As part of the celebrations for February‘s LGBTQ+ History month, the Library was proud to sponsor @AberrationAber’s Dreaming up the Past: imagining LGBTQ+ history event. This event on 18 February included performances by harpist, musician Cerys Hafana, a screening of ‘Ysbrydion’ (Spirits) by Amy Daniel, a talk from artist Sarah-Joy Ford about her textile installation ‘Beloved: Crafting Intimacies with the Ladies of Llangollen’, and Queer Tales from Wales’ latest production, ‘The Lost Knitters of Tregaron. In the afternoon, the event also included a Proud Writing Workshop, led by the historian and writer, Norena Shopland. Drawing on newspaper extracts relating to LGBTQ+ people that she discovered in Wales Newspapers Online, Norena encouraged us to create new works inspired by our responses to the extracts. My usual style of writing is directed towards the creation of business cases and strategic plans, so I found composing a creative story inspired by the Ladies of Llangollen extract to be a challenging, but very rewarding, experience. Other members of the workshop selected other extracts and perspectives, which proved how Library collections are a rich source of creativity. Some of the LGTBQ+ collections have been listed by Mair Jones in a previous blog post and there are many others which are available through searching the catalogues, so there are many sources for creativity within our rich and varied collections.
Another event to celebrate the contribution of LGTBQ+ people will be held at the Library on 7 March by the aforementioned Queer Tales, whose creative and informative shows have brought to life the hidden histories of LGBTQ+ people. The performance is inspired by the life of Amy Dillwyn, the cigar-smoking, industrialist, novelist and suffragist, Amy was a niece of Mary Dillwyn, the early Welsh female photographer whose Llysdinam photograph album is available at the Library. Tickets for the show are available on Ticketsource.
Sally McInnes (she/her) Chair, NLW Gender and LGBTQ+ Forum