Pictures of the project launch

  • November 27, 2013 - morfuddniajones

Here is a selection of photographs taken at the project launch in Merthyr Tydfil last Thursday, 28 November 2013



John Griffiths, AM, Welsh Government Minister for Culture and Sport launching


Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths, AM and the Chief Executive and National Librarian, Dr Aled Gruffudd Jones chatting following the launch.


Avril Jones, NLW; Paola Marchionni, Jisc; and Lorna Hughes, NLW looking at the website of the digital archive.


Elgan Davies, Aberystwyth University; Elisabeth Bennett, Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University; Sian Williams, South Wales Miners’ Library, Swansea University; and Lorna Hughes, NLW looking at the content of the digital archive.

The audience paying attention to the speeches.


Rhys demonstrating the resource to the guests following the launch.


The event receiving media attention.


One of the guests having a great time browsing the brand new digital resource.



Update – August 1, 2013

  • August 1, 2013 - robphillips

Again, it’s been a busy month.

  • The work on the descriptive metadata is complete and al the content is ready to be ingested.
  • The work on the audio files has been completed, and the transcripts are now on the test website.
  • The third workflow for ingesting material into Vital is now working, and we are testing the final workflow – for archival material – on the live system. The workflow this is much more complicated but significant testing on the test system has been carried out. Material is being ingested through the other workflows.
  • We are about to publish a newspaper advertisement requesting information about copyright holders.
  • We have conducted the first test session on the interface, and we have made a couple of changes to the way the archive structure is displayed as a result. A further experiment this month and in September.
  • The metadata and scanning teams have visited Glamorgan Archives and Conwy Archives in the last month in preparation and scanning material from Glamorgan, Gwent, Conwy and Flintshire. There is more work to do in Conwy Archives and we are preparing to ingest this data in September.
  • And finally, I hand over the project and move on to a different job from today. An enthusiastic and experienced team will continue the work over the coming months.

Project update – June 2013

  • June 17, 2013 - robphillips

Some time has passed since I last gave an update on the progress of the project on the blog. Since the fire back in April we have been working hard to ensure that work on the project continues and will finish on time. There is much to report.

The preparatory  and scanning work has now been completed.  253,800 images have been created and over 550 minutes of recordings of oral history interviews have been digitised. We have created electronic text files from typed transcriptions of the content of the recordings to enable searching, and these have been checked by volunteers. We are transforming these files to TEI format.

We are also working to ensure adequate metadata for each item. Catalogue records for items from the collections of the National Library already exist, and other libraries have provided metadata for their material. The staff here are working to convert this metadata to catalogue records in the Virtua system  following agreed standards for project metadata. The intention is to complete this work by the end of the month.

The development team has been busy ensuring workflows for ingesting digital assets to the National Library’s digital repository, Vital, are completed. We’ve had to develop new workflows for different types of material, two of them are now ready for use and the final two, for images and archival material, are scheduled to be ready by early July. We have begun to ingest material to Vital, using these new workflows.

Dafydd Tudur, NLW’s Rights Manager is continuing to assess IPR risks on items in the National Library’s collection and contacting potential sources of information about rights holders. Work on assessing IPR risks for material from partner libraries is nearly complete.

A lot of work has taken place on developing an interface for the project. A test version of the website has been created, using test data, although significant development work still needs to be completed before we can begin user testing.

Good progress on the work with local archives. Back in March we went to Gwynedd Archives to prepare metadata and scan items from the collections. As a result of this work we were able to plan further digitisation of collections from Gwent, Glamorgan, Conwy and Flintshire Archives. Work has begun at Gwent and Glamorgan, and the team will visit Conwy Archive next week.

So much has been done in recent weeks with more to keep us very busy.

Fire damage at the National Library of Wales and in impact on the Cymru WW1 Project

  • April 29, 2013 - robphillips

Last Friday at around 2.40 staff and readers were evacuated from the National Library due to a fire. The building suffered fire, smoke and water damage to areas used mainly as office space. No storage areas were affected and the only collections to suffer damage were those in use by staff in those areas. The Library is presently working closely with the fire services to assess the damage and to ensure safe entry for the staff to the affected areas.

Due to water damage, some staff working in the project have been re-located to other accommodation and while all our files are backed up and project documentation is safe there will no doubt be an effect on the delivery of the project.

When we have had chance to fully evaluate the impact on the project, I’ll post an update on the blog. some pictures have just been released on the library’s Facebook page.

Calling volunteers throughout Wales …

  • February 6, 2013 - robphillips

The National Library of Wales is inviting volunteers to assist with a project collating the history of the Great War as it affected all aspects of Welsh life, language and culture.

The collection includes audio tapes of interviews with people from the South Wales coalfields, who lived through the war, sharing their experiences; the aim is to make this collection fully accessible.

The work involves checking and editing existing transcriptions of the audio tapes, as well as creating new transcriptions.  Volunteers will receive the audio tapes on a USB stick and will be asked to transfer the content to a ‘Word’ document, which can then be e-mailed to the project officer.  Guidelines will be provided.

Essential requirements:

  • The ability to work independently;
  • IT skills – ‘Word’, e-mail, and experience of working with Realplayer or Quicktime;
  • Excellent literacy skills in English and/or Welsh;
  • An eye for detail and methodical.

Volunteers can work from home at their convenience.
For more information, or to register an interest, contact:
Gwyneth Davies, Volunteers’ Co-ordinator,
Phone – 01970 632991

Wales Tonight

  • August 14, 2012 - morfuddniajones

Kevin Ashford from ITV visited the Library this morning to film an item on the digitisation of our WW1 material. The item will hopefully be on ITV Wales tonight at 6pm in the Wales Tonight programme.
There is also a brief article on the ITV Wales website:

Welsh First Minister on digital content for First World War Commemoration

  • August 10, 2012 - Lorna Hughes

We had an exciting day at National Eisteddfod in the Vale of Glamorgan this week.  First Minister Carwyn Jones called in at the NLW booth for a cup of tea, some bara brith, and a chat about WW1 commemoration. Mr. Jones met with staff from the Library, including Arwel Jones, Head of Public services; President, Sir Deian Hopkin, and myself.  We also welcomed other visitors, including Linda Tomas and Huw Evans from CyMAL; David Anderson, Director of the Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales; and representatives from the HLF and Arts Council Wales.

The purpose of the First Minister’s visit was to announce his plans to mark the centenary in Wales through an initiative led by Sir Deian, which will bring together a group of experts to identify commemorative activities. Digital technology will play a prominent role in these activities, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to tell the First Minister a little more about our JISC project. The fact that ours is an all-Wales initiative, in partnership with all the special collections, libraries and archives of Wales, means that the project will carry out mass digitization of a truly representative sample of material that will contribute to the development of new research, educational resources and community involvement. We will also build an infrastructure for this content that will enable additional material to be added over time, if increased funding for digitisation should become available. The open nature of the project also means that we will be able to make the content available through international initiatives like Europeana. It includes materials that will uncover many ‘hidden histories’, complimenting the inclusive nature of Welsh plans for the commemoration.

As the First Minister said during his visit:

“We must ensure that the stories of our grandparents and great grandparents are made available through digital resources for future generations to better understand and learn lessons from such a transformational event in our history…to make sure the story of Wales and the First World War is captured for all of us.”

We will be sure to keep him informed of our progress…!

With our visitors at the Eisteddfod 2012