, Stalin a Mr Jones
Wednesday, 13 February 7.30pm
An opportunity to learn more about the Welshman Gareth Jones – the journalist who met Hitler and Stalin and who was murdered under suspicious circumstances.
Who was responsible?
Did he know too much?
Come and see the film of his story.
Free admission by ticket.
Who Do You Think You Are? – LIVE
The Library visits Olympia, London, to participate in Britain’s largest Family History
The Library’s Family History experts will be at hand to advise you about different
aspects of Welsh genealogy.
For further details click on the WDYTYA- Live website
St David’s Day
Come and enjoy lunch at the Pen Dinas Café with a bowl of traditional Welsh cawl, to the accompaniment of the internationally renowned and talented harpist,Nest Jenkins.
A special reduction of 10% is offered on all books at the Library’s Shop today.
A warm welcome is extened to all!
Have you decided on what to buy?
How about calling in to the Library’s Shop to see the varied and tasteful gifts and cards we have to offer.
Gifts also available online.
Something for everyone!
Were you among the hundreds who ‘dashed’ to the Library last
Saturday to celebrate the Dot Dot Dash – Communicating in Wales exhibition?
A thoroughly enjoyable and successful day was held, which drew hundreds of people from a wide area to enjoy the day’s activities.
Cartoonists Mike Collins and David Roach held a series of cartoon workshops for children in conjunction with the Library’s Education Service – which proved to be very popular! An online competition to win an original drawing of Doctor Who by Mike Collins was won by Owen Tudor Morgan from Hampshire – who correctly answered that there have been 11 Doctor Who’s to date! Many congratulations, and we hope you enjoy the prize.
The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales held a series of behind the scenes tours of the Library – venturing into the depths of the archive and storage cells. Due to popular demand, these tours are being extended for the duration of the Dot Dot Dash exhibition (14 September 2013), and are being held on the last Thursday of each month. Due to the nature of the tours, and to secure your place, booking is essential.
The Library’s Council Chamber hosted an Antiques Computer Roadshow, which highlighted the Library’s vast, if by these days standards, rather antiquated collection of old computers and technology. It was fascinating to see them and amazing to think how technology has advanced leaps and bounds from these large and rather bulky contraptions to small slimline pocket held devices.
We were fortunate to welcome the Aberystwyth Amateur Radio Club to participate in the day’s events. They set up their radio equipment and successfully transmitted and received messages from various parts of the world, having contacted as far as Virginia, USA. Thank you to the clubs members for their enthusiasm and support.
While members of the public enjoyed their lunch in Caffi Bach, they were serenaded by the guitarist Ted Parry.
Many local residents arrived at the Library by taking advantage of the Bus03 service which links Aberystwyth directly to the Library and Arts Centre.
A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all, and thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement! Additional photos of the days events and activites can be found on our facebook page.
David Lloyd George was born at Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, the son of William and Elizabeth George, on 17 January 1863. This year, therefore, marks the 150th anniversary of his birth. Although his background was by no means privileged, and he attended neither public school nor grammar school nor university, he became Prime Minister of Britain from December 1916, the height of the First World War, until November 1922. He remains to date the one and only Welshman to have served in this position.
Although the largest and most important archive of Lloyd George’s papers – those which derive largely from his years in power – are in the custody of the Parliamentary Archive at the House of Lords in London, the National Library of Wales is home to seven discrete archives of correspondence and papers relating to Lloyd George which were acquired by the Library between 1969 and 1999, mostly from various members of the Lloyd George family.
David Lloyd George, c.1890 (NLW, John Thomas Collection)
Among these, two groups of correspondence are quite outstanding – the two thousand letters from Lloyd George to his first wife Dame Margaret, and some 3,300 letters sent by him to his younger brother William George (1865-1967), a Criccieth solicitor who assiduously ran the family legal practice Lloyd George and George. Both groups of correspondence comprise a compelling amalgam of political news dextrously intermingled with personal and family gossip. They are especially full and informative during Lloyd George’s period as a backbencher from 1890 until 1905. There is also a group of about a dozen pocket diaries which Lloyd George kept as a young man before his election to parliament. Those for 1885 and 1886 are notably full and interesting. There are extensive holdings of photographs of Lloyd George and his family.
The Library also holds the extensive papers of Lloyd George’s long-serving and perceptive PPS, A. J. Sylvester (1889-1989). These include very detailed typescript diaries covering the period of Lloyd George’s so-called ‘wilderness years’ from 1931 until his death in March 1945. A small residue of the personal papers of Frances, Countess Lloyd-George of Dwyfor (1888-1972), was purchased from her family in 1999. The contents of all seven archive groups are outlined in the helpful booklet The Lloyd George Archives at the National Library of Wales and Other Repositories (2001).
It is planned to prepare an extensive exhibition of Lloyd George materials in the annexe to the Gregynog Gallery from October 2013. A NLW website relating to Lloyd George is also in active preparation.
J. Graham Jones
For a chance to win an original piece of Doctor Who artwork by the cartoonist Mike Collins, answer this question;
How many Doctor Who’s have there been to date?
Send your answer via twitter using hashtag #compdotdotdash to @NLWales
The winner will be picked at random and presented with the framed original artwork by Mike Collins on Saturday the 26 of January at the National Library of Wales during Day Dot.
2012 is the bicentenary of Lady Charlotte Guest’s birth. She settled in Wales in 1833 on marrying John Guest, Dowlais ironmaster. Remembered for her pioneer translation into English of the medieval Welsh tales, ‘The Mabinogion’, Charlotte was also an educator, mother of ten children and, when widowed, ran the vast Dowlais Iron Company. Later, as Lady Charlotte Schreiber, she became a leading collector of ceramics and fans.
Her vivid, observant journal in the National Library virtually spans the nineteenth century, providing invaluable insights into Welsh and English society, especially the obstacles and opportunities facing women. Charlotte wrote for about an hour daily. She appears indefatigable. Accounts of blast furnaces, babies with measles, esoteric research and complex translations vie with tales of Prussian travels, Eisteddfodau, London balls, young Dowlais scholars and radical politics.
Following the 1831 Merthyr Rising the Whig John Guest became Merthyr Tydfil’s first MP. Soon Chartists across Britain demanded democratic rights for all men. On 4 November 1839 they clashed with soldiers in the Newport Rising.
A fraught Christmas followed. The heavily industrialised Merthyr area now became the centre of Welsh Chartism. Rumours of further trouble were rife as Charlotte’s journal reveals. Although many local Chartists opposed violence, stories circulated that John Guest would be murdered. In a neat reversal of the usual concept of male-female protection, Charlotte wrote on 24 December that ‘I should not now like him [John - whom she nicknamed Merthyr] to be out late alone’. So she accompanied him. Two Dowlais men were imprisoned after the Newport Rising but Charlotte – with some justification – retained her faith in the Dowlais workforce.
Her Christmas Eve entry ends with another challenge to the standard image of the Victorian lady as she plays billiards – and probably wins!
Angela V. John
Professor John is co-author (with Revel Guest) of Lady Charlotte Guest. An Extraordinary Life (The History Press, 2007).
I have just completed the work of tracking the Boston Manuscript of the Laws of Hywel Dda (NLW MS 24029A) as part of the digitisation of the manuscript.
The conservator’s plan of the original manuscript
The first stage of the tracking process is to create a detailed list of the manuscript structure. This list was prepared by Maredudd ap Huw, the Library’s Manuscript Librarian. This list was then passed on to me to create a corresponding Excel file for the purpose of creating the tracking data in preparation for the scanning. Using the list, the manuscript, and the plan of the original manuscript created by the conservators who took the manuscript apart I embarked on the task of creating the tracking file.
Comparing the original with the manuscript structure list
Each page of the manuscript is given an unique item number – this is inserted in the first column. The second column is for the page label for each page of the manuscript. It is important to clearly identify each item for the scanners, to ensure that the right image is linked to the correct label in the eventual presentation on the Digital Mirror.
The structure list and the tracking document
This file was then uploaded to the Library’s ‘Wombat’ workflow system. This system tracks the digitisation process of the manuscript from the delivery of the manuscript to the imaging unit, the scanning of each individual page, the QC for each image, to the returning of the manuscript to the collection.
Comparing and checking
After the Imaging Unit had completed the work of scanning the manuscript, the work was transferred back to the metadata team, where I once again did a QC of the images, comparing the images to the original manuscript, the detailed list of the structure and the plan created by the conservators.
Wombat workflow for the Boston manuscript
Morfudd Nia Jones
©Edward Adizzone, A Child’s Christmas In Wales by Dylan Thomas, 1978. Permission granted by the Artist’s Estate
‘One Christmas was so much like another…’ Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Exciting plans for a major exhibition in the Library with associated activities to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas are underway, thanks to the generous support of the Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Government. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I’ve just come back from The European Library’s Researcher of Tomorrow conference which took place in Madrid. The conference covered a number of aspects of the challenges and opportunities facing libraries with the advancement of digitisation and the associated development of new methodologies, such as data mining, amongst researchers. Amongst the subjects discussed at conference were the issues surrounding open access, the changing requirements of researchers and the impact that digital libraries are having on research and researchers. Another major focus for discussion was the future direction of The European Library as a service for researchers.
The conference also marked the end of the Europeana Libraries project, indeed it provided a welcome opportunity to celebrate the achievements of this project and to meet some of the people from across Europe that we have been working with over the last two years. The two-year project, established in 2011, sought to aggregate 5 million digital objects from 19 of Europe’s leading research libraries, including the NLW. As it draws to a close the project has succeeded in this aim with over 5 million digital objects from these libraries aggregated.
The NLW has made a significant contribution to the project providing access to over a quarter of a million digital objects from our collections. These include the Welsh landscape topographical print collection, the John Thomas photographic collection, the Geoff Charles photographic collection, the P. B Abery photographic collection along with 13 nineteenth century Welsh journals. These items can be accessed via the Europeana (for the general user) and The European Library (for researchers) websites.
The latest collections from the NLW to go live on the Europeana website are the P. B. Abery Collection and the Welsh Journals. The Geoff Charles collection will follow shortly. The John Thomas and Welsh Landscape collections are already available on the Europeana website as well as via The European Library. While you’re visiting these websites why not take the opportunity to explore the other treasures collected from around Europe? Happy searching!
It’s been a particularly rewarding experience to see the project through to a successful conclusion and it’s good to know that some of our most important collections will now be available to a broader European audience. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those in the Library (and beyond!) who have contributed to the success of our involvement in this project.