Over the summer of 2022 I am working as the Archive & Library officer alongside WCIA’s Peace Heritage Advisor, Craig Owen, and another internship student placement for the Digital Archives Officer position, Georgia Wood. Our project aims to help safeguard and make accessible the numerous publications and artefacts that have accumulated throughout the Temple of Peace since its opening in 1938. I am currently studying my Master’s in History with Cardiff University and have always been interested in international narratives, specifically relating to how European countries have influenced and shaped colonial America and the numerous cultures that have formed because of these relationships. I was particularly interested to find out about how the women of Wales supported the women of America in 1923, with 390,296 Welsh women signing a peace petition that offered solidarity in their shared struggle to protest the war. I studied my BA in History with the University of South Wales, which I graduated from with First Class Honours in 2021. I have worked on numerous history-based projects previously, including supporting local museums with exhibition curation and research, and manging a project for a local charity creating a visual timeline of their historical achievements. The building’s Council Chamber and attic is full of documents including reports, photographs, posters, pamphlets, leaflets and much more, relating to all aspects of Welsh internationalism and the important work that has come out of the Temple of Peace covering numerous organisations. With my avid interest in history as well as global relationships, I am very excited to be part of a project that will enable the public, students and researchers to access information that has been mostly previously undiscovered.
I am almost half-way through my internship currently and during the first few weeks of working I have been involved with several projects. Predominantly, I have been involved in surveying the Council Chamber library catalogue to find out which publications have already been recorded and created a report outlining the volume of work that is still required. Utilizing the report I created a ‘Hit List’ listing the documents that need cataloguing and separating them by cupboard number and shelf letter. Craig, Georgia and I then set up five ‘Archiveathons’ inviting local and international volunteers with a keen interest in either history, international relations or archiving to assist us in completing the catalogue using the report and ‘Hit List’ that I created. So far, we have held the first ‘Archiveathon’ which was very successful and saw numerous shelves being completed. I helped to facilitate the session by directly supervising a team of six volunteers. We aim to complete the entire Council Chamber library by the end of August so that we can prepare for the information to be transferred onto a digital platform, making the items more accessible for everyone. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience up to this point and I am excited to dive into the work further in future ‘Archiveathon’ sessions!