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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 October 2005, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Wales' photographic past in focus
A Rhodri Jones picture of a religious procession through Blaenafon

Some of the oldest photographs ever taken in Wales are featuring at a festival in Aberystwyth on Saturday.

The first picture known to have been taken in Wales - a daguerreotype of Margam Castle by Calvert Jones in 1841 - will be among those under discussion.

The first Festival of Welsh Documentary Photography - the Lens Festival - is at the National Library of Wales.

Professional and amateur photographers, archivists, collectors, historians and journalists will discuss the art.

Gwyn Jenkins, the library's director of collection services and festival chair, said: "Wales and the National Library of Wales have an honourable history in the field of photography.

"The Lens Festival is the first such event ever held in Wales which will emphasise the importance of photography as an important way of documenting and understanding our past and present."

Among the early photographs which will form part of the series of talks include some taken in the Swansea area between 1840 and 1860.

An album by Carleton E. Watkins (1829-1916), an American landscape photographer from the 19th Century, will also feature.

As will the land and people of Wales through the lens of John Thomas (1838-1905) and the extensive archive of the photo-journalist Geoff Charles (1909-2002).

Photographer Rhodri Jones, from Bethesda will be one of the speakers.

It will be held in the library's new auditorium, Drwm.




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