The ITV archive in Wales is one of the biggest television archives in Europe and comprises around 250,000 items including cans of film, tapes and other formats.
It represents a unique cultural, social and political history of Wales over the past 60 years and contains some of the most iconic television images of the times.
They include the Aberfan disaster in 1966, the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969, the victorious British Lions tour to New Zealand in 1971, the 1984 miner’s strike and the opening of the National Assembly for Wales in 1999.
A host of stars including Richard Burton, Ivor Emmanuel, Sian Phillips,
Sir Geraint Evans and scores of presenters who were household names in their day are featured.
The collection of both English and Welsh language material which is of significant value to the Nation will be transferred to the National Library where it will be preserved and made freely available for public viewing.
Under the agreement, ITV Wales will also have full access to the archive for future broadcasts and will be free to commercially exploit the material at any time. Digital files created from the original materials will be made available to ITV Wales on request.
ITV Wales archivist Owain Meredith will work with the NLW to facilitate access and sourcing of the material and preparing content for the production of programmes (including news) and clip sales on behalf of ITV.
Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis said,
“Many of these archives are a living testament to Welsh history and offer valuable insight into how Wales has developed over the past 50 years. Preserving the archive is paramount to protect our rich and diverse culture and to enable future generations to see how events large and small have helped shape who we are today.”
Phil Henfrey, Head of News & Programmes at ITV Wales, said,
“It would be no exaggeration to describe the ITV Wales film and television archive as an absolute treasure trove of broadcasting.
“The agreement with the National Library of Wales will put this wonderful resource into public ownership for the benefit of the nation while at the same time allowing ITV to maximise the archive’s commercial and creative potential.”
The National Library of Wales Librarian, Andrew Green, said,
“The ITV archive is one the most significant additions to the Library’s collections in many years, encapsulating as it does the history of Wales during the second half of the twentieth century. As well as providing ITV with a service, the National Screen and Sound Archive will now be able to make it available for educational purposes and for use by the general public.”