Hello there, my name is Jen and I’ve recently started work on a very exciting digital archives volunteer project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It will be run jointly by Gwent Archives, Glamorgan Archives and Cardiff University Special Collections & Archives.
The project will be accessed via the crowdsourcing platform established by those very clever people at the National Library Wales and they’ll be on hand to help with technical issues and advice. This project will be of great interest to those who have always wanted to become involved volunteering with South Wales archives but are unable to travel to any of the sites. This project is completely digital, so it doesn’t matter where you are as long as you have online access!
The project will create a bilingual online platform for remote volunteers to tag, annotate and describe the digital heritage collections held within these exceptional repositories. Archive services across Wales hold millions of irreplaceable records, but many are only minimally catalogued and therefore difficult to identify and find. This project will harness the knowledge of individuals in communities across Wales and beyond to enrich our collective heritage for the benefit of current and future generations – locally, nationally, and globally.
The project partners plan to make available a very exciting variety of collections for volunteers to explore and work on. Included will be the Cardiff Dockland Community Photographs held at Glamorgan Archives. These are portraits of individuals and groups, from Cardiff dockland community, taken between 1900-1920. Many of them were taken by Fred Petersen of Bute Street, a Danish man (from Copenhagen) who settled in Cardiff some time at the end of the 19th century. Another collection to be made available will be the Edward Thomas Archive, an unusually broad and detailed personal archive of one of the lesser known war poets. Held at Cardiff University Special Collections & Archives, this collection includes personal correspondence, original manuscript and typescript poems, official documents, and photographs.
I’ll share more news as the project progresses but if this brief synopsis has piqued your interest do please get in touch.
In the meantime, a little more about myself. I’m currently on a yearlong secondment from Amgueddfa Cymru where I am Assistant Librarian. I started working in the Library in 2001 as maternity cover and fell in love with both the work and the location. The Main Library is right up inside the dome and looks very much as it did when first installed over 100 years ago, right down to the lovely glass wall lights and original 1920s iron roller racking stacks!
Managing and preserving the Library’s archive has afforded me an appreciation of the importance of an organization’s archive. It is the documented chronicle of its establishment and evolution, a trail leading back to those original hopes and philosophies. In some fortunate cases it contains the handwritten correspondence and minutes that set, in motion those steps, seemingly of no consequence at the time but of proven monumental important in the grand scheme.
If you feel the same way about archives, this is the perfect project for you and together we’ll get the chance to access amazing collections! Who knows what stories we’ll discover? What mysteries we might unearth? So, if you have online access, a little time on your hands and would like to be part of this project just let me know.
During my free time I am an artist with a passion for folklore and all things Edwardian, especially early Autochrome photography. I am also the proud owner of a rather bad-tempered rescue cat called Bertie.
Digital Volunteering Project Officer / Swyddog Prosiect Gwirfoddoli Digidol
Email / Ebost: firstname.lastname@example.org