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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Historical who's who goes online
The National Library of Wales
The online directory has more than 4,000 entries
David Lloyd George and Owain Glyndwr are both featured in an online directory of those who have contributed to Welsh life in the last 17 centuries.

The Welsh Biography Online site highlights the great and the good who lived and died between the mid 4th century and 1970.

The project has been developed by the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth, mid Wales.

The extensive guide features the biographies of 4,325 people.

Patron saint St David, politician Aneurin Bevan, lawmaker Hywel Dda and hymn writer Ann Griffiths are all included.

Other entries include princes, members of the gentry, poets and writers, government officials, ministers, artisans, sportsmen, workers, soldiers, industrialists and farmers.

Aneurin Bevan
Aneurin Bevan is among those featured in the directory

The site's contents are taken from volumes of The Dictionary of Welsh Biography.

Alwyn Owen, project leader, said: "The original idea of transcribing The Dictionary of Welsh Biography into digital form came because of the constant enquiries library staff received from users.

"Several national librarians have served as editors and many members of staff have undertaken editorial and research work for the publication.

"It was natural for the National Library to take the relationship a step further and to make the online resource a live database."

Mr Owen added: "In future, given the necessary resources, the library will add portraits, pictures and other multi-media links such as video and sound to the online version."

David Lloyd George
Former Prime Minister David Lloyd George died in 1945

As well as offering internet users an opportunity to learn about the great characters of Welsh history, the bilingual resource also offers an insight into some lesser-known figures.

Among these are Winifred Margaret Coombe Tennant ('Mam o Nedd'), who was a delegate to the first assembly of the League of Nations, a suffragette, a Mistress of the Robes of the Gorsedd of the Bards, and a well-known medium.

And the pirate Barti Ddu (Bartholomew Roberts) of Casnewydd Bach, Pembrokeshire, also features along with Francis Lewis, the only Welsh-born signatory of the American Declaration of Independence.

Chronologically, the guide extends from Cunedda, who came from the Hen Ogledd (present day northern England and southern Scotland) at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire to rid Wales of Irish invaders, right up to Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards the founder of the Urdd who died in 1970.




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