I hope you don’t mind but as it has been such an uncharacteristically fantastic end to a week, I thought I might share some of the happenings…
What do a statistician, an artist, three poets and a ‘colloquy’ of historians have in common?
To begin, we were delighted on Thursday 14th to gather some such examples of academic character, rigour, weight and impact together to formally open the inaugural International Dylan Thomas Day at an event celebrated by Hannah Ellis – granddaughter of Dylan Thomas, Ken Skates – Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture Tourism and Sport, and other guests.
The Dylan Thomas notebook, shown left with Hannah, which we purchased at auction last autumn, has since been assessed and digitised. Following the launch event a series of viewings of the notebook was arranged – the first time it has ever been seen publicly.
Professor John Goodby, our delightful Dylan Thomas expert and editor of the centenary edition of his poems refers to the notebook as “the holy grail of Thomas scholars” and our next step will be to create a replica for educational outreach work with schools and others. The notebook itself is housed within our Richard Burton Archives and we will be rolling out Turning the Pages versions of this and other material over the coming year.
BBC News coverage – with video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-32736769
Following the Launch of Dylan Day, we were delighted to take two musicians, one of the aforementioned poets, and other guests to visit the early stages of the interior fit out of the ‘Great Hall’ concert venue (below) being built on our new £450million Bay Campus – as well as the almost complete Bay Library.
To end the day, as events really are like buses and all come along at the same time, still on Thursday (it was quite a long day) we were busy with the CILIP Cymru Wales #CILIPW15 conference at the Marriott Hotel in Swansea. The CILIP Wales team did their usual great job organising and getting speakers that covered everything from library philosophy to ‘friends of’ public library groups, and also the (THELMA shortlisted) WHELF Shared Library Management System currently being rolled out across Wales to all university and NHS libraries, as well as the National Library of Wales.
To round off a great evening, we were thrilled that CILIP Cymru Wales awarded Mark Hughes, Swansea University Libraries’ Head of Collections, the honour of being the Welsh Librarian of the Year 2015.
Each of these activities have over the past year(s) involved support from a range of libraries, archives, museums and other services in Wales and across the UK – for which we are always grateful.