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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Museums across Wales join forces with BBC Cymru Wales to tell A History Of The World

Museums from across Wales have joined a pan-BBC history campaign to create a unique digital museum online which tells A History Of The World through the things humans left behind.

The website, bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld, launched today.

Everyone in Wales is urged to log on and upload their own entries to help build a unique picture of how Wales has impacted on the world and vice versa.

The website launch coincides with the start of a raft of BBC programming spotlighting museums across the UK, the centrepiece of which is a BBC Radio 4 series, A History Of The World In 100 Objects, which features some of the most evocative objects from the British Museum.

BBC Cymru Wales will be broadcasting a new series, Wales And The History Of The World, presented by rugby broadcaster and journalist Eddie Butler, telling the story of Wales' influence on the world and the world's influence on Wales through some museum artefacts.

The series, which will air in the spring, covers the themes of Welsh 'firsts', trade and industry, conflict, and identity and belief.

BBC Wales has also been working with museums in Wales to find objects for the website telling the best stories of how Wales shaped the world and the world shaped Wales.

These include:

  • A stone tool from Pontnewydd Cave, found with the only Neanderthal remains discovered in Britain (held at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff)
  • David Lloyd George's personal copy of a draft peace treaty for World War One (Lloyd George Museum, Llanystumdwy)
  • The first edition of a book by Robert Recorde, the first person to write about maths in English and who gave the world the = sign (Tenby Museum)
  • A Laura Ashley dress, representing the impact the designer had on world fashion from her factory at Carno (Powysland Museum, Welshpool)
  • A chain link made by the Brown Lennox company of Pontypridd, which pioneered the use of chains rather than rope to hold the anchor for ships, and became monopoly suppliers to the Royal Navy (Pontypridd Heritage Museum)

Now producers are hoping the Welsh public will enhance the website by loading their own personal favourite objects which have a story to tell to the website.

Clare Hudson, acting Director of BBC Wales, said she hoped people would visit some of the museums to see the website objects close at hand, but also think about what articles they may have at home which they could upload to tell a story related to the history of the world.

"This is an opportunity to help create a unique digital museum, where not just the famous objects, but also those very personal things kept at home or in the attic which still have a story to tell, can take their place," she said.

Roy Noble's programme on BBC Radio Wales will consider some of the best Welsh objects in the spring, while Nia Roberts programme on BBC Radio Cymru will feature regular updates on some of the website artefacts and some of the listeners' objects for five weeks from Monday 25 January.

Notes to Editors

The Welsh museums that have uploaded the initial objects for the A History Of The World website are:

  • National Museum Cardiff
  • National History Museum St Fagans
  • National Waterfront Museum Swansea
  • National Slate Museum Llanberis
  • National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon
  • Denbigh Museum Service
  • Greenfield Valley Museum, Holywell
  • Bersham Heritage Centre, Wrexham
  • Wrexham County Borough Museum
  • Llangollen Museum
  • Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, Bangor
  • Pontypridd Museum
  • Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, Merthyr Tydfil
  • Swansea Museum
  • Newport Museum
  • Tenby Museum
  • Milfordhaven Museum
  • Carmarthenshire Museum
  • Museum of Speed, Pendine
  • Powysland Museum, Welshpool
  • Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth
  • Robert Owen Museum, Newtown
  • Newtown Textile Museum
  • Oriel Ynys Mon, Anglesey

A History of the World includes:

  • An original and unprecedented public service partnership between the BBC and the British Museum focusing on world history. At its heart is a landmark series on BBC Radio 4, A History Of The World In 100 Objects which will broadcast from 18 January 2010. The series is written and narrated by the British Museum Director, Neil MacGregor
  • A 13-part CBBC series entitled Relic: Guardians Of The Museum, broadcasting from January 2010
  • Large scale activity across the BBC Nations and English Regions, with 350 museum venues around the UK contributing

BBC Wales Communications

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