Chronicle Blog – Alice

The Chronicle’s Volunteer Blog features blog posts and articles about what it’s like to work on the project and is written by our volunteers. This post is by Alice Campion and she talks about her first impressions and beginning her research with the Chronicle Project!

For the past two years I have volunteered in many different roles, from an RSPCA home visitor to writing and performing in a local comedy group. My inquisitive mind attracted me to the Chronicle project, I’m not a history buff, but I enjoy learning new things and volunteering to research and digitise the records of volunteers in Cardiff was something that intrigued me.

I began with an introduction to Glamorgan Archives. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Part of me thought it would be a vault deep down in a cellar somewhere, surrounded by old parchment, cobwebs and the occasional ghost. Of course, it was nothing like that, spacious, modern, light, and so peaceful. I was disappointed by the lack of ghosts though.

Initially I was daunted, the archive has over 180,000 records, so where should I start? Luckily the VCS had a list of societies to choose from. I decided to go for the South Wales Art Society having always loved drawing and sketching, and the creative arts as a whole. I thought researching their history would be interesting and relevant to my interests.

And so it began, getting out my first record! After registering with the Glamorgan archives I used the item specific reference number to request my record. The first thing I decided to digitise was a newspaper clippings book of the South wales art society from 1914 to 1936. I eagerly anticipated it’s arrival, and after a few short minutes, there it was. Pages upon pages of clippings covering exhibitions, events and guest speakers at the society.

I was struck by the level of professionalism of the art society. For a society of amateur artists they had an excellent following, and great media coverage from newspapers like the Western Mail, South wales news and the Echo to name a few.

The society has been running for over a hundred years now and is still running today, I am really looking forward to cataloguing their history, and investigating their impact on the art movement in Cardiff.