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Geoff Charles

The Collection

The National Library of Wales holds a valuable collection of 120,000 negatives of the photographer Geoff Charles.  His photographs are priceless as they chronicle various aspects of life in Wales and the Borders.  His work records far more than events and personalities; everyday life of ordinary people is also recorded and a vanished way of life is revealed in many of his photographs.

Digitising the Collection


In 2000 The National Library of Wales embarked on an ambitious programme to digitise the Geoff Charles Collection.  6000 wartime images and over 15,000 images of the period following the war up to the 1960s are now available on The National Library‚Äôs catalogue.  These include his meticulous record of the Capel Celyn community now lost forever under the waters of Tryweryn and his diligent memorial to the Urdd and National Eisteddfod festivals of the time.


This digital archive will continue to grow as more negatives are digitised and catalogued for a worldwide audience.  Even in the digital age, his collection continues to be an invaluable resource for authors, historians, students and the people of Wales and beyond.

The Website

This website will interpret and display photographs taken between 1939 and 1959.  It contains presentations on specific themes together with a selection of images that illustrate the presentations.  There will also be links at the end of each theme to specific records in the Geoff Charles Collection on the Library's catalogue, which relate to the theme.  The images and themes will portray daily life in Wales and the Borders during the Second World War and the period following the war up to 1959.


They will illustrate the effect the war had on the lives of ordinary people and the side effects the war had for a number of years afterwards.  They will also offer a glimpse of developments during the period after the war when modern society evolved.


The website will be a valuable resource for a wide range of people including those interested in the history of Wales and the borders after the Second World War and also teachers and pupils who will be able to use the website as an educational resource.