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Last Updated: Friday, 3 December, 2004, 07:01 GMT
'Unique' images brought to book
One of the pictures featured in the new book

Photographs described as a "unique record of Welsh life" have been brought together in a new book.

Newspaper photographer Geoff Charles left an extraordinary 120,000 images to the National Library of Wales, when he died, aged 93, in 2002.

The book, Cymru Geoff Charles, has been put together by a former colleague, who would work on stories with Mr Charles.

The collection, which covers his life's work over 50 years, will be launched in Aberystwyth on Friday.

Ioan Roberts first worked with Mr Charles, from Brymbo, Wrexham, on the Welsh language newspaper, Y Cymro.

The Geoff Charles collection is a unique record of Welsh life
Wil Troughton, the National Library of Wales

Ioan Roberts said: "I was a young reporter starting out on my career on Y Cymro when I first met Geoff in 1969. He became my constant driving companion while on the trail of a story.

"People may not be aware but he was also a qualified journalist and was fascinated by people and their history. He had an innate feeling for what made a good story and in turn what made a good photograph.

"He was aware even when I was working with him all those years ago that he was photographing history - this was of great importance for him and what made him different from other photographers of his era.

"He was also an excellent cataloguer, but with over 120,000 images to choose from within the National Library's collection in Aberystwyth, the task of compiling this book was never going to be easy."

The earliest image in the book is from 1934 of the Gresford mining disaster, near Wrexham, while the most recent photograph included was taken in 1984 at the National Eisteddfod in Lampeter.

The publishers have said that much of the collection featured in the book, reflects an era now lost forever following the gradual decline of traditional ways of life and shifts in rural and industrial communities over the last 50 years.

Wil Troughton, the National Library's visual images librarian, said: "The Geoff Charles collection is a unique record of Welsh life and today his archive is one of the treasures of The National Library of Wales.

"Cymru Geoff Charles is the product of many years of painstaking research by Ioan Roberts and Y Lolfa and is a fitting testament to Geoff's work and his legacy to current and future generations."

Cymru Geoff Charles by Ioan Roberts is published by Y Lolfa at 14.95

In Pictures: Cymru Geoff Charles
03 Dec 04 |  In Pictures

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