Business News Wales: National Library of Wales to Lead on Welsh Wikipedia Project. “The 12-month pilot project is funded by the Welsh Government and will see the library’s National Wikimedian working with Menter Iaith Môn, WJEC and subject specialists. Together, they will identify the 100 most important events and themes studied for the subject of history in Welsh primary and secondary schools and develop techniques to structure relevant information regarding the topics to publish on the Welsh Wikipedia.”
Slate: Welsh Wikipedia Gives Me Hope. “Google announced in February that it had expanded its offerings in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive to include Welsh. And Google Translate—infamous since 2009 for its Scymraeg, or scummy Welsh—has, according to the BBC, recently taken a great leap forward in terms of the accuracy and quality of its Welsh translations. Morlais and others attribute this in part to the fact that there are now more than 100,000 articles on the Welsh version of Wikipedia, known as Wicipedia.”
Sain Records, in partnership with the Library of Wales and other institutions, has added a bunch of items to Wikimedia Commons. “In partnership with Wicipedia Cymraeg editors, Wikimedia UK, the Welsh Government and the National Library of Wales, Sain (Records) (www.sainwales.com) have opened up some of their content on a Creative Commons open licence, in order to share with a wider audience. Over 7,000 audio clips and 498 album covers are now available on the Wikimedia Commons website.” Clips are in English and Welsh.
Business News Wales: National Library of Wales Launches New Welsh Journals Website. “The website allows free digital access to more than 1.2 million pages from more than 450 Welsh journals. Providing free remote access to a variety of Welsh and English language journals published between 1735 and 2007, the website allows users to search the content as well as browse through titles and editions. The website also enables users to browse by year and decades and provides a link to the catalogue entry for each journal.”
BBC: Register to protect Welsh historical place names launched. “A new register recording historical Welsh place names to protect them for future generations has been launched. About 350,000 names are already recorded on the online tool, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.”
The National Library of Wales is taking another step forward in digitizing its collections. “We’re now beginning to move to a new stage, starting the work that will lead to the digitisation of Welsh books or books published about Wales. This will be a huge endeavour, but also an exciting one which will create a fantastic searchable resource of Welsh and Welsh interest books for the Library’s users, making thousands of long out of print books available to the public again.”
The National Library of Wales has released a big collection of Welsh almanacs. 178 of ’em, according to the announcement on Twitter. “Thomas Jones’s almanac, usually published under the title Newyddion oddiwrth y sêr (News from the stars), consisted of 20 or 24 leaves. It contained an astronomical and astrological guide for twelve months, lists of fairs and markets in Wales and the Borders, samples of Welsh poetry and literature, a chronology of important historical events, a guide to reading Welsh and keeping accounts, a list of the law terms, the names of Welsh bishops, and miscellaneous advertisements. It was aimed at poor farmers who relied on detailed weather forecasts for their livelihood, and who also held a superstitious belief in astrology.” The almanacs kept here span from 1681 to 1781. And, as you might imagine, they are in Welsh. I took a look at the one from 1681 and it was in surprisingly good shape, with the writing very readable. Unfortunately, the readable writing was in Welsh, so it didn’t do me any good…