Historic Welsh events online
People’s memories of watching television footage of some of the most significant events in Wales from 1950 – 2000, can now be viewed on a new website funded by Jisc for researchers, teachers and the general public.
Historical events such as the Aberfan disaster in 1966, the Miners’ Strike in 1984 and the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 are some of the important events to have been documented and placed on the website, created by Aberystwyth University as part of Jisc's investment in opening up valuable content online.
Paola Marchionni, programme manager at Jisc, said: “The TV audiences that our popular programmes enjoy today is nothing like the peak figures reached by the nation’s favourite programmes in the eighties and nineties. The television was a really key part of our culture. Jisc’s suite of work to support the digitisation of collections like this one and the gathering of people’s memories of these events, shows our commitment to preserving our national treasures and opening them up for the benefit of education and research.”
As well as interviews with contributors and film footage the website, which is called Media and Memory in Wales, also includes maps, documents and photographs.
Working in four areas of Wales – Caernarfon, Carmarthen, the Rhondda and Wrexham – researchers interviewed people about how television affected their lives and the way they saw the world around them at that time.
Professor Iwan Rhys Morus, from the Department of History and Welsh History and leading the project, explains: “The website will be a vital resource for academic researchers, professionals in the media and policy makers. You could easily spend hours searching through the stories that are collected here.If you are inspired to share your own memory of watching these events and of the impact of television on your life, you can contribute to People’s Collection Wales.
“The archive resulting from this project will provide a significant resource for understanding the politics of television. For much of the fifty years in question, television formed a key battleground in struggles for linguistic and national identity.
“The new website includes an extremely important archive which explains the role of television in the lives of Welsh people over fifty years. I am sure there is something of interest to everyone here."
The project was carried out by Aberystwyth University’s History and Welsh History Department with support from project partners Culturenet Cymru.
Other partners are BBC Wales whose footage of the events provided an important spur for peoples’ memories, and the National Screen and Sound Archive at the National Library of Wales where the content will be archived.
Image by brizzlebornandbred on Flickr