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Universities in Wales and Brittany to work together to explore historical links between the two Celtic nations

03 Dec 2022 2 minute read
A march in Brittany. Picture by Kergourlay (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Universities in Wales and Brittany will work together to explore the historical links between the two Celtic nations.

Researchers at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies will join up with those at the Centre de Recherche Bretonne et Celtique in Brest on the project.

The Breton and Welsh languages are closely related as they all belong to the Brythonic branch of the Celtic language family.

The research will involve studying and digitising documents about Brittany held at the National Library in Aberystwyth, as well as research trips and workshops held in Brest.

Ronan Calvez, Director of the Centre de Recherche Bretonne et Celtique at the University of Brest said: “Researchers at the CRBC are delighted at this opportunity to work on the Breton archival holdings in Wales, a largely untapped resource that certainly merits attention.

“Moreover, this academic work will reinforce cross-channel links between researchers.”

‘Very important’

The researchers have received money from the CollEx-Persée funding body in France to complete the work.

The project aims to enrich, digitise, and widen access to some of the documents held in the Breton archives in Wales. In addition researchers will link these key documents to those held in archives in Brittany and in France, and so allow a fuller picture of how Wales and Brittany have interacted over the last two centuries.

Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Director of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, said: “This is a very important research project that is further evidence of the strong strategic collaboration between the three partner institutions: the CRBC in Brittany, the National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, with each of us bringing our expertise to the table for the benefit of scholars, the heritage sector and communities in Wales, Brittany and internationally.”

Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian of the National Library of Wales, said: “This project will facilitate and enhance access for users and audiences beyond those who can access the content of the collections locally, and it its current form.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

I know that if I was a Hanes Cymru student in Aber right now I would want to be part of this…but push the timeline back several thousand years…

George Thomas
George Thomas
1 year ago


Dean Thomas
Dean Thomas
1 year ago

There is a growing working relationship between Breizh and Cymru, as we acknowledge how parallel are our lives and social and political conditions. This project adds to the mix, and is most welcome. Let us hope that we see even more engagements of this type.

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