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A journey of discovery - Minister explores local history archive

John Griffiths, the Minister for Culture and Sport, visited Gwent Archives today (14th November) to launch the Explore Your Archive campaign and learn a bit more about the place where he grew up.

The Explore Your Archive campaign is encouraging people to discover the stories, the facts, the places and the people that are at the heart of our communities. Archives across the UK and Ireland are taking part to emphasise the value of archives to society and highlight the rich variety of content that is held, preserved and made available to users.

During the launch, Gwent Archives presented the Minister with a story box of documents including maps, school records, registers, photographs and directories all about immigration to Pillgwenlly, Newport.

John Griffiths said:

“I asked for information based on migration into the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan area of Pillgwenlly as that is where I was born and grew up. The story reveals how the diversity of Pillgwenlly is not a modern phenomenon, as since the beginning of the development of the area as a shipping port it has attracted people from around the world, many of whom settled and made it their home.

“The remarkable story box Gwent Archives produced for me is just an example of the wealth of material that archives across Wales hold. Anyone can contact their local archive and find out about the range of documents and images they maintain. That’s the first step to starting your own journey of discovery.”

John Chambers, Chief Executive, The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) commented:

 “Explore Your Archive is going to be a real game-changer for the sector. As archives in all parts of the UK and Ireland come together as never before to communicate with the public, we have a real opportunity to inspire people who haven’t yet walked into or clicked onto our world.”
Chief Executive and Librarian of The National Library of Wales, Aled Gruffydd Jones is supporting the campaign to inspire people to explore archives, added:

 “Visiting an archive can take you on an adventure – you may end up discovering much more than you imagined. Archives are full of fascinating content to read, touch and explore. Take time to explore archives – whether you’re interested in fashion, sport, food or UFOs, there will be something to inspire you in archives.”

For more information

Elin - Hâf 01970 632471 or