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Add your stories to the People's Collection Wales

Last King of Bardsey
King John Williams II took the Bardsey crown when he was one day old.

Your old photos, postcards and letters could help track the history of Wales on a new website which aims to offer more than the official collections.

The People's Collection Wales allows website users to create their own history trails, as well as contributing stories, and they're looking for more input from north west Wales.

Carys Morgan, one of the website's project officers, explained: "What makes it different from other historical information websites is what you can do with the content.

"You can create a trail round a town which you can print off or download onto your computer or mobile phone. It creates a map of all the things of historic interest we've got from that area."

She said the Ramblers' Association were very keen on it and tourists would find it helpful.

A trip to Gwynedd's Nantlle Valley, for instance, might highlight the story of the community at Drws-y-Coed , the boulder that fell from the mountain to destroy its chapel and one man's extraordinary efforts to get it rebuilt.

So far, the site has been mostly populated with material from the archives of the National Library of Wales, National Museums and the Royal Commission.

Tryweryn residents Mabel and John William Evans.  Photo by Geoff Charles
Mabel and John William Evans outside their Capel Celyn home

It includes the story of the last King of Bardsey, images of Capel Celyn farming community before the valley was flooded to create Tryweyn reservoir, and an Anglesey man who tended to the injured in the Spanish Civil War.

But the collection needs more material from the general public.

"We've helped smaller museums digitise their own content, and we'd like to hear from history groups, schools and individuals," Carys said.

"You can send us photos, postcards or letters, but there's also the potential for video or oral history."

Just like Flickr or Facebook, users register and upload their content which is checked and added to the historic map of Wales.

Carys added: "You can let us know about a cultural event in your area, or create a digital story with the story-builder."

Partners in the project include the National Library of Wales, the National Museum of Wales, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, as well as the BBC, Visit Wales and the Welsh History Society.

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19 Oct 09 |  History
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