Commission Work for Explore Your Archive from the National Library of Wales

Closing date: 16 October 2020

The Explore Your Archive week (21-29 November 2020) is part of a national campaign held annually in November giving Archives in Britain the opportunity to showcase the innumerable treasures to be found among their collections. The purpose of the campaign is to celebrate Wales’ documentary heritage and encourage people to use and discover the stories and facts hidden among archival collections. 

This year the National Library of Wales’ ‘Explore’ campaign will concentrate on encouraging individuals to search our extensive collections and use them to create new creative content. We are excited to announce therefore the opportunity for 3 creative individuals to make an application for a fee of £100 for creating a new piece of work based on items from the Library’s collections. 

So, we would like to invite individuals to create a unique piece of work using an item/s from our collections (those available online) as inspiration – whether that’s printed, archival, manuscripts, graphic or audio visual items – so as to highlight the importance and relevance of archives to the lives of people in Wales. The works commissioned will be shared online during Explore week and we will ask successful candidates to perform or discuss their work, in the hope of inspiring others to be creative with Wales’ documentary heritage collections.  

What is being offered?

3 commissions worth £100 each available for individuals, pairs or creative groups.

Who’s eligiable?

This opportunity is open, but not exclusive to:

  • Composers
  • Musicians
  • Animators
  • Poets / Writers
  • Painters/Artists (any medium)
  • Clothes designers

Applications for any artistic medium will be considered but the work must be original.

The task

Use any item/s that have been digitised from archival, manuscript, image, maps, photographs collections, printed material or items from the Screen and Sound Archive at the National Library as a basis for the new artistic work. This can include, but isn’t limited to:

  • Compose and perform a new original song
  • Create an animation
  • Compose a poem or any literary piece
  • Create a work of art (any medium)
  • Design an item/s of clothing

Application requirements

We will ask candidates to identify item/s of interest to them, which have been digitised and are available on the National Library’s website, as well as some selected external websites. 

For further details of the collections that are available digitally go to the webpages: 

Or you can search our Catalogue and select ‘Digitised items’ as it appears in the search box.

Applicants will need to send a concise brief to the Library, outlining what has inspired them and a short description of the final artistic piece.

After the Library has selected the successful applicants, they will then need to create the piece that was outlined in their brief and present it in time to be shared during Explore Your Archives week.

The completed works will be displayed on the Library’s website and social media accounts, and possibily in an exhibition at the Library in the future.

How to apply

Send a short brief outlining:

  • The item/s that have inspired you
  • A brief description of the end artistic piece
  • Why you are interested in the project/campaign
  • Your interest in Welsh history and heritage
  • A description or examples of your previous work

You’re welcome to contact the Library to discuss this further by emailing:

Closing date

12.00pm (midday) Friday 16 October 2020.

What happens next? 

We will select successful applications and send confirmation to those applicants on Wednesday 21 October 2020.

The deadline for completing and presenting the work is 16 November and we will send a contract for the 3 successful applicants to sign.