Community Toolkit: What to Do with Your Information

What to Do with Your Information


The information you gather during your research is likely to be in various forms, including:

  • Notes

  • Photographs

  • Newspaper cuttings

  • Letters

  • Diaries

  • Documents & certificates

  • Artefacts, e.g. medals, badges

  • Video and audio recordings.

You may find that you have discovered far more than you intended and you may have uncovered an important story relating to a person or community that hasn’t been told before.

We believe that it is important to share this material, with permission where necessary, so that the impact on individuals and communities in Wales during the First World War can be understood and appreciated now and in the future.   There are many ways to do this and the following are some suggestions.

People’s Collection Wales – In Wales we are very fortunate to have this Welsh Government funded, bilingual, free, non-commercial website dedicated to helping people share their photos and stories online. When you add your material to the site it is stored securely and will continue to be accessible for future generations. You can upload photographs, documents and videos, and you can create collections and stories from your own and other items on the site.

The U-Boat Project and partner museums and groups have uploaded material onto the People’s Collection Wales website, which has been collected during the project and, together with material already on the site, created collections and stories relating to the War at Sea. Why not add yours too?

It is easy to add your material to People’s Collection Wales. If you are new, you need to register on this page and then go to the upload page which takes you through the steps. There are user guides to help you.

Examples of some of the material added to the site:
Wilfred Charles Powell, Royal Naval Volunteer Reservist who served as a wireless operator onboard the minesweeper HMS Hambledon when launched in 1917. Brought to a roadshow event by David K Powell and uploaded to People’s Collection Wales by Cymry'rRhyfelMawr / Welsh Voices of the Great War. 

Combine your information and images into an easy-to-read leaflet using software such as Microsoft Publisher. The leaflet can be printed and distributed to libraries, schools, museums, tourist information centres etc. This will enable you to share your information with a range of different audiences who wouldn’t otherwise find it online.

Tip: your leaflet could be in the form of a trail, which tells the stories of different landmarks in a community, e.g. the war memorial or a master mariner’s house.

Tip: don’t make it too wordy or too long, have a balance between words and pictures.

The range of materials you have gathered and items created can be displayed together at your local library, museum, community hall or even an empty shop. There is always an interest in local stories and seeing historical material that might be new to people.

Tip: have a visitor’s book for people to leave comments. Include your contact details for people with information to get in touch.

Tip: advertise your exhibition locally in newspapers, notice boards and local radio.

Many groups welcome speakers to give a talk to their members especially if it’s a topic of local interest. A talk is a great way to share the information you’ve gathered, generate interest and gather more stories from the audience. Put together a slideshow using software like PowerPoint and write or memorise a script to go with it. Offer your talk to local groups or venues.

Tip: if you’re new to public speaking, prepare well and practise out loud on your own and family or friends.

Tip: adapt your talk to different audiences, e.g. if you’re speaking to children, find out their age-range and make your talk interesting for that age-group.

Art is a fantastic way to make history accessible, below are some creative responses by volunteers and groups exploring aspects of the war at sea. These are examples of what can be done with a group of people inspired by a story, an image or a visit to a museum or archive.

Community event
Community Toolkit: Gathering Local Stories
Community Toolkit: Finding out about the Ships and the U-Boats
Community Toolkit: Useful Websites and Publications
Community Toolkit: Finding out about the People on Board the Ships
Newspaper article in Cambria Daily Leader
Case Study: Will Gent, Engineer from Swansea
Western Mail headlines
Case Study: The SS CAMBANK, a Merchant Ship from Cardiff