For December the Special Collections display on Level F in the Hugh Owen Library takes a look back to the 1890s and the early years of the Aberystwyth University Dramatic Society.
A scene from Much Ado About Nothing 1893
The display is made up of a variety of photos and copies of the college magazine, giving a glimpse into the history of the university and the local area.
The display includes some academic staff from the early years of the University in dramatic garb, including Profs Ainsworth Davies who co-wrote the College Song Edward Edwards and Herman Ethe.
Left – Edward Ewards from a scene in The Rivals 1897.
Right – The cast of The Rivals 1897.
Bill Hines the Collection Curator who arranges these displays writes; In the early years of the College performances by the Dramatic Society formed a rare bonding opportunity in the restricted social round for academics and students, both male and female! The College Magazine gave a full write up to these performances and we are lucky to hold a series of photographs from plays such as “The Rivals” and “The Librarian”.
The cast of The Librarian from 1894.
Other displays currently on show include one on Alfred Russel Wallace the evolutionary theorist on Level D of the Hugh Owen Library and in the Thomas Parry Library there is a collection of beautiful horn books.
On Thursday 28 November the digital archive, The Welsh Experience of the First World War, was launched at The College Merthyr Tydfil by John Griffiths AM, Welsh Government Minister for Culture and Sport and Huw Lewis AM, the Welsh Government Minister for Education and Skills.
The Welsh Experience of the First World War was developed as a collaborative initiative led by The National Library of Wales, in partnership with the Archives and Special Collections of Aberystwyth University; Bangor University; Cardiff University; Swansea University; the University of Wales Trinity St David; BBC Cymru Wales, The People’s Collection, Wales, and archives and local records offices that are part of ARCW, and the Archives and Records Council of Wales. The project was funded by a grant from the Jisc e-Content programme as part of their work in support of education and research, and through support from the partner organisations.
Elgan Davies (Aberystwyth University), Elizabeth Bennett (Swansea University), Sian Williams (South Wales Miners’ Library) and Professor Lorna Hughes (National Library of Wales)
As part of the launch Dr Paul O’Leary of the Department of History and Welsh History, Aberystwyth University, spoke of how he had used the resource to prepare an online exhibition, ‘The First World War and the Industrial Valleys’. Dr O’Leary has said, “It would have taken many years in the archives to find these resources and bring them together in a way that demonstrates the impact of the First World War on south Wales. Having the digital archive freely available will be of tremendous benefit for research and teaching”.
Dr Paul O’Leary (Department of History and Welsh History, Aberystwyth University)
Material from the Hugh Owen Archives and Special Collections that have been digitised includes The Dragon (1914-1918); Y Wawr (1913-1917); the Ifor Leslie Evans papers; In Ruhleben Camp; material relating to Professor Hermann Ethé; and photographs of military training and lists of casualties and honours.
During 2014 we intend placing on our Special Collections website articles that place these materials in their historical context.