Tag Archives: app

400th Anniversary of the 1620 Bible

Collections - Posted 23-11-2020

This year we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of one of the milestones in Welsh publishing, the 1620 Bible. The first edition of a substantial portion of the Scriptures in Welsh was William Salesbury‘s New Testament, published in 1567. This was followed by William Morgan‘s translation of the whole Bible in 1588. So why publish a new version so soon afterwards? There were several reasons for this. William Morgan was not entirely satisfied with the 1588 edition, which contained a number of misprints. Also, in the meantime the Authorised King James Bible had been published in English in 1611. The English translation had a significant influence in Wales, although the translators were not bound by it in preparing the 1620 Welsh Bible.

The 1620 Bible is known as the Bible of Richard Parry, Bishop of St. Asaph, but the main responsibility for the work lies with Dr. John Davies, Rector of Mallwyd and author of a number of important books including the Welsh grammar Antiquae linguae Britannicae … rudimenta and the Welsh-Latin dictionary Dictionarium duplex. Before moving to Mallwyd John Davies had lived in the same house as William Morgan in St. Asaph and worked with him on a revised version of the New Testament.

 

 

The 1620 Bible revised the language of the earlier version, making it more similar to spoken pronunciation. It also includes more than 2,000 new words. Although it was published as a large Bible for use in the pulpit, a smaller edition was published a decade later, the 1630 “Beibl Bach”, which was affordable for ordinary people to buy and read in their homes. The 1620 version was the Bible used by the people of Wales into the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.

Because of this year’s circumstances it has not been possible to hold an exhibition in the National Library in 2020 to celebrate the 400th anniversary, but the intention is to hold it in 2021. In the meantime the Library has held a series of online lectures by prominent scholars to discuss different aspects of the history of the Bible in Wales.

Timothy Cutts
Rare Books Librarian

The Welsh in Canada

Discover Sound - Posted 17-11-2020

During the early 70s Canada’s Government commissioned people to collect information about various nationalities who lived in the country. For three months during 1974, Glenys James researched into the history of the Welsh who migrated to Canada from Patagonia. During this time, she travelled over 8,000 miles speaking and recording interviews with various families of Welsh descents.

 

The recordings are of historical value and gives us a perspective of life in Patagonia and Canada in the early twentieth century. By listening to the voices of the people themselves we can hear what they saw, and how they felt.
During this time there was a lot of movement within Canada from various nations, including people from Patagonia with roots in Wales.
In 1902, over 200 of the Welsh left Patagonia for their new life in Canada with over 5,000 migrating after the Revival of 1904-5. Many moved due to the difficult living conditions they encountered mainly constant flooding, and no land available to farm.
New communities were formed with many of the Welsh settling in the Saskatchewan area, since this was a designated area chosen by the British Government under David Lloyd George. The new villages and towns were given Welsh place names, such as Bangor, Llewelyn and Glyndwr. Shops, buildings, schools and chapels were built and some of the Welsh traditions were kept, like the Eisteddfod.

Mr Griffith Jones recalls an ‘Englyn’ that his father wrote in an Eisteddfod:

 

A transcription of this audio file can be found at the end of the blog.

The oral history collection was then put together by the Canadian History Museum, Ottawa where the original tapes are kept. Copies were sent to the National Library of Wales where they were stored in a controlled environment in order to protect the tapes for future use.

 

 

The Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and led by the British Library have now digitised and created metadata for these interviews. The collection can now be heard for the first time since the 70s.

 

Here’s Jonathan Wise from the Canadian History Museum discussing the Glenys James collection:

 

A transcription of this audio file can be found at the end of the blog.

For more information about the Glenys James collection and how they were digitised, have a look at our video ‘From Canada to the National Library of Wales’ on our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/llyfrgen

 

Transcription: Mr Griffith Jones

Griffith Jones: Dad came from Wales, Tregeiriog first in 1891 and after several trips back came out again in 1910 and settled in the Wood River district. Mother is of Welsh parents and she came from the United States to Canada in 1902 and they were married in 1911. There were four of us born to them and probably I speak as good a Welsh as any of them which isn’t very good.

Glenys James: Now your father was well known in the area here for his Welsh writing of Englynion (verse) both in Welsh and in English.

Griffith Jones: He was well known all over North America in fact, because he contributed to the Welsh papers and he competed in all the Welsh Eisteddfod that he could with his Englynion and he won many prizes with them.

Glenys James: Can you recall any of these englynion that he wrote?

Griffith Jones: I could say one in English, as you know the englyn must have consonance that harmonies and one that he won a prize on in English was:

Lindy how well he landed
In Paris o peril confronted
Pretty Yank with great head
Away he went un daunted

 

Transcription: Mr Johnathan Wise

Hi my name is Jonathan Wise. I’m a collection specialist for the audiovisual archives at the Canadian Museum of History. Along with world class exhibitions and research programs, the Museum houses an archive of over 100,000 historical recordings. These unique collections date from 1899 and contain a variety of recorded songs, stories and interviews from communities in every province and territory of Canada.

One of these collections is that of Glenys James. In 1974, Glenys James set off across the country to research the lives of Welsh immigrants who had come to Canada during the last century. She interviewed people in their homes talking about their own unique lives and experiences. She asked about family histories and childhood memories. She was especially interested in how Welsh language and culture were being preserved.

From Montreal Quebec to Edington, Alberta and points in between Glenys James captured the moment in the life of Canada Welsh communities.
The staff of libraries, archives and museums across the globe work hard to protect oral history collections like those of Glenys James. Many of these recordings are on fragile and obsolete media that must be digitised for prosperity.

Ultimately, all this work is to preserve the past, to serve the present and future generations. The Canadian Museum of History is pleased to have an opportunity to share the work of Glenys James and I would like to thank everyone at the National Library of Wales for their support in helping preserve this important collection.

 

Discussing the Future of Political Archives

Collections / Events - Posted 10-11-2020

The Welsh Political Archive annul lecture has been part of the National Library’s calendar for 30 years with a mix of politicians, journalists and academics having delivered the lecture over the years. However, due to the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it wasn’t possible to hold the lecture this year, even though all the arrangements had already been made.

But every challenge is also an opportunity and so we decided to try something a bit different; an on-line panel discussion using Zoom to bring together creator and users of political archives to discuss their experiences and ideas.

I was privileged to chair the session, which brought together the journalist Elliw Gwawr, former First Minister Carwyn Jones MS, Professor Richard Wyn Jones and Liz-Saville-Roberts MP for Dwyfor-Meirionydd.

We had a fascinating discussion for just over an hour on a mix of questions which I’d prepared and questions submitted by the audience; some of which dealt with serious issues and others touching on lighter subjects. We looked at the role of archives in the age of social media, ensuring that we properly record the stories of all the communities of Wales, which movements we need to make sure we record and what ideas or items would best tell the story of 2020.

The session is available to view (in Welsh) on the Library’s Facebook page and we’ll be preparing versions with English and Welsh subtitles to be made available alongside the annual lecture during the next few weeks.

 

Rob Phillips
The Welsh Political Archive

Tags: ,

Keeping the Good for Good: Preserving the Laws of Hywel Dda at the National Library of Wales

Collections / Conservation / Digitisation - Posted 05-11-2020

World Digital Preservation Day

Every year, the Digital Preservation Coalition holds a World Digital Preservation Day with the aim of drawing attention to the complex strategic, cultural and technological issues involved in ensuring sustained access to digital content. This year has brought into particular focus the global reliance on digital information, infrastructure and connectivity and the theme this year: Digits: for Good, reflects the positive impact of preserving and providing access to trustworthy digital content. This theme aligns perfectly with the Library’s innovative approaches in traditional conservation, digitisation and digital preservation which integrate to ensure that the Boston Manuscript of the Laws of Hywel Dda are accessible now and in the future.

Boston Manuscript

The Boston Manuscript was purchased in 2012 by the Library with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Friends of the National Libraries and the Welsh Government. The manuscript, written in Welsh, dates from around 1350 and records the native Welsh laws, which were thought to have been codified by Hywel Dda. It is a key text in the history of Welsh law and provides insights into Welsh identity and cultural life. It was used as a working text, being annotated by a Judge in South Wales, who carried it around in his pocket. By the 19th century, the manuscript had reached America and was in the custody of the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, having probably been taken there by an emigrant.

A conservation assessment revealed that the manuscript was very fragile, with many tears and splits, meaning that it could not be handled without the risk of further damage. The decision was taken to dis-bind the volume and digitise the content, which would enable the re-binding of the original, the creation of facsimile copies and digital access.

End to end workflow

A complex workflow has been developed to manage the digitisation process from selection to access and storage. A Benchmarking exercise ensured that the manuscript was digitised according to the standards and methodologies established for digitising manuscript materials. The protocols for scanning were specified, including the essential information to capture, such as file name attribution, conversion process and the file formats specification for master and derivative files.

Digitising the manuscript

The scanning process was facilitated through the dis-binding, enabling each folio to be captured in entirety, without the need to de-warp. This assisted with the process of digitally extending the outside edges of the parchment. Each flattened folio could be scanned through the use of a line scanning system, rather than the usual method of using a single-shot camera and cradle. Through the use of this method, the images could be captured at a higher resolution than usual practice allowed and there was greater consistency in lighting and enhanced colour accuracy.

The scanning process generated TIFF master files, with the JP2 derivatives being generated on ingest to Fedora, the Digital Asset Management System. The METS files, which included descriptive and structural metadata were also generated on ingest. The master TIFF files were stored in the Digital Archive. Preservation actions, including checksum verification, fixity monitoring and preservation planning ensure the preservation of the digital content.

Creating the facsimiles

Another benefit of the disbanding and scanning process was the ability for the Library to demonstrate its pioneering techniques in creating facsimiles, which are almost indistinguishable from the originals. Printed copies of the scanned leaves, on high quality archival paper, were joined together and pasted back to back to form folios and gatherings. This back to back format ensured that the facsimile would be the same thickness as the original manuscript. The innovative technique of emulating parchment through manually stretching the paper unevenly, whilst the leaves were still damp, resulted in an authentic cockled appearance.

The facsimiles were bound in the same way as the original and have been used for teaching and outreach purposes, allowing extended access to the manuscript, whilst safeguarding the original.

Spot the difference!

The digitised manuscript can be viewed on the Library’s website. The images are served up through a IIIF manifest, linked to the derivative files held in Fedora, which supplies the Universal Viewer. The images can be manipulated, with the ability to zoom in on parts of the manuscript, turn the pages and have a variety of views. The descriptive metadata is available with the images to provide contextual information.

Through its integrated approach to preserving and extending access to one of Wales’s most significant treasures, the Library has certainly used its digits, both figuratively and literally, for good and for all.

Sally McInnes, Head of Unique Collections and Collections Care

Tips on how to research your family history

Reader Services / Research - Posted 26-10-2020

 

What a strange time! We are once again going into a lockdown period and the Winter season is nearing when very often many of us turn to researching our family history. Why not give it a go? Not sure where to start, read on.

5 steps to start your family history research

Step 1 –start with yourself noting any events, dates and places, working back to your parents and to previous generations as far as you can.
Step 2 – ask members of the family for their memories, make a note or record the information for future use.
Step 3 – look for evidence – certificates, photographs, newspaper cuttings etc, the attic is a good place to start.
Step 4 – organise the information you have collected so far, create a family tree on paper or electronically, there are plenty of free options online.
Step 5 – create a list of what needs further research, search the Library website to see what is available and for further help contact the Enquiries Service

If you have already done some research here are a few tips when researching further.

10 tips to move forward with your research

  1. Remember to make a note of the resources you have searched, even if nothing was found, it will save duplicate the search in the future.
  2. Read widely about the resources that are available and how to interpret the information.
  3. Remember when using parish registers they record baptisms, marriages and burials and certificates record births, marriages and deaths.
  4. When parish registers are difficult to read or parts missing, use bishop’s transcripts to fill the gaps if they have survived.
  5. Can’t find members of your family in the parish registers, look in nearby nonconformist records.
  6. When looking at the 1841 census remember that the age for those over 15 have been rounded down to the nearest 5 this helps when trying to search for a birth/baptism.
  7. By the 1911 census a lot more information is asked including – how many years married, how many children born to the marriage and how many still alive.
  8. When you come across a death it is always worth searching to see if a will was left.
  9. Newspapers are always a great source of information about people, places and events especially when they can be searched online.
  10. After searching the general resources, why not venture to search other collections such as estate, solicitors, manorial records, Great Sessions and a variety of other collections available through the Library website and catalogue.

Good luck with the searching and enjoy!

Beryl Evans, Research Services Manager

 

What’s the score, Bach?

Collections / music - Posted

While idly browsing the National Library of Wales digitised printed collections, I was intrigued to see an entry entitled ‘Six Concertos for Keyboard’. Upon opening the catalogue record, I was presented with images of a musical score by ‘Jean Bach’, tentatively dated 177[u].

The very name ‘Bach’ in the same context as ‘composer’ instantly alerted me to the possible significance of the item. The dedication on the flyleaf to ‘Votre Majesté’ reinforced my conviction that it warranted further investigation. A Google search swiftly confirmed my suspicion that the composer was Johann Christian Bach.

 

 

The title of the full work [missing from the National Library of Wales score] is Six concerti pour le clavecin, deux violons & une violoncelle, oevre [sic] premier / composées par Jean Bach (Six concertos for harpsichord, two violins and violincello, first opus, composed by Jean Bach) published by Peter Welcker in London, 1763. The score held by the National Library of Wales apparently comprises only the part for the harpsichord. The catalogue currently gives no indication of its provenance.

Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, was born in Leipzig in 1735. He received musical training from his father until the latter’s death in 1750. He spent several years in Italy, composing mainly church music, and in 1760 he was appointed organist at Milan cathedral. In 1762 he moved to London where he quickly established himself in the contemporary musical scene. His reputation gained him an important appointment, as music master to Queen Charlotte, the young wife of George III.

 

 

Bach appears to have enjoyed considerable rapport with the German-born Queen, who was a passionate music lover. In the course of his professional career he also taught her children, including the future kings George IV and William IV. It therefore seems natural that he would dedicate his Opus I, the six harpsichord concertos, to his royal patroness. The graceful dedication is in French, the language of diplomacy and culture. The wording is conventional and may be translated roughly as follows:

Having been most graciously admitted to render my services to your majesty in the art of singing, I make it my duty to apply myself assiduously to her studies and amusement. It is in this view that I have taken the liberty of offering to Your Majesty this feeble endeavour. The indulgence and kindness with which Your Majesty has deigned to hear this music performed has encouraged me to publish it; and the very gracious permission which Your Majesty has given to me to print it under her glorious protection assures me that she would like to receive this testimony of my zeal with the same kindness and royal benevolence which generate the admiration of this kingdom, the delights of the court, the felicity of its servants and subjects, and the happiness of one who has the honour of being, with the most respectful veneration, Madame your Majesty, your most humble, obedient, submissive servant, Jean Bach.

WorldCat lists several examples of the same work, including a full printed score held by the British Library. The score at the National Library of Wales is not mentioned, presumably because hitherto it has not been recognised. Although the music is well-known, the comparative rarity of this early score would make it a worthwhile addition to the record.

You can listen to samples of the music on the Presto Classical website. The last movement of Concerto No. 6 reflects the association of Johann Christian Bach with the royal family, consisting of dazzling variations on a rather familiar tune!

Music for the keyboard by other eighteenth century composers, Johann Christian Fischer, Johann Samuel Schroeter and Johann Anton Filtz, may be found among the digitised music at this Library under ‘Other Printed Material available to view’.

Thanks to Heini Davies and Menna Morgan for their assistance and for updating the relevant catalogue records.

Hilary Peters
Assistant Archivist

 

WiciPics

Collections / Conservation / Digitisation / Events / News and Events - Posted 20-10-2020

A new crowdsourcing project aimed at documenting the built heritage of Wales through photography and Wikipedia articles.

The National Library of Wales is once again teaming up with Menter Iaith Môn, with funding from the Welsh Government language unit, to deliver this exciting new project.

Wales has thousands of important listed buildings, from great castles built by the Welsh princes to churches, stately homes and terraced houses. In Wales there were once more seats in chapels than there were people to sit on them and now those chapels are disappearing fast. We also have more modern buildings which need documenting, such as hospitals and health centres, schools, libraries and sports facilities.

 

For this project we are asking you to check out what needs photographing in your area. If you are out walking the dog, running, cycling or just stretching your legs after that Sunday roast just take your phone or camera and snap a few shots for us along the way.

 

These images will form a new collection at the National Library of Wales and will be made freely available for reuse on Wikimedia Commons, so that they can be used to improve Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia is a fantastic platform for us to collaboratively record and share our local history and recent studies have shown that having good quality Wikipedia articles can help to significantly boost tourism.

 

We are not looking for professional quality photographs, or fancy stylized shots. Just simple documentary images which you can snap on anything from a DSLR to your mobile phone, so everyone can get involved, from Grandma to the Grand kids.

As part of the project we are even planning on working directly (remotely) with schools to get kids snapping buildings in their area and then we will teach them how to use those images to improve relevant Wikipedia articles.

 

Contributing to the project is easy. An interactive map will show you all the places that need photographs in your area, and our video tutorial will talk you through the simple upload process. So please, check out what needs photographing in your area, and register today to ensure that your images are included in our new digital archive.

Tags: , , , , ,

Recuerda, Remember: Welsh musicians pay tribute to Victor Jara

Collections / music - Posted 12-10-2020

In September 1973, during the military coup to oust President Salvador Allende, a group of friends sat together in Estadio Chile (Chile Stadium) amidst thousands of other people held captive by fascists. One of the friends, Victor Jara, was busy composing a song on a scrap of paper. Before being dragged away, he managed to pass the song to a friend who hid it in his shoe. This would be his last song.

Victor Jara’s story is told by his wife, Joan Jara, in her powerful biography Victor: an unfinished song (Bloomsbury, 1998). Victor Jara came from a poor and underprivileged background outside Santiago. His mother was of Mapuche Indian extraction and he inherited her gift for playing the guitar and singing folk songs. His mother struggled hard to ensure that her children received an education and Victor developed to be Chile’s most prominent folk singer as well as becoming a theatre director and gaining university posts.

 

 

He never forgot his poor background and he loved to travel from his home near the Andes to meet ordinary workers and compose songs about them. He revelled in their traditions, their dances and their folklore, but as well as singing about the beauty of the Chilean people’s culture, he also sang about their suffering.

Life was harsh for the poor people of Chile. During a strike in El Salvador in 1965, for example, miners and their wives were shot by armed police, and when a number of destitute people tried to make their home in Puerto Montt, many of them were shot dead. Jara was deeply wounded by the massacre of Puerto Montt, and he sang a passionate protest song. For some, this guitarist and singer was far too vocal and he became a special target for the fascists in Chile Stadium.

Victor Jara’s friends remembered his warm smile when he recognised them at the Stadium, although he had already been injured. Before being killed by a soldier, his hands were smashed and he was mockingly asked to perform – if he could. Never to hold his guitar again, he sang for the last time. A command was issued to destroy all his works and every recording of his voice. The beautiful sounds of the indigenous musical instruments were also banned.

Jara’s unfinished song successfully left the Stadium in his friend’s shoe and the banned recordings left Chile.

Across the Atlantic, Welsh singers Dafydd Iwan and James Dean Bradfield, of the Manic Street Preachers, have paid moving tributes to the bravery of a man who said in one of his songs that he would die singing. The National Library of Wales holds sound recordings of both men’s tributes to Jara: Dafydd Iwan’s song may be heard on the cassette Bod yn rhydd (1979) and James Bradfield’s songs on his new album Even in exile.

The album’s first song is entitled Recuerda – Remember.

 

Heini Davies

Assistant Librarian

The Other Harpist of Wynnstay

Collections - Posted 28-09-2020

John Parry (Parri Dall) was the famous blind harpist of Wynnstay, whose playing so delighted Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the Fourth Baronet (1749-1789). Not many people are aware that Parry had a successor, albeit much less well-known. The Library has acquired a splendid portrait of Benjamin Cunnah, organist of Ruabon church, composer of New Welch Music and harpist to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the Fifth Baronet (1772-1840). The painting, possibly by William Roos, depicts Cunnah soberly dressed, accompanied by the instruments of his trade: his gold harp, quill pen and sheet music.

 

 

Small parts of the musician’s life can be pieced together from various archival holdings. The Leeswood papers at Flintshire Archives record that Benjamin Cunnah had applied for a position at Mold in 1812. He wrote to Miss Griffiths of Rual for her support as he was being opposed by Mr Birch, despite Mr Eyton’s kindness, and he claimed to have been unfairly treated by being interrupted when playing the organ on trial (Ref. D-LE/C/7/6 and D-LE/C/7/15).

He seems to have obtained his position with Sir Watkin Williams Wynn around 1815, which demonstrates a late continuation of the harpist tradition among the great gentry families of Wales. The Wynnstay account books produce no evidence of Cunnah’s employment but they do record the installation, in 1770, of the fine Snetzler organ in Ruabon church, on which he must have played.

Here in The National Library of Wales. there is a manuscript music book in the hand of Elizabeth Giffard of Nercwys Hall, Flintshire, containing lessons, songs, dances and airs for the harp. It includes several pieces by Benjamin Cunnah, such as the ‘Nerquis March’ (NLW MS 24006A). These tunes were published as New Welch Music : consisting of three Sonatas, Chase, Minuets, Siciliano, Rondos, Marches, Airs with Variations for the Harp or Piano Forte / composed & humbly dedicated by permission to Sir Watkin Wms. Wynn, Bart. by B. Cunnah of Rhuabon. (Printed for the author by Goulding & Co.of New Bond Street.)

The names of the subscribers would suggest a publication date of between 1815 and 1823. It was unusual then for a Welsh composer to publish his own music during his lifetime.

 

 

Robert Griffith, in his Llyfr Cerdd Dannau : ymchwiliad i hanes hen gerddoriaeth a’r dulliau hynaf o ganu (Caernarfon 1913), refers to articles in the Cambro-Briton, describing the Eisteddfodau at Wrexham, 1820, and Caernarfon, 1821, in which Benjamin Cunnah competed. Although not a prize-winner, he was very highly commended. He was judged a ‘scientific player’ who ‘produced the best tone’ and who received ‘considerable praise… for the taste and execution of his performance’. He was advised to concentrate less on playing his own compositions and to learn the traditional Welsh melodies that he could play to the natives! Cunnah was sufficiently esteemed to be selected as an adjudicator of the harp competition at Mold Eisteddfod in 1823.

A little is known of Benjamin Cunnah’s private life. He married Mary Rogers at Wrexham in 1800 (NLW marriage bonds St. Asaph A 137/7). They had numerous children, ten of whom were named as beneficiaries in his will dated 12 April 1832, proved 6 May 1840 (SA1840-198). He bequeathed his ‘musical instruments if any one of my children who plays may have a wish, to be given to them at a fair valuation by some well disposed person…and my music books likewise to be valued and given to them according and agreeable to their wish’. He disinherited his son Edward, not through acrimony but explaining ‘I have already given him more than what would be the rest of his proportion with the rest of my children…’

Thus have several disparate strands of interest, the artistic, the musical and the archival, become woven together in the story of Benjamin Cunnah, the ‘other’ harpist of Wynnstay.

Acknowledgement: Thanks are due to Denbighshire Archives for assistance with the research.

Hilary Peters
Assistant Archivist

Composers Create

Discover Sound - Posted 09-09-2020

During the lockdown 25 composers have been busy composing new pieces for the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project. The composers received various interviews from 5 different collections from the sound archive and were asked to listen and use them as inspiration to create a new piece of work.

You can hear all the new pieces on the Library’s YouTube Channel by searching the hash tag #UOSH

The collections that inspired the composers were:

Glenys James Collection

Glenys James was born in London to Welsh parents and spoke Welsh at home and the chapel, but never lived in Wales.

She moved to Canada where she researched the Welsh who migrated to Canada and Patagonia for the Canadian Museum of Man, Ottawa (now known as Canadian Centre for Cultural Studies Ottawa)

In 1974, Glenys James recorded various interviews with people of Welsh descent living in Canada, especially the Satchawen area where Welsh communities were formed. Over 200 people left Patagonia for Canada in 1902 because of difficult conditions and wanting to create a better life for themselves. These interviews include personal stories and accounts of building new villages and naming them in Welsh (Glyndwr, Bangor, Llewelyn). They erected new schools and chapels and held Eisteddfodau.

The original reel to reel tapes are now kept at the Canadian Centre for Cultural Studies in Ottawa with cassette copies and digital files here at the National Library.

Why should we not sing?

In 1916 The Times published a letter where the writer objected to the holding of the Eisteddfod during war time. In response to the article, David Lloyd George delivered a speech at Aberystwyth National Eisteddfod, which began with the words – ‘Why should we not sing during war time?’

Throughout the speech he defends holding the Eisteddfod. It was reported that over 7,000 people listened and cheered his speech. On the 15th February, 1934, Lloyd George recorded part of his famous speech at the BBC studios to be aired on radio.  A copy of this address is kept at the Library and has been digitally restored by the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage team.

Story of the Forest

Story of the Forest was a project run by the Forestry Commission in 2002-3 where they recorded interviews with people involved in Forestry Commission activities in Wales.

Personal stories were told by people who lived and worked in and around the forestry, discussing the situation from post war up to the 21st century, including accounts of how they came to work for the Forestry Commission, the activities – building roads, ploughing. The interviews give us an insight to the changes to Wales’ landscape, and teach us about the social, agricultural and economic effects.

167 Minidiscs were deposited to the Library; they were digitised and catalogued by students of the MA Archive Administration and MSc Digital Curation courses from Aberystwyth University’s Department of Information Studies in 2019.

Caradog Jones

Meleri Mair interviews Caradog Jones in 1997 on the subject of poaching, with comments on his own experience as a river bailiff in the 1950s.

Mr Jones describes why people poached – mainly poverty, the consequences to those who were caught and the custom of disguising their identity to avoid detection at night.

Colin Edwards Collection

Colin Edwards was a Welsh journalist, broadcaster and author who lived in California. During the 1960s he recorded interviews with friends, family and acquaintances of Dylan Thomas. These accounts and reminiscences on the life of Dylan give us an insight to his character, his work, relationships, and family background.

The tapes were donated to the Library by Colin’s wife, Mary Edwards, following his death. David N Thomas used the tapes in his published books ‘Dylan Remembered’, 2 vols (Seren and NLW, 2003, 2004)

We would like to thank all the composers who took part in the commission work; we hope you enjoy listening to the compositions:

Alan Chamberlain; Angharad Davies; Ben McManus; Bonello, Ruth and Hay; Branwen Williams; David Roche; Derri Joseph Lewis; Gareth Bonello; Georgia Ruth Williams; Geraint Rhys; Gwen Mairi; Gwenan Gibbard; Gwilym Bowen Rhys; Gwydion Rhys; Luciano Williamson; Owen Shiers Pierce Joyce; Pwdin Reis composed by Neil Rosser; Sally Crosby; Sam Humphreys; Seth Alexander; Stacey Blythe; Steff Rees; Tinc y Tannau; Toby Hay.

Alison Lloyd Smith,

Unlocking Our Sound Heritage Hub Project Manager

Categories

Search

Archives

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.

About the blog