the years 1952 and 1953, the English artist Nevill Johnson, supported by a small Arts
Council grant and using a second hand Leica camera, shot a series of
photographs depicting the people and places of the ‘real’ Dublin of that time.
As an outsider looking in, he captured a valuable social record of the city
before it changed irrevocably.
in 1981 by Academy Press Nevill Johnson’s book ‘Dublin : The People’s
City’, a collection of these photographs, won an award at the Leipzig
International Book Art Fair.
purchased the full collection of over 1,500 negatives from Nevill Johnson in
1979. Since then RTÉ Archives has
digitised the collection on two occasions, firstly in the mid 1990s, and again
in the mid 2000s. The images were originally scanned as 18 MB JPEG files using
the once cutting edge, but now defunct Photo-CD technology.
RTÉ Archives is currently rescanning the Johnson Collection with the assistance of Grants Advanced PhotoLab and Digital Bureau. This time the resulting scans are 300MB TIFF files. Whereas previous digitisation attempts saw the collection reproduced with a certain gloom and dullness, great care is being taken to select an appropriate tonal range for each frame.
date approximately one third of the collection has been rescanned and the
results show a collection completely enlivened by the digitisation process.
This is most apparent in the faces of the Dubliners captured on film over 60
Johnson Collection can be viewed online as JPEG images, and we
expect the entire rescanned collection to be fully available by the end of 2019.
Discover 19th Century Childhood through
Loreto Boarding Schools
be taught everything necessary …..’; these were the instructions of the
parents of Ellen Hart, 28 Watling Street, Dublin, when she enrolled as a
boarding pupil in Loreto convent Navan in 1838.
What curriculum included ‘everything necessary’? What was Ellen’s
experience of boarding school in 1838? Explore the world of 19th
century childhood through a unique collection of boarding school records and
memorabilia, held in IBVM (Loreto), Institute & Irish Province Archives.
Discover a world of childhood illnesses and
remedies exemplified in the letter of M. Frances Teresa Ball IBVM to Mrs Irwin,
Rathmile House, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon, on New Year’s Eve 1829, describing her
daughter Margaret’s recovery from scarlet fever. Look out for the prescription
for wine! Explore school dress codes in an age before school uniforms, captured
in the Loreto Kilkenny class photograph of 1897; lace collars and cuffs proudly
on display vie with prominent ‘Children of Mary’ medals for those in senior
classes with unblemished records! Uncover the transition from standard
classrooms to laboratories and kitchens as students began to study science and
home economics, conduct experiments, study catering and dressmaking skills. Rediscover
19th entertainments through hand painted lantern slides with moving
parts, providing entertainment in a world before radio, television or Wi Fi. View
the world through the eyes of a young woman captured in her diary, jottings and
autograph books such as this from Loreto Wexford.
“City and College
should stand, shoulder to shoulder, facing the problems of life together”
These words were written by a member of the Cardiff University Settlement in 1906. The settlement was a radical experiment in education and friendship between the University and its immediate neighbours. 113 years later, these words still sum up why we are committed to working with audiences beyond our walls.
Over the last year, Cardiff University Libraries and Archives has been researching how to make our services and collections more appealing, accessible and useful to audiences outside academia.
To test some of our ideas, we’ve been running a number of pilot
projects over the summer, aimed at creating opportunities to:
Enjoy our libraries and archives
Encourage responses to our collections
Link people and resources
Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to:
Bringing Edward Thomas’ Archive to the Senedd
As an academic establishment, it’s so important for us to
show how archives and libraries can spark creativity and reflection, as well as
research and education.
As part of Literature Wales’ Holy Glimmers festival, we were joined by literary critic Jafar Iqbal and pupils from Fitzalan High School. Together, we explored letters and poems from Edward Thomas’ archive – discussing Mental Health, Family and Conflict in the poet’s work and creating original works, including poetry and literary criticism.
We presented this work to a welcoming crowd at the Senedd
some weeks later. The class were given a special tour of the Siambr, and also
took the chance to have their say on the Welsh Youth Parliament’s wall (pupils
wanted less homework, and for us to be kinder to refugees).
This programme of work was a small example of how libraries
and archives can be catalysts for new creative work – and that we can share
that new work with wider audiences when we can collaborate with institutions
like Literature Wales.
Library Escape Room
One of our aims for our Civic Engagement programme is to
create opportunities for people to enjoy using our libraries – to encourage
them to feel comfortable and confident when using our services and spaces. It’s
also key that our staff get a chance to try something new, beyond the ‘business
as usual’ of working with students and researchers.
The Escape Room was developed to encourage young people to
take up space in our libraries, to enjoy exploring them and to build their
confidence in using our services.
Cardiff University First
Campus joined us to trial the activity – solving a series of locked puzzles
to get their hands on a prize. First Campus holds summer schools for your
people with Autism Spectrum conditions, and young people with experiences of
the Care Sector, and the Escape Room activity was designed to be adapted
according to the needs of each group.
It was a fun and successful trial – we will be adapting and
refining the working model, with the aim of offering the Escape Room to
secondary schools on a regular basis in the future.
Fake News with JOMEC and Media Wales
One of our biggest strengths as libraries and archives is
our ability to match people with resources. We developed our Fake News project
to enhance our Libraries’ role as a space for connection – by answering a
genuine demand from our community by enabling access to expertise, equipment and
We worked with English and Media Studies students from
Fitzalan High School to create a project to take us out of the classroom and
into newsrooms, broadcast studios, and to Cardiff University’s brand new
journalism campus. Staff at JOMEC – Cardiff University’s School of Journalism,
Media and Culture – and Media Wales were very generous with us, as we landed in
their workspaces full of energy and questions!
In preparation for their own field interviews, the class
worked with Media Wales on their interview techniques, and learned how
journalists collect and verify information before it is printed. At JOMEC, we
looked at research skills – how to find good quality information, and how to
come up with canny questions that get to the heart of a topic.
On our last day together, we ventured out into the ‘real
world’, using our new skills to create videos interviews with the general
public – asking them about their attitudes towards fake news and the media in
general. Due to a slight minibus crisis, we also got a last-minute trip to
Glamorgan Archives in the bargain – thank you to the staff, who welcomed us all
at very short notice!
Next term, we’ll be meeting again to co-create a digital
resource, using the interviews we collected and what we learned from the
experts at Media Wales and JOMEC. Our hope is that every school in Wales will
be able to learn from our experiences, as we share our resource through the
Welsh Government’s HWB platform.
Plans for the Future
It’s been a very busy summer, and this is only part of the
picture – schools are only one of many audiences we work with, so we’ll
continue to develop our programmes over the years to come, finding new ways to
open up our collections to people across Wales and beyond.
We’ll be publishing our Civic Engagement strategy for
Cardiff University Libraries and Archives in the new year – in the meantime, if
you’d like to find out more about our programmes, and how we work, get in
ARAScotland are delighted to announce that Jamie Crawford, who you may know from BBC1’s ‘Scotland from the Sky’, will be the ARA Scotland Explore Your Archive Ambassador for 2019-2020!
James Crawford is an award-winning writer, publisher and broadcaster. His first major work of non-fiction, Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of the World’s Greatest Lost Buildings was published to critical acclaim in November 2015. Selected as a ‘Book of the Year’ by the New Statesman, the Independent and the Scotsman, it also led to appearances on the Today Programme, Start the Week and Newsnight, among others. In 2016 Fallen Glory was shortlisted for the Saltire Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award. In March 2017 it was published by Picador in the US, going on to feature in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and the National Post. The Wall Street Journal described it as ‘a book of and for the world’.
In 2018 James scripted and presented the three-part, landmark documentary series Scotland from the Sky on BBC One Scotland (shortlisted for the 2019 Royal Television Society Awards for Best Specialist Factual Documentary). A second three-part series followed in Spring 2019. For over a decade he has worked with and researched Scotland’s national collection of architecture, archaeology and aerial photography, and has written a number of photographic books on its history and application, including Above Scotland, Scotland’s Landscapes, Aerofilms: A History of Britain from Above and Scotland from the Sky, the book of the BBC series. He is also the co-author of Who Built Scotland: 25 Journeys in Search of A Nation, with Kathleen Jamie, Alexander McCall Smith, James Robertson and Alistair Moffat.
He was born in the Shetlands in 1978 and studied History and Philosophy of Law at the University of Edinburgh, winning the Lord President Cooper Memorial Prize. He went on to complete a Masters in Journalism and was a radio broadcast journalist before he moved to London to work as a literary agent. For the past eleven years he has been the Publisher at Historic Environment Scotland – the lead body for the historic and built environment in Scotland – winning the runner-up award for Publisher of the Year at the 2018 Saltire Awards and making the shortlist for Best Academic Publisher at the 2019 British Book Awards. In June 2019 he became Publisher at Birlinn Books.
In 2016 he was elected as Chair of the Board of Publishing Scotland, the network body for the publishing industry in Scotland. He lives in Edinburgh.
The Scottish Explore Your Archive Event will take place this November at the National Records of Scotland, and will feature a talk from Jamie, as well as a presentation from Dawn Sinclair, Harper Collins archivist. More information is available here,
Powys Archives is located in Llandrindod Wells, and serves as the official repository for the records of the county of Powys. Our collections date from the fourteenth century and include public records from bodies such as courts and hospitals; official records such as county council and school records; ecclesiastical and non-conformist records, which can provide information on births, deaths and marriages; as well as deposited records from solicitors and local groups.
Many people make use of our resources for family history but the archive is also a rich source for social history and learning about the local area. Original documents can be viewed in our searchroom in our newly developed facility.
Along with preserving original records, we also hold a
comprehensive local history collection of books and other publications. We have
plenty of table space along with computers with Find My Past and Ancestry
subscriptions, wi-fi for use of laptops and other devices, and microfilm/fiche
You can also use our website to apply to our research and
copying services if you are unable to visit us in person.
Powys Archives is open Thursdays and Fridays between 9.30am
and 5pm but please get in touch with us before travelling so that we can
reserve you a space.
Archifau Powys yn Llandrindod a hon yw ystorfa swyddogol ar gyfer cofnodion Sir
Powys. Mae ein casgliadau’n dyddio o’r bedwaredd ganrif ar ddeg ac yn cynnwys
cofnodion cyhoeddus o sefydliadau megis llysoedd ac ysbytai; cofnodion
swyddogol megis cofnodion y cyngor sir ac ysgolion; cofnodion yr anghydffurfwyr
ac eglwysig, a all rhoi gwybodaeth ar enedigaethau, marwolaethau a phriodasau;
yn ogystal â chofnodion a ddyddodwyd gan gyfreithwyr a grwpiau lleol. Mae
llawer o bobl yn defnyddio ein hadnoddau ar gyfer hanes y teulu. Ond mae’r
archif hefyd yn ffynhonnell gyfoethog ar gyfer hanes cymdeithasol ac i ddysgu
am yr ardal leol. Gallwch weld dogfennau gwreiddiol yn yr ystafell chwilio yn
ein hadeilad newydd.
Yn ogystal â chadw cofnodion
gwreiddiol, rydym hefyd yn cadw casgliad o lyfrau hanes lleol cynhwysfawr a
chyhoeddiadau eraill. Mae gennym ddigonedd o le ar y byrddau a chyfrifiaduron
gyda rhaglenni Find My Past a thanysgrifiadau i Ancestry. Mae gennym wasanaeth
DiWifr ar gyfer gliniaduron a theclynnau eraill, a pheiriannau darllen
microffilm a microfiche.
The first of April was no April Fool for the archive and record keeping sector as ARA Scotlands’ #Archive30 campaign commenced across twitter and other social media platforms.
ARA Scotland is one of the national and regional groups of the Archive and Records Association. They hold a range of training events across the year and are also responsible for the Scotland based Explore Your Archive launch event held in November each year. They also run a series of social media campaigns each year for Scottish archives to contribute to and #Archive30 is one campaign that anyone from anywhere in the world can join in.
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is the official archive for Northern Ireland and holds over 3 million historical records, including church registers, emigrant letters, workhouse records, and files created by government departments and courts of law. Most relate to the North of Ireland and dated from the 17th century onwards, offering a wealth of information on society, economy and governance. PRONI’s oldest document is a bull of Pope Honorius III, dated 1219.
PRONI delivers a programme of events, talks, conferences, exhibitions and book launches over the course of the year. Many of the events relate to the marking of significant centenaries and other notable anniversaries. Details can be found on the PRONI website. These cover a wide range of subjects including amongst other: family and local history, marking centenaries, culture, wars and conflicts, migration and the Ulster Plantation.