Setting the Record Straight: Capturing women’s records and voices in Welsh Politics
Event Date:6th March
- Ann Jones AC/AM Deputy Presiding Officer, National Assembly for Wales
- Catrin Stevens, Chair, Women’s Archive Wales
- Dr Christine Chapman, Vice-Chair Women’s Archive Wales and former AC/AM for Cynon Valley
- Representatives from Glamorgan Archives.
- Rob Phillips: Welsh Political Archive
‘Setting the Record Straight: Capturing women’s records and voices in Welsh Politics’
This event, part of WAW’s celebration of International Women’s Day was held at the Senedd Cardiff Bay on March 6th 2019, and hosted by Ann Jones AC/AM Deputy Presiding Officer.
Overall the event was well attended attracting WAW members, current AMs including the First Minister and former First Minister, Carwyn Jones. There were also 3 former women AMs whilst others sent messages of support in their absence.
Catrin as Chair gave an overview of the Archive’s work focusing on our recent projects and the 2018 Century of Hope project. I outlined the need for more women AMs to send their papers for archiving given that there is still much inequality in this in terms of collections. Susan Edwards, from Glamorgan Archives explained the role of County Record Offices, collecting the papers of significant county campaigns and relevant electoral history and she also gave some practical advice on how to deposit material. Robert Phillips, of the Welsh Political Archive described the former collections’ policy of the Political Archive but stated that they would be putting more effort in the future into ensuring that relevant national papers relating to women politicians will be collected and deposited. He showed how ephemera such as that deposited by Thalia Campbell from the Greenham Common campaign could be overlooked and considered as insignificant but that in fact it shed important light upon the campaign. An aerial map included in the deposit showed that a creche had existed on the camp site – an important aspect of women’s priorities when campaigning.
However, I believe that there is still a role here for us as an Archive which will ensure that progress is made. The exhibition of WAW materials included the mute version of the film developed by Catrin Edwards on the Voices from the Factory Floor and other exhibitions showed images from the Roadshow and the WW1 projects. It was pleasing to see so much interest shown in the Archive and a number of people took membership leaflets. From discussions in the fringes of the event it appears that there is still some uncertainty about what we do as an Archive. Are we a building for example? Can interested parties come to us with ideas for projects? Food for thought I think as to how we move forward. Nevertheless, the event was very well received and stimulated a lot of enthusiasm and interest on the day.