Archives Database to Go Online; RECORDS: New Way to Discover Nation's Heritage

Article excerpt

Byline: TOMOS LIVINGSTONE

A NEW website is being created to allow people to access information about their community online through archives and public records across Wales.

The site is to be created by the Archive Council for Wales, thanks to a pounds 365,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund announced this week.

The website will provide information about the wealth of historic manuscripts, records and archives found in the extensive collections of 13 local government archive services, four universities and three national institutions.

Many of the documents are already available locally to members of the public, but this is the first time a database has been created to provide a comprehensive catalogue of the documents held across the country, establishing the Archives Network Wales.

Professor Tom Pritchard, trustee and chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for Wales, explained that by making information about the content and location of national, regional and locally sig-nificant documents more readily available, people of all ages would be able to gain a better understanding of their heritage.

He said, ``The documents available across the Archives Network Wales detail the content of some 6,000 archive collections, covering all aspects of Welsh industrial, social and demographic history and culture.

``Similar online archives are extensively used for education, research and simple enjoyment by thousands of people and receive millions of hits each year. …