Popping up at the Capitol Shopping Centre
Museum scientists have been popping up in the Capitol Shopping Centre throughout the summer with their I Spy…Nature pop-up museum. Natural Sciences staff spent 9 days there with a variety of specimens from the Museum’s collections. Every day had a different theme from shells, to fossils, plants and minerals to name just a few. The public were able to ask our curators questions and find out about our new exhibition at National Museum Cardiff (I Spy…Nature), which is open until April 2015. We ran a drawing competition alongside the pop-up with some fantastic entries. We have chosen winners in three different age categories and they will be visiting us at the museum to have special tours behind the scenes and to claim their prizes. The winning entries will be posted on-line in the next few weeks. 2437 people visited us on the stand, which is a fantastic figure. Next we will be popping up at Fairwater Library on the 30th October and visiting 10 schools throughout the autumn.
A Window into the Industry Collections
Amongst the new collections we have received in August was a collection of two ship models and six watercolours. The models and paintings are all by Mr Tony Jackson who was apprenticed to Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons in 1951. The two models are of the BP tanker British Sovereign, and a Liberty Ship. The six watercolours show the Orient City, Homer City, Devon City, Fresno City, Graig and Graigfelen. The photograph below shows Tony Jackson in his uniform aged 15. The next two show the ship model of the British Sovereign ship model and a painting of the Graig.
This photograph is one of three we received showing the basilica and copper mines at El Cobre, Cuba, taken in February this year. These mines were important as a source of ore to Welsh smelting works. We recently acquired a share certificate relating to the Royal Copper Mines of Cobre which you can see in my March blog.
We have been donated a history of the Ely Brewery called ‘Beer and the Brewery’. This has been compiled by an ex-employee of the brewery who was an apprentice fitter and then fitter there from 1949 - 1962. This month we have also received 35 copies of the Ely Brewery house magazine ‘Mild and Bitter’. The image shows a front page from a 1956 edition.
We have purchased two interesting handbills for the collection. One is for the St. George’s SS Co. Ltd., and dates to 1910. The other is for a cruise along the Cardigan coast in 1968.
This Sharp 'Font Writer' Personal Word Processor (Model FW-710 UM) was purchased by the donor to be used during her university course. The word processor was manufactured by Sharp Electronics (UK) Ltd. at Wrexham in about 1995.
Curator: Industry & Transport
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Dros y penwythnos, yng nghanol wal anferth NATO a heddlu arfog, cynhaliwyd ail weithdy’r fflach amgueddfa. Pwrpas y gweithdai hyn yw canfod cynnwys ar gyfer y fflach amgueddfa sy’n cael ei greu yn Nghynhadledd Cymdeithas yr Amgueddfeydd ym mis Hydref fel rhan o Wyl Amgueddfeydd Cymru. Mae’r fflach amgueddfa yn cael ei chreu gan staff o Amgueddfa Stori Caerdydd, Amgueddfa Cymru a Cronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri gyda cynnwys yn dod gan unrhyw un sydd a stori i’w dweud am Gaerdydd.
Y tro yma, yn hytrach na gweithdy dwy awr, fe wnaethom drio annog pobl i bicio mewn... Yn anffodus, roedd yn ddiwrnod eithaf tawel. Er hyn, fe gawsom ambell i stori gwerth chweil. Clywsom gan ddiddanwyr stryd oedd heb fod yng Nghaerdydd yn gweithio ar ddydd Sadwrn am ugain mlynedd ond oedd yn ol ar gyfer priodas, a gan ddyn arall oedd yn cofio dod i Gaerdydd ar gyfer gwaith ac a ddechreuodd fynychu’r Vulcan yn rheolaidd.
Y broblem fwyaf gyda sesiwn fel hyn oedd bod pobl ddim gyda gwrthrychau ac os oedden nhw gyda hwy, nid oeddynt yn fodlon eu gadael. Golygali hyn ar derfyn y ddwy awr nad oedd gennym fflach amgueddfa, dim on casgliad o straeon. Gwers wedi’i dysgu!
Mae’r sesiwn nesaf yn mynd i fod ar nos Iau, 11eg o Fedi rhwng 6 ac 8yh yn Amgueddfa Stori Caerdydd felly dewch draw a gallwch wneud bach o siopa hwyr neu fynd am swper wedyn. Bydd hwn yn weithdy dwy awr felly fe fydd gennym amgueddfa wytch erbyn y diwedd.
Mawr obeithiwn y gallwch fynychu.
Cysylltwch gyda Arran Rees ar Cardiffstory@cardiff.gov.uk neu 02920 788334 am fwy o wybodaeth.
Cregyn, Crafangau a Chanolfan Siopa
Mi ddechreues i sgrifennu post hir am orielau, ond beth ddois i yma i'w ddweud yw: dw i wedi mwynhau arddangosfa Mi Wela i... Natur yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd, sydd ar agor tan fis Ebrill 2015. Bob tro dw i wedi ymweld, mae'r lle wedi bod yn llawn teuluoedd, sgyrsiau, a phlant wedi gwisgo fel gwyddonwyr a thrychfilod, yn sboncio o un cesyn arddangos i'r llall.
Rho Mi wela i... Natur gyfle i ni weld y byd o safbwynt gwyddonydd, ystlum a phry. Yn wir, cyn belled â dy fod o dan 10, galli wisgo i fyny fel un cyn archwilio'r sbesimenau o'r casgliad trychfilod, cwrel wedi'i brintio ar argraffydd 3D, cwisiau rhyngweithiol a gweithgareddau. Mae'r sgrîn feicroscôp ryngweithiol enfawr soniodd David amdani yn ei flog yn eistedd o flaen wal wydr brydferth o sleidiau, o'r 100 mlynedd diwethaf. I'r rhai ohonoch sy'n hoffi chwarae labordy, mae yna feicroscôp gwyddonydd ar gael hefyd, gyda bwrdd troelli llawn sleidiau i'w harchwilio.
Mae'r tîm Mi Wela i... wedi bod yn teithio ar hyd Cymru gyda'u gwrthrychau hynod - er enghraifft, dyma @CardiffCurator yn gafael mewn gwrthrych anarferol iawn yn yr Eisteddfod:
Bydd Fflach-Amgueddfa Mi Wela i... yn ymddangos am y tro olaf eleni, yng nghanolfan siopa Capitol yng Nghaerdydd, rhwng y 28ain a'r 30ain o Awst. Ymysg y gemwaith, y paneidiau a'r sêl-diwedd-tymor, cewch ddarganfod sgorpionau, bwystfilod bychain, ac wrth gwrs, cragen sy'n fwy na'ch pen! Galwch heibio rhwng 11am a 3pm i weld beth welwch chi!
Beth yw eich Stori Caerdydd?
Heddiw, cynhaliwyd y gweithdy cyntaf ar gyfer creu fflach amgueddfa yng Nghynhadledd Cymdeithas yr Amgueddfeydd ym mis Hydref yng Nghanolfan y Mileniwm yn Amgueddfa Stori Caerdydd. Daeth staff o Amgueddfa Stori Caerdydd, Amgueddfa Cymru a Chronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri ynghyd gydag aelodau o Fforwm Ieuenctid a gwirfoddolwyr Amgueddfa Cymru ac Amgueddfa Stori Caerdydd i brofi’r broses angenrheidiol ar gyfer creu fflach amgueddfa.
Cytunodd y rhai a fynychodd y byddai defnyddio Caerdydd fel thema yn syniad da. Bydd Beth yw eich stori Caerdydd? Neu beth mae Caerdydd yn ei olygu ichi? Yn rhoddi cyfleoedd i bobl roddi eu barn am Gaerdydd- prif ddinas Cymru, hyd yn oes os nad ydynt erioed wedi ymweld â’r Ddinas. Bydd yn cynnwys pobl sydd wedi eu geni a’u magu yn y Ddinas neu’r rhai hynny sydd newydd gyrraedd Caerdydd am y tro cyntaf erioed; y rhai sy’n mynychu cynhadledd Cymdeithas yr Amgueddfeydd a theuluoedd yn ymweld â Chanolfan y Mileniwm fel rhan o Ŵyl Amgueddfeydd Cymru.
Roedd proses drefnus wedi ei gosod lle'r oedd pawb yn cymryd tro i ysgrifennu, tynnu llun o’u gwrthrych, cael tynnu llun o’u hunain a chael eu ffilmio yn siarad am eu stori Caerdydd.
Mewn awr, crëwyd amgueddfa syml, ar raddfa fechan. 12 gwrthrych, 8 stori, 7 voxpop a 12 llun oedd i gyd yn dweud rhywbeth gwahanol am Gaerdydd a beth mae’n ei olygu, neu wedi ei olygu i’r rhai hynny oedd yn cymryd rhan, unai heddiw neu yn y gorffennol.
Arran Rees, Curadur Casgliadau Amgueddfa Stori Caerdydd rannodd ei wrthrych a’i stori gyntaf.
Tro pawb arall oedd hi wedyn, ac o fewn 30 munud, cafwyd llu o wrthrychau gwahanol o bice ar y maen i ffosil oedd yn datgelu rhywbeth am Gaerdydd. Defnyddiodd y person rannodd y Pice ar y Maen y cacennau fel ffordd i ddangos ei hoffter o’r stondin ym Marchnad Caerdydd a sut yr oedd yn meddwl am Gaerdydd a Chymru gan iddi ddod i’w hoffi er gwaetha’r ffaith ei bod yn casáu ffrwythau wedi eu sychu. Gwrthrych arall oedd modrwy oedd yn symbolaidd o gyfeillgarwch ac amseroedd da ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd. Rhannodd person arall ei phrofiad fel perfformwraig ym Mardi Gras Caerdydd yn 2013. Roedd pawb eisiau darllen storiâu pawb arall ac ysgogodd y gwrthrychau drafodaeth am Gaerdydd – y da a’r drwg, presennol a gorffennol.
Roedd y gweithdy’n hynod o ddefnyddiol. Cadarnhaodd y grŵp fod thema fwy eang yn well, ac yn fwy agored, gyda’r potensial o apelio at fwy o bobl i gyfrannu na rhywbeth rhy benodol. Roedd technoleg syml yn gweithio, a bydd yn gallu creu diddordeb a thrafodaeth – hyd yn oed os nad yw technoleg yn gweithio.
Nawr bod y syniad wedi ei brofi, rydym yn barod ar gyfer ein gweithdy nesaf. Bydd gweithdy agored, eto yn Amgueddfa Stori Caerdydd, 30 Awst 11yb-1yh. Ymunwch a ni a rhannu beth mae Caerdydd yn ei olygu ichi.
Cysylltwch â Arran Rees yn Amgueddfa Stori Caerdydd am fwy o wybodaeth: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Our Cats" by Harrison Weir 
We recently participated in #MuseumCats Day on Twitter and this involved a quick search through our holdings for some interesting pictures of cats to Tweet and what a gem we have found! Please enjoy this selection of wonderful and [in some cases] bizarre illustrations of cats from the book "Our Cats and all about them" written and illustrated by Harrison Weir in 1889.
My personal favourites are the surreal disembodied heads [see above], "Sylvie" [she of the magnificent moustaches] and the Russian cat who [in my opinion] has a most unsettling human expression.
Weir was a very interesting character; he was born in 1824 on May 5th [d.1906], and is known as "The Father of the Cat Fancy”. He organizied the first ever cat show in England, at The Crystal Palace, London in July 1871 where he and his brother served as judges. In 1887 he founded the National Cat Club and was its first President and Show Manager until his resignation in 1890. Our Cats was the first published pedigree cat book.
Weir was employed, for many years, as a draughtsman and engraver for the Illustrated London News as well as many other publications and in his lifetime he both wrote and illustrated other books such as The Poetry of Nature (1867), Every Day in the Country (1883) and Animal Studies, Old and New (1885). In 1845 he exhibited his first painting at the British Institution and during his career he was an occasional exhibitor at the Royal Academy.
He was a keen animal fancier, an experienced breeder of cats, carrier pigeons, and poultry and for thirty years often acted as a judge at the principal pigeon and poultry shows. In 1903 he wrote and illustrated the exhaustive book Our Poultry and All About Them.
More information on Harrison Weir via the following links:
This book was bequeathed to the Library back in May 1916 along with around 500 other books by the Welsh artist, champion of Wales’ cultural heritage and one of the founding fathers of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Thomas Henry Thomas.
Along with the books, Thomas also bequeathed his entire catalogue of prints, drawings and watercolours to the Museum.
More information on Thomas Henry Thomas here:
The illustration above appeares in the Chapter "Performing cats". Other chapters include, "Cats as tormentors", "Dead cats", "Fishing cats" and "Lovers of cats" [would you believe... Cardinal Richelieu?].
This book is available to view electronically via the following Project Gutenberg link:
Biographical information on Harrison Weir taken from Wikipedia.
All photographs in this post taken by the author.
summer art activities
As I am now working in St Fagans National Museum and National Museum Cardiff, I can share loads more works of art and design! It also means that I've had a lot of help preparing and delivering the art workshops, so thank you to Heloise,Liz, Sally, Ellie, the two Catrin's, Marged, Marsli, Tracey, Angharad and Hywel!
In St Fagans this summer we've been asking visitors to design a new play area for us (we will be building a new play area in the near future as part of the redevelopments) and we have had the most amazing designs and ideas. I think my favourite are the fireman's pole shaped like a worm and a tree house that explodes with sweets every five seconds. Lots of people want tree houses, zip wires and monkey bars!
For the workshop based on the Wales Visitation exhibition we are taking families to look at some of the paintings and objects on display and asking them to create a landscape using image and text. They can use any words they want, but we have also been providing them with quotes from the Allen Ginsberg poem (from which the exhibition gets it's title) as there are such gorgeous and visual parts to the poem, such as:
"Valleys breathe, heaven and earth move together,
daisies push inches of yellow air, vegetables tremble,
grass shimmers green
sheep speckle the mountainside, revolving their jaws with empty eyes,
horses dance in the warm rain"
(Art activities continue throughout August, for more details about the workshops and activities, please visit our 'What's on' pages)
Myfyrwyr o Oman yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd
Mae dwy fyfyrwraig blwyddyn olaf mewn bywydeg ac amddiffyn cnydau o Brifysgol Sultan Qaboos, Oman wedi cyrraedd Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd ar gyfer pythefnos o brofiad gwaith i ddysgu mwy am nodi dau grŵp o bryfed, pryfed a chwilod a'r technegau a ddefnyddiwn i’w hastudio. Dyma’r tro cyntaf i Sara Mohamed Ahmed Al Ansari a Salma Saif Salmin Almabsli deithio y tu allan i Oman. Ar ôl y pythefnos yma, byddent yn treulio pythefnos arall yn yr Amgueddfa Hanes Natur, Llundain i ehangu eu gwybodaeth o dechnegau tacsonomig cyn dychwelyd at y cynhesrwydd yn Oman.
I-Spy Micrarium Touch Screen (VADU part II)
There is an exhibition showing at National Museum Cardiff called: I-Spy…Nature (until April 2015). One of the touch screens (picture 1) focuses on a selection of diverse, interesting and beautiful biological and geological slides from the Museum’s Natural History Collections. This blog is about the small aspects of the touch screen that I was involved with; plain and simple.
Resources & Outlines
- One general overview image of 36 slides
- 12 very high resolution images of some of those slides
- 27 inch touch screen
- Complement an actual Micrarium, which would be displayed neatly above the touch screen
- Incorporate a Victoriana style
- Target audience: young folk
All the controls were laid out in plain sight, hopefully to reduce any learning curve when approaching the interactive; and since the touch screen is quite large (27 inches) we had the space.
Five additional features were added to the zoom screen (picture 4):
- Zoom controls
- Navigation controls
- Home button
- Information button
- Change language (English/Welsh)
n.b. where possible I tried to avoid using words to describe button functions, hence why the home button is only an image, but this idea fell down a little when it became clear you couldn’t avoid a word or two to help the visitor work out what specimen they were observing.
Into the Arms of a Microscope
Once or twice someone may have caught me saying things like: “Plagioclase Feldspar” or “Olivine”. Anyhow, part of the fun with looking at slides is the process of selecting a new slide, I thought so anyway - you were never sure what would be on the other side of the glass.
I wanted to avoid the conventional method of changing between images, which is usually to include a ‘next’ and ‘previous’ button; so tried to incorporate some of my vague science memories with a quick reconnaissance mission (picture 5) to see the microscope that was being prepped for the exhibition.
Since there were 36 lower resolution images on the home screen, but twelve high resolution images on the slide selection screen, it gave some space to move a simple microscope stand into view, which provided the excuse to animate the microscope arms and float the slides back and forth. The iris transition between the microscope slide view and the zoom view is loosely based on the idea of looking down a microscope eyepiece.
We’ve been using Firefox for a while as its platform independent and has neat little add-ons (R-Kiosk and Block Site). In this case, the operating system is Windows 7, with a locked down user account which only has access to Firefox and the touch screen drivers.
Usually we use Google Analytics to record button events, to give us an indication of how much the interactives are being used, but Google Analytics is designed to work with regular domain websites, which is not the case when running locally from simple hard drive files. Therefore the button events are recorded by the web server through AJAX calls.
I've included a short demo video for posterity:
Fifty years of a golden reign: a souvenir of the Queen's Jubilee 
Well now, here’s a pretty thing…
A souvenir booklet celebrating the fifty year reign of Queen Victoria. It was published in 1887 by Eyre & Spottiswoode, who were the official printers to Her Majesty at that time.
Our volunteer [Alison] has been working her way through old pamphlet boxes and all manner of forgotten things and very kindly passes to me items that are interesting, unusual or just lovely to see, and this one falls into that last category.
It measures 11 x 13.5 cm, has 16 pages and, our accessions register states that it was donated to us in May 1935 by a Mr Charles Barnwell Esq.
The book also contains a poem written by Lord Tennyson especially for the occasion. Tennyson had been Poet Laureate since 1850 [after William Wordsworth's death] and held the position until his own death in 1892.
Interestingly, Eyre & Spottiswoode [established in 1845], went on to merge with Methuen Publishing in the 1970s.
All photographs in this post taken by the author.