Collecting and sharing the Welsh experience of World War One

  • March 14, 2013 - morfuddniajones

Do you have letters, photographs, postcards or other memorabilia from those who experienced the war either at home or at the Front? We 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 Ruthin Library on the 18th of March or to Picton Community Centre, Haverfordwest on the 20th of March to have them preserved and shared digitally.

 

ww1_ruthin_m_hanner                      ww1_haverfordwest_m_hanner

 

For more information, read the press release on the National Library of Wales website

Collecting and sharing the Welsh experience of World War One

  • March 5, 2013 - morfuddniajones

Do you have letters, photographs, postcards or other memorabilia from those who experienced the war either at home or at the Front? We 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 Pontardawe Arts Centre on the 12th of March or to Brecon Library on the 14th of March to have them preserved and shared digitally.

ww1_pontardawe_m_hanner                                       ww1_brecon_m_hanner

For more information, read the press release on the National Library of Wales website

 

Using World War I archives for teaching students at Swansea University

  • February 14, 2013 - morfuddniajones

As soon as the documents from the Richard Burton Archives had been digitised and returned to Swansea, they were being used as part of a course for the Department of History and Classics. The Practice of History is a compulsory second year module which discusses the variety of historical sources explored by historians, how they can be used and the intellectual and practical problems that can arise from using them.

In a fresh approach this year the module is being taught using primary sources linked to particular areas of research. One group is studying World War I, in particular the home front, the battle front, and women and the war. Last week they visited the Richard Burton Archives for an introduction to using archives and to start using the documents selected.

 

Elisabeth Bennett
Richard Burton Archives
Information Services & Systems
Swansea University

Before the scanning

  • June 21, 2012 - robphillips

The National Library of Wales has a good amount of experience when it comes to digitisation. Digitising items within the library’s collections has been an ongoing programme for over 10 years, with the Digital Mirror showcasing archives, maps, printed material, manuscripts and images. However, much of this work was relatively small scale and focussed on individual items or collections, but a step change came with projects to digitise Welsh journals and newspapers.

Much of the experienced gained in those two projects has guided work on the digitisation of First World War material, but  the wider variety of material, including newspapers, archives, manuscripts, periodicals, images, sound and audiovisual files in this project means that adaptations have had to be made to our workflows. While printed material is fairly uniform, archives are not, and our photographic collections which are being digitised as part of this project also present some interesting questions. From the photographic collection we are digitising individual prints, lantern slides and photographs in bound albums, and from the archival collections come diaries, handwritten letters, manuscripts and partially printed items. Our workflows need to be able to handle this variety, while still maintaining throughput.

As a starting point, staff involved in the digitisation process, the ICT and systems sections, Readers’ Services, conservation and curatorial staff have been meeting to set out guidelines on how the items need to be processed. We have developed a guidance document for handling archival material, have begun the process for photographic material and will start on manuscript material next week.

Once the guidelines have been agreed, the metadata team can begin preparing collections for digitising by numbering leaves and creating tracking documents for the scanning team to use. The guidelines have also highlighted that modifications will be needed to the library’s digitisation tracking software to handle the more complex archival structure.

This isn’t a quick process, but it’s essential to the digitisation project. Having good, consistent, reliable and medium appropriate metadata is essential to be enable identification, preservation and discovery of the material.