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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

People’s Collection Wales at International Women’s Day Event, Penparcau

Helen Rowe and Hazel Thomas demonstrate the People’s Collection Wales website.
On International Women’s Day (Friday 8th March) Royal Commission and National Library of Wales staff members teamed up to present a workshop on how to get the most from People’s Collection Wales. This was part of a day of free women’s workshops at Penparcau, organised by Aberystwyth University to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The workshop included an introduction to People’s Collection by Royal Commission staff member, Helen Rowe. Helen gave a fascinating insight into the variety of material already added to the collection, both by organisations and individuals. She highlighted the significance of everyday photographs, which illustrate numerous aspects of social life in Wales throughout the twentieth century and into the present day. Helen made particular reference to family photographs, which are often undervalued, being stored away at home in cupboards or attics. In addition to recording family life, such photographs are also an important record of contemporary clothing, décor, buildings, farming methods, landscapes and many other aspects of life. It is often women who are the keepers of these treasure troves of historical information, all of which contribute to the story of Wales. Photographs and other documents deteriorate with time, and Helen urged anyone who has such items to endeavour to digitise them and upload them to People’s Collection, so that they can be preserved and shared as part of the social history of Wales.

National Library of Wales staff member, Hazel Thomas, then explained the different aspects of the People’s Collection Wales website and introduced participants to the practicalities of using it. Participants then had the chance to try out the website for themselves.

By Nikki Vousden

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