Wales, Ohio and library poems


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The National Library of Wales is celebrating its centenary with a series of events and exhibitions, and with a new website.
I discovered this as I stumbled across the Wales-Ohio project, no less. As a resident of Columbus, Ohio, I need to watch how this develops!

The experiences of the Welsh settlers in Ohio are about to be made available to audiences throughout the world.

The goal of the Wales-Ohio Project is to digitise a selection of Welsh Americana relating to the state of Ohio held at The National Library of Wales and to make them available on an innovative bilingual website.

The website will display digital images of:

  • archive and manuscript material

  • printed material

  • photographs

  • maps

  • prints and paintings

giving us a feel of what life was like for the Welsh settlers in the nineteenth century from hardship and tragedy to prosperity and happiness. The site will also document the contribution the Welsh have made to the history and culture of Ohio. [National Library of Wales – Wales-Ohio Project]

There is a specially written poem by Gwyneth Lewis for the centenary.

The hardest place to be is here,

we need to imagine it and require

a library’s wormholes, its infinite doors.

Which reminds of the poem that Ted Hughes wrote some years ago to accompany New Library: the People’s Network.

Even the most misfitting child

Who’s chanced upon the library’s worth,

Sits with the genius of the Earth

And turns the key to the whole world.

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