Local community invited to research the history of the Swansea Valley

Open Day on Sunday 20 May at the National Waterfront Museum

An Open Day for the Swansea University project ‘Cymunedau Cysylltiedig: Researching the Industrial and Post-Industrial Communities of the Swansea Valley’ will take place on Sunday May 20th at the Local History Live! event at the National Waterfront Museum.

The event is a chance for members of the local community, or those who have an interest in local history, to come along and meet project members to discuss ideas for heritage projects, and research activities, focused on the industrial and post-industrial communities of theSwanseaValley.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) the bi-lingual project, led by Professor Huw Bowen, forms part of the AHRC’s Connected Communities programme ‘Research for Community Heritage’.

Working closely with the Heritage Lottery Fund, and other partners, the aim of this initiative is to develop sustainable links between research organisations, likeSwanseaUniversity’s Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH), and relevant community groups to produce heritage research with a community focus. The event is the second in a series of Open Days to find community projects that could benefit from Heritage Lottery Funding.

The kinds of community ideas that the project will consider include:

Visits to places like historic buildings, parks, burial grounds, museums, archaeological or industrial heritage sites.
Using collections, like archives, from libraries, museums and the community.
Holding heritage workshops, talks and sessions.
Exploring/recording people’s memories.
Scanning old photographs and documents.
Surveying historic buildings and undertaking archaeological digs.

Director of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities, Professor Chris Williams said, “This is a very exciting opportunity for University researchers and community groups and societies to work together to understand the past, and the potential of the past, for our common future.”

If you are a member of a community group or simply have an interest in local history, please come along to discuss your ideas with project members; everyone is welcome.

The event will run from 2.30pm to 5.30pm at the National Waterfront Museum (parking is available).

For more information please contact k.spiller@swansea.ac.uk or visit www.swanseavalleyhistory.com.

Additional / optional project material:

The Cymunedau Cysylltiedig project follows on from a series of projects that have focused on the industrial heritage of the Swansea Valley including the ESRC-funded project History, Heritage and Urban Regeneration: The Global and Local Worlds of Welsh Copper, Swansea Copper Day and the Byd Copr Cymru-A World of Welsh Copper museum exhibition.

The project seeks to develop collaborative community research however it will also considerably enhance a major heritage-led urban regeneration project centred on the Swansea Valley. The regeneration project - Cu @ Swansea - is being led by SwanseaUniversity’s Research Institute for the Arts and Humanities in partnership with the City andCounty ofSwansea.  In December 2011 it was awarded a first-phase grant-funding package of £542,000 from Cadw-Welsh Government and the European Union’s Regional Development Fund to develop the landscape and communities of theLowerSwanseaValley and create a world-class industrial heritage site.