Website looks for social histories of Wales

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A website showcasing the social history of Wales is being unveiled at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

People's Collection Wales is a bilingual gathering of experiences, pictures and video of life in Wales.

Archive material from museums has been used, but the developers are now looking for contributions from the public.

The website uses GPS technology allowing the viewer to travel a map of Wales and view artefacts in 3D.

The site will be formally launched on the Eisteddfod field in Ebbw Vale by Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones.

Some of the material already on the website includes film from the Ebbw Vale steelworks from the middle of the 20th century, and the site of the last National Eisteddfod to be held in the town.

There is a history of the Gorsedd of Bards, clips of interviews with bards and 3D photographs of medals awarded in 1789.

The site has been backed by a number of high-profile Welsh people, including actor Matthew Rhys, who called it a "fantastic idea for many reasons, where I can find the places I grew up with.

Harpist Catrin Finch, Wales and British Lions international Stephen Jones and broadcaster Eddie Butler also supported the launch.

Start Quote

We're hoping that this will prompt people to think 'oh, I've got one of those in my attic'”

End Quote Robin Gwyn National Museum Wales

Alun Ffred Jones said: "This is a proud moment launching a website that truly encapsulates the social history of Wales that is written by its people.

"Many of us are aware of the key events in Welsh history, but you only truly feel that connection with the past when it is told by its communities.

"That is what People's Collection Wales has achieved. It will widen the understanding of our cultural heritage."

Robin Gwyn, from National Museum Wales, said: "This is a basic phase one. We've put up some material which is to do with local history and the national history of Wales.

"The technology will allow you to use Google Map-type technology to explore the landscape of Wales, geographically, to find out what we have in our collections and the National Library and the Royal Commissions etc.

"It will also allow you to zoom back and forth in time and see what was around in 1800 for example. So I think it is slightly cutting edge in that sense.

"This is an invitation for people to tell their story. We're hoping that this will prompt people to think 'oh I've got one of those in my attic' or 'I remember my father or my grandfather talking about working in the steel works in Ebbw Vale for example.

"There will be a simple process for people to upload their own material and memories and films and photographs."

The website has been developed by Sequence in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government, National Museum Wales, National Library of Wales, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Llafur: The Welsh People's History Society.

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