Dot Dot Dash: Communicating in Wales at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth

By Jenni Davidson | 17 March 2013

Exhibition preview: Dot Dot Dash - Communicating in Wales / Cymru'n Cyfathrebu, National Library of Wales / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, Aberystwyth, until September 14 2013

A photograph of a living room decorated 1970s style
© National Library of Wales
Three dots followed by three dashes then three dots: you probably know that’s the Morse code for SOS, but have you ever needed to use it? And what about flag semaphore? Have you ever sent or received a telegram?

There has been unprecedented progress in communications during the past century. Depending on your age, communication might mean different things to you.

Perhaps you watched the first ever episode of Pobol y Cwm nearly 40 years ago and tuned in when S4C launched in 1982. If so, you probably remember black and white TVs and phones you had to dial slowly using a number in the phone book.

Maybe you can’t even conceive of a world before Twitter, Facebook, iPhones and hundreds of television channels.

A photograph of a pair of giant headphones
© National Library of Wales
Either way, Dot Dot Dash is for you. The exhibition at the National Library of Wales traces 100 years of communication history in Wales.

Seen through the eyes of a fictional character, Bryn Jones, the exhibition runs decade by decade through iconic moments in TV, film, radio and telecommunications history using audio and visual clips from the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales and objects loaned from the Museum of Communication in Fife.

It also covers the history of cartoons and illustration in Wales and features work by some of the country’s most significant cartoonists and illustrators.

On display are previously unseen sketches and animations by Mike Collins and David Roach - well-known for comic strips such as Dr.Who, Spiderman, Batman and Judge Dredd - as well as items from the library's own collection such as SuperTed cartoons, original drawings published in Llyfr Mawr y Plant and some of the earliest satirical sketches by Welsh cartoonists.

Whether you are ambling down memory lane or speeding down the information superhighway, take a trip to Dot Dot Dash.

  • Open 9.30am-6pm (5pm Saturday, closed Sunday). Admission free. Follow the library on Twitter @NLWales.

More pictures:

A photograph of an exhibition with a poster in the foreground
© National Library of Wales
A photograph of a reel to reel tape recorder
© National Library of Wales
A photograph of a microphone and a telephone
© National Library of Wales
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