A wealth of nostalgic and historic artefacts, each with unique stories from the past, are being shared by ahead of Explore Your Archives Week (November 21 - 29).

Items uncovered include records of the Caernarfon cholera epidemic of 1866, an emoji letter from the 1800s, school dinner menus from the 1960s, a Christmas plans letter from a south Wales miner fighting in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, and a Green Shield Stamp catalogue showing off the must-have Christmas presents of the 1960s.

This range of intriguing documents, images and records have been shared by Archives services across Wales as part of Explore Your Archive week, which is organised by the UK Archives and Records Association, and supported in Wales by Archives and Records Council Wales.

North Wales Chronicle: Emoji love letter from the 1800sEmoji love letter from the 1800s

The annual week-long campaign encourages people across Wales to discover something new and exciting within the nation’s archives, whether that’s delving into your own family history or finding out the stories about the people and places at the heart of Welsh communities.

Archives Wales promotes the work of Welsh Archive Services and the country’s rich documentary heritage.

Ordinarily, services across Wales, based in local authority record offices, national institutions and universities would invite the public to join them at a variety of events, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s campaign will be held digitally. People across Wales and the world are being encouraged to log on to online archives to connect with the country’s past.

The Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “Archives remain a vital resource for understanding our national, community and personal histories in these unprecedented times.

"While people may not be able to visit our archive services physically at the moment, this campaign will highlight how we can still access our rich archival heritage online.

"I would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to find out more about what our archives offer for them, and explore the stories of local people, families, businesses and organisations held within these records.”

Hayden Burns, Chair of Archives and Records Council Wales, said: “We are delighted to participate in the Explore Your Archives week once again this year. The campaign provides an excellent opportunity to educate everyone about the value of archives and the importance of protecting and preserving our documentary heritage.

“The historic collections held by Welsh archive services are the documented memory of the people, events and places of Wales. They tell our stories and in doing so, they connect us with the past and give us a sense of identity.”

To start exploring, why not visit your local archive service online – https://archives.wales/welsh-archive-repositories/