Tag Archives: Digital

Posted - 29-06-2018

Collections / Digitisation / News

Revealing the Objects: Poetry

As of October 2018 the Library will share a number of additional items from its collections on Europeana, a European digital cultural platform. We are currently working with 12 other partner institutions on a project entitled ‘The Rise of Literacy’ which aims to explore the history of reading and writing in Europe. In this weekly blog – ‘Revealing the Objects‘, some of the Library’s contributions will be disclosed on a thematic basis.

Here’s a selection of volumes containing poetry that will be digitized as part of the project.


Huw Jones (ed.) – Diddanwch Teuluaidd, 1763

‘Diddanwch Teuluaidd’ was edited by Huw Jones and included works by noted Anglesey poets, for instance, Goronwy Owen, Lewis Morris and Hugh Hughes. The volume was first printed in London and was reprinted at Caernarvon in 1817 and at Liverpool in 1879.

Goronwy Owen was a renowned poet and teacher. In 1757 he sailed from London to Virginia after accepting a teaching position at a grammar school in Williamsburgh. When Owen was a youngster he composed many poetic masterpieces. He was greatly admired by generations of Welsh poets and his poetic works were emulated by many a writer.

Lewis Morris was a noted poetic teacher and Goronwy Owen was among his students. Morris wished to breathe new life into Welsh literature and wrote many metrical and free compositions that were of an irreverent nature; these were included in this volume.

Hugh Hughes was also a bardic teacher and a close friend of Lewis Morris and his brothers. A collection of his compositions were also published in ‘Diddanwch Teuluaidd’.

John Ceiriog Hughes – Oriau’r hwyr: sef, gweithiau barddonol John Ceiriog Hughes, 1860

John Ceiriog Hughes was a renowned poet and ‘Oriau’r hwyr’ was his first publication. Some of Owen’s favourite themes and topics included nature, lust and patriotism. By today’s standards, these poems were highly sentimental in their content and tone, however very popular during Victoria’s reign. In this volume, one can recognise popular pieces that were recited, made into songs and heard on Welsh stages for many generations. With the exception of the Bible, ‘Oriau’r hwyr’ was the most bought volume in Wales during the 1860s, with 30,000 copies being sold between 1860 and 1872.

Sarah Jane Rees, Caniadau Cranogwen, 1870

Sarah Jane Rees, also known as Cranogwen, was a renowned poet, schoolteacher and editor. In 1865, at the Aberystwyth Eisteddfod, she won her first distinguished prize as a poet on the subject ‘Y Fodrwy Briodasol’ (The Wedding Ring). ‘Caniadau Cranogwen’ is a compilation of her work and was published in 1870 after her poetic successes. Cranogwen was also a noted public speaker, preacher and activist; in 1878 she became editor of ‘Y Frythones’, a Welsh journal dedicated to women’s issues.

Alun Lewis, Raiders’ Dawn and other poems, 1942

Alun Lewis was a poet and writer of short stories. The volume ‘Raiders’ Dawn and other poems’ is a compilation of Lewis’s work. These poems were written between 1940 and 1941 when he was at the Bordon military camp, receiving introductory military training. Most of Lewis’s imageries were inspired by Biblical and Greek mythologies and he tended to shape his poems into parables or allegories. All initial copies quickly sold and the volume was reprinted six times.

Want to see more posts from this series? See below:


Elen Hâf Jones – Digital Access Projects Officer

This post was created as part of the Europeana Rise of Literacy Project

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Posted - 16-03-2017



Since 2015, The National Library of Wales has been using a platform called Periscope for broadcasting live events such as lunchtime lectures, conversations with curators and Library gallery tours.

But how many of you know what is Periscope?

Well, quite simply, Periscope is a platform for live video streaming. It’s owned by Twitter which means you can transfer your live recording to your Twitter and Periscope followers through this platform. You will receive a notification every time someone you follow will do a live broadcast.On the Periscope app there is a ‘World Map’ tab which shows you where all the live broadcasts are taking place at that moment around the world.

Along with watching live streams, Periscope also allows you to like what you see on the screen by sending hearts to the broadcaster and it’s also possible to send live comments on any given broadcast.

A tweet is sent automatically on Twitter to announce when someone you follow goes live on Periscope. It’s possible to click on that link in the twitter stream to watch the broadcast. As you already know the Library has 2 Twitter accounts – 1 for the Welsh stream and one for the English stream and the same is true of the Library’s Periscope accounts. The live broadcasts in Welsh will be advertised on our Welsh Twitter feed and the English broadcasts on our English Twitter feed.

Since releasing live broadcasts on Periscope the Library has learned several important lessons. We have discovered that the most popular broadcasts have been short videos containing conversations with staff about a particular item(s) in the collections or gallery tours of different exhibitions held here. Nevertheless we have also filmed several lunchtime lectures in our auditorium, Drwm. With just under 100 seats it means that many more people can have access to our lectures, more often than not, from the luxury of their own living room!

The process of filming however has not been an easy process all of the time. We have experienced several technical problems during filming. On one occasion, without much warning, everything went dark on the screen and we could not rectify the problem. On another occasion the quality of the sound was poor but with every new broadcast we continue to learn and thereby (hopefully!) improve. We have recently purchased new equipment especially for filming live broadcasts and that too will hopefully improve the quality of our recordings.

We are still learning about the art of creating live broadcasts that are interesting and valuable to our audience. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our coverage or if you would like us to film a specific topic or aspect of our work then you can contact us.

Now that you know what Periscope is I hope you will follow us on Twitter/Periscope and look out for those notifications that we are going live!

Follow us on Twitter: @NLWales

Follow us on Periscope: @NLWales

Bethan Rees ~ Digital Access

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Posted - 16-02-2017


The National Library of Wales in the Digital Age

Developments in digital technology mean that Libraries in the 21st century have to adapt its services to fulfill the needs of their users. Today, users are familiar with using a wide variety of digital sources on a daily basis for their research or for social interaction. This in turn influences the way in which people connect, converse and relate to each other in addition to changing the way in which they interpret and experience culture.

The National Library of Wales is seeking to focus on finding out exactly how the user interacts and uses digital services and facilities within the library’s physical space in order to improve their digital experience.

By looking at the habits of library visitors and their expectations the Library is hoping it will give a clear insight into what users would like to see inside the building in digital format.

A questionnaire was considered the best way of getting a broad range of information and opinions from members of the public and by placing the user at the heart of the study it focuses on the quality of their experiences and what they value about the library and similarly what they do not.

It is hoped that the results of the questionnaire will enable the Library to look at what is currently presented digitally alongside physical spaces and think of ways in which they can better adapt its functions and services to provide new ways of presenting using technology to enhance not distract visitors from their visit.

The Library would like to make users’ visit to the Library as enjoyable and interesting as possible with the aim of inspiring users to view and engage with its vast collections and at the same time increase their cultural knowledge and understanding.

Therefore if you can spare 5 minutes of your time we would be very grateful if you could fill in this Digital Experience Questionnaire and share your views so that we can learn from you and deliver a positive and easy visitor experience through digital means.


Bethan Rees

Digital Access


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Posted - 03-11-2016

Digitisation / Exhibitions / News and Events / Research

The National Library of Wales on Flickr

Explore thousands of images from the archives on Flickr Commons

Users of the National Library of Wales website can explore many thousands of digital images from the library’s vast collections.

However, we also believe in sharing our digital content as widely as possible, and sharing our content with the popular Flickr community gives us a great opportunity to engage with new users and share the rich visual history of Wales.

Over the years the images we have shared with Flickr have been viewed millions of times, and there appear to be some clear favourites, like ‘Dog with a pipe’ which went viral, attracting more than 25,000 views.

Every month at least 20 new images are hand picked and uploaded to Flickr and this month we have kept it topical, uploading old photographs of Bonfire builders and fireworks displays.

New content is being added all the time so why not follow us on Flickr to see all our latest uploads?

Jason Evans, Digital Access

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Posted - 12-04-2016

Collections / News and Events

Our Wikidata Visiting Scholar

A world first

Since the National Library appointed a Wikipedian in Residence in January 2015 many interesting and exciting collaborations have occurred, and the Library is now pioneering a brand new idea – Give a Wikidata expert access to Library metadata so that they can turn it into linked up Wikidata.


The idea of a ‘Wikipedia’ Visiting Scholars is not new, and the scheme, which gives volunteer Wikipedia editors free access to Library collections, has been run by the Wikipedia Library in the United States for several years, but bringing in a Wikidata specialist to work with data sets, as a visiting scholar, is a world first.


Wikidata is a linked database that can be read and edited by both humans and machines. It contains millions of pieces of data on all sorts of subjects, which all link together to form a hive of knowledge and, like all Wiki projects any one can contribute and reuse the Wikidata for free.

Data Map

A sample of the Library’s huge Geoff Charles photographic collection. Collections can easily be explored geographical using Wikidata.


Wikidata was used to create this Histropedia timeline of National Library Collections with Wikipedia articles.


The first Wikidata Visiting Scholar is Simon Cobb who recently graduated Aberystwyth University with an MA in Information and Library Studies and now works for Leeds University Library. On becoming our Wikidata Visiting Scholar Simon said;

“I will be working to add some of the National Library of Wales’ collections to Wikidata, accompanied by high quality metadata that will link individual items to associated places, people, temporal periods and much more besides. This has the potential to reveal new and interesting links between materials, both within the National Library and far beyond, and this is what I find particularly exciting about having the opportunity to work with the National Library’s datasets and Wikidata.”


Our Wikidata Visiting Scholar volunteering at a Wikidata Edit-a-thon at the National Library.

Our Visiting Scholar’s first task is to use Metadata for 3000 images from the Welsh Landscape collection, which are available on Wikimedia Commons, to create detailed linked data. Simon will then work with the Library and volunteers in the Wikidata community to explore new ways of exploring and analysing the data and associated images.

Wikidata landscape

An image from the Welsh Landscape Collection demonstrating the level of detailed linked data our volunteer is creating for each image.

Wikidata already contains over 17 million entries and is growing fast. At the same time software developers are creating increasingly innovative tools for exploring and analyzing this data. It is hoped that sharing National Library of Wales metadata openly for projects such as this, will enable and inspire the public use of our digital collections and data in many exciting and innovative ways.


This trial scheme is being supported by the Wikipedia Library, and it’s hoped that it can be used to attract other cultural institutions to run similar projects in the near future.


Jason Evans

Wikipedian in Residence

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About this blog

A blog about the work and collections of the National Library of Wales.

Due to the more personal nature of blogs it is the Library's policy to publish postings in the original language only. An equal number of blog posts are published in both Welsh and English, but they are not the same postings. For a translation of the blog readers may wish to try facilities such as Google Translate.

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