by Alison McGann, Photography / Design / Visual Arts Worker.
As part of the Cynefin Up and Over Project we had a fantastic opportunity to tour the Glamorgan Archives. We arranged a coach and arrived (via Hobbycraft) with no specific expectations. On our arrival Rhian our contact and guide for the tour met us in the lobby.
Having packed our belongings away we headed off for what turned out to be a fascinating insight to the way our precious archives are kept in mint condition.
We were shown how these valuable documents are safeguarded from being destroyed by everything from fire to silverfish! How they are examined in great detail from the moment they enter the building to make sure they do not contaminate any other material already stored within. There is a meticulous process in place from when they arrive to when they eventually end up being catalogued in such a way it is easy for staff to pinpoint and collect them so that people with an interest who want to look at and study these precious historical photographs, maps, ledgers and other material may do so.
We finished our tour in a room where the staff had gathered beautiful, thought provoking and sometimes a sad collection of records that they felt would be relevant to us, the communities in which we live, and our project. People recognised, family, buildings they live in and places that have almost changed beyond recognition. We were so lucky to be able to take photographs of some of these documents for us to reference and maybe use within our artwork.
I know that everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We would like to thank the Glamorgan Archives for arranging and making our visit so personal to us, and in particular Rhian for being so helpful and informative.
Since our visit Becky and I have had workshops with our groups and we have heard from them that they have been following up on some of the information we were told on that day. I think that there will be a few more people added to their register in the not too distant future!