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Collecting and sharing the Welsh experience of World War One

Do you have letters, photographs, postcards or other memorabilia from those who experienced the war either at home or at the Front? You are invited to bring them along to a series of events during March which will aim to capture the personal experiences of the Welsh involved in the War.

The war affected everyone; those who fought, and those who stayed behind. If you have items relating to any aspect of life during the war years, please bring them along to an event to have them preserved and shared digitally.

A national project led by The National Library of Wales in partnership with the libraries, special collections and archives of Wales is aiming to reveal the hidden history of World War One as it affected all aspects of Welsh life, language and culture. The digital collection will be available online and People’s Collection Wales, a project partner, is inviting the public to become a part of the project by bringing their materials along to one of a series of events where staff will be on hand to scan letters, photographs, certificates, postcards, diaries and any other documents or memorabilia.

Project Manager Robert Phillips said:

‘Inviting the public to share their material will enable the project to get a much wider and more personal view of the Welsh experience of the War; gaining access to items that aren’t found in archives and libraries,’

A number of Welsh University Special Collections are involved in the project and Gethin Matthews of Swansea University said:

‘We're hoping to find some gems that will be of real interest to the public and also will aid academic research and understanding of what it was like to live in Wales during the Great War. In terms of appreciating what the people of Wales experienced and thought during the War years, nothing beats the testimony written by the people at the time. As well as material from family collections I am interested in the records of institutions such as chapels. These had a central role in many Welsh communities, and their annual reports can provide an insight into what the attitudes of these organisations and their leaders were to the war.'

The material will be available on the People’s Collection Wales website and Project Officer Carys Morgan said:

‘Collecting and sharing these very personal and often poignant items contributes greatly to our understanding of the War and is an important way of commemorating its 100th anniversary. People will be able to contribute by coming to the roadshow events and having their items scanned by our staff. Or, they can also upload items and memories to the People’s Collection Wales website themselves at any time if they can’t make it to one of the events.’