Radnor University

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Between January 12th and February 16th a group of 17 children from Radnor Primary School attended Glamorgan Archives as part of their ‘Radnor University’ Programme – a programme of events where children get to participate in short courses of extra-curricular activities. Glamorgan Archives were delighted to be invited to take part! The children spent five weeks learning about the archive, what we do and why. They focussed on a different theme of records each week. Over the five weeks they looked at records from their school, census returns, building plans, maps, records of the police, records of the asylum and photographs. On their final week the children choose their favourite document to write about and photograph.

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Ali, Drew, Ollie, Emir and Isaac choose case notes for the Angelton Asylum (ref: DHGL/10/66) as their favourite document. ‘This is my favourite document because it is very interesting and it can tell us about people from the Asylum and the reason they were sent there’. The children were fascinated by the photographs of the patients ‘There are pictures and descriptions about the people. I liked looking at all the people’. They spent time looking at the documents carefully and came up with some wonderfully vivid descriptions; ‘a big wooden book covered in leather’, ‘It smells like ash’, ‘it smells like my Nans house’. The marbling techniques used to decorate the inside cover of the volume captured their imaginations; ‘it looks like Vincent Van Gough’s Starry Night but only using green and brown’.

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Photographed by Ali, Drew, Ollie, Emir and Isaac.

Sheikha, Katie, Cora, Jaiza and Mariam choose school log books (ref: E/C21/1, E/C21/3 and E/C21/8) as their favourite documents. This is my favourite document because it tells me about the history of my school’, ‘It is about children and our school’, ‘You can see what is the same from school and what is different.’ The girls had to contend with some difficult handwriting ‘the writing is twirly, curly, wurly and hard to read’. But once they got used to it they realised that the log books were a treasure trove of information. It tells us about the illnesses  and what happened to the kids’, ‘it holds lots of facts just waiting to be found’, ‘It would be really cool to travel back in time to see our school’.

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Photographed by Sheikha, Katie, Cora, Jaiza and Mariam

Freya, Annabel and Zach choose the Glamorgan Constabulary Fingerprint and Photographic Register (ref: D/CON/3/2/1). ‘I choose this document because I like looking at the people who went to jail and I like looking at the photos’. The children were fascinated to learn about the crimes committed and the harsh prison sentences the culprits received. They especially enjoyed spotting those criminals who had used an alias ‘Sometimes they give a false name!’ The children spent time thinking about what the lives of some of the people in the register would have been like some people were too poor to get their own clothes and food so they would steal other people’s’.


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Photographed by Freya, Annabel and Zach

Thank you to Radnor University for all your hard work undertaking research at the Archives. We hope you enjoyed as much as we did.

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