Sliding to success

O brother we at the same time born, two are bearded and two are shorn. The fifth, not to give his brothers pain, has one side bearded and the other plain.

Another milestone was reached in the Mary Gillham Project this week when we fed the last batch of slides into the slide scanner (generously loaned to the project from the People’s Collection Wales). Mary was a keen photographer and used her pictures, in the form of slides, to give talks about wildlife, landscapes and history.

The task of digitising this huge collection of images has given us an opportunity to find out more about Mary with each box offering hints and suggestions to Mary’s life, her peers and the social, cultural and landscape changes seen in South Wales over the past 60 years.


With 14390 now digitised we are only partway through the task in hand as we now need to transcribe all of the text from each slide. Once completed (a long way off!) the images will provide a valuable resource of wildlife records as well as be of value to local history groups, geologists, social historians and more. 3000 of the images are up online and more will become live as they are completed before eventually migrating over to the People’s Collection Wales website.

If you want to help out with the transcription you can do so from the comfort of your own home! Check out this page and get in touch if you’d like to know more!

Similarly, if you would like to have a rummage in the archive, find some old pictures of your area or see if Mary visited it we would like to hear from you too! Send us an email and we can start the conversation…

A benefit to volunteering!

To mark the final slide being scanned and as a reward for being generally awesome, heroic and intraspectacular, some of the volunteers were allowed out of the office to take part in a guided reptile walk at Parc Slip Nature reserve courtesy of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

Blessed with glorious weather it was a great day to be outside although it was less necessary for the reptiles to be basking under the refugia placed by the Wildlife Trust. Despite this we scored the fantastic foursome of adder, grass snake, slow worm and common lizard as well as seeing a huge array of dragon and damselflies.

It was all topped off nicely with a huge slice of cake and a coffee in the the visitor centre!

Thanks to Lorna for taking us round and if they behave maybe we’ll allow the volunteers out again in the future.

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