Title:The People’s Collection Wales: Sustaining a national, collaborative, bilingual digital programme in its first decade
Authors:Tom Pert, Michael Jones, Dafydd James
Publication:MW18: Museums and the Web 2018

Casgliad y Werin Cymru - People’s Collection Wales is a collaborative and federated program developed by three of Wales’ national institutions (National Library of Wales, National Museum Wales, and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales) to tell the story of a nation from the perspective of its people, and to deliver that story bilingually.
This paper covers our journey over the past ten years; from the snatched conversations and seeds of ideas at MW2008 in Montreal, where we first formulated the concept of what a People’s Collection could be, through the first public iteration of the platform that we showcased at MW2011 in Philadelphia, to how we have sustained and strengthened the long-running partnership of our three national institutions.
Over the past decade we have worked with various contractors, revised our system architecture, migrated platforms, and developed a program of activities that support community groups and individuals throughout Wales in order to contribute to, and benefit from, the People’s Collection Wales.
Throughout this paper we will highlight the lessons we have learned, and offer insights we think might be applicable to other digital projects facing similar issues. We will also provide practical examples of how we have negotiated and overcome the challenges common to many in the sector—the expectation that we will deliver more in spite of decreasing budgets, and ensuring we remain relevant, both technologically and politically, in a rapidly evolving sector.