Amgueddfa Blog

Roedd sawl cariad gan Richard Burton yn ei fywyd ond yn llai adnabyddus oedd ei gariad gydol oes at lyfrau.

‘...my ‘first love’...is not the stage. It is a lovely book with words in it.’
Dyddiadur Richard, 20 Mawrth 1969

Dechreuodd y ‘cariad’ yma gydio yn Richie Jenkins yn ystod ei ddyddiau ysgol yn Nhai-bach, Port Talbot. Yn Ysgol Eastern, dysgodd ei athro, Meredith Jones, ef i werthfawrogi harddwch geiriau ac iaith, yn Gymraeg ac yn Saesneg. Pan oedd yn ddeuddeg oed, dechreuodd Richard gasglu llyfrau gan brynu argraffiadau poced ‘Everyman Library’ o rai o’r clasuron. Nododd Richard yn ei ddyddiadur flynyddoedd yn ddiweddarach bod ganddo tua 300 ohonynt erbyn iddo gyrraedd ei ugeiniau ac roedd yn uchelgais ers ei blentyndod i fod yn berchen ar y casgliad cyfan.

Hyd yn oed yn ei arddegau, roedd gan Richard awch at lyfrau a gofnododd yn ei dyddiadur ym 1939-40, pan yn bedwar ar ddeg oed. Mae’n cyfeirio at ‘aros i mewn’ i ddarllen llyfr a tro arall honnodd ei fod yn darllen hyd at dri llyfr mewn dau ddiwrnod. Byddai’n ymweld yn rheolaidd â llyfrgell y dref ar Heol Commercial, Tai-bach - dyma oedd ei ‘hoff encil’ yn ôl ei frawd. Ymhlith y llyfrau a ddarllenodd yn ei arddegau oedd gweithiau gan Dickens a Shakespeare. Ond o 1942 ymlaen, o dan ddylanwad ei athro Saesneg a’i fentor, Philip Burton, y daeth llyfrau, ac yn arbennig Shakespeare yn rhan hollbwysig o fywyd Richard.

‘No other writer hit me with quite the same impact as William S. What a stupendous God he was, he is.’
Dyddiadur Richard, 14 Gorffennaf 1970

Llenor arall a gafodd gryn ddylanwad ar Richard oedd Dylan Thomas. Roedd Richard wedi edmygu ei waith ers yn ifanc ac wedi iddo chwarae rhan y ‘Llais Cyntaf’ yn Under Milk Wood ym 1954, daeth ei lais yn gysylltiedig â gwaith y bardd. Roedd dylanwad Thomas hefyd yn amlwg ar yr ychydig gerddi a gyfansoddodd Richard ac yn arbennig ei lyfr am ei atgofion plentyndod, A Christmas Story a gyhoeddwyd ym 1964.

Rhwng 1965-72, tra roedd Richard ar binacl ei yrfa ffilm, ysgrifennodd gyfres o ddyddiaduron sy’n datgelu tipyn amdano fel darllenwr brwd. Mae’r cofnod cyntaf yn nyddiadur 1965 yn cyfeirio ato’n darllen Encyclopaedia Britannica gyda’i wraig, Elizabeth Taylor. Roedd yn derbyn llyfrau fel anrhegion gan deulu a ffrindiau oedd yn gwybod yn union sut i’w blesio. Ar ei ben-blwydd yn 46, prynodd Elizabeth gopi o The Complete Oxford Dictionary mewn microprint gyda chwyddwydr iddo:

‘To a bibliomaniac it is a thrilling present.’
Dyddiadur Richard, 11 Tachwedd 1971

Tro arall, prynodd Elizabeth y casgliad cyfan o’r llyfrau poced ‘Everyman Library’ i Richard, wedi’i rwymo mewn lledr lliwgar. Ym mis Medi 1969 daeth y cyfle i Richard eu dadbacio yn ei lyfrgell yn Chalet Arial, Gstaad:

‘It is a fantastic reference library with the index in my head. I shall browse in that place for the rest of my life.’
Dyddiadur Richard, 29 Medi 1969

Blynyddoedd yn ddiweddarach, pan roedd Richard yn briod â Susan Hunt, cafodd ‘anrheg achub-bywyd’ ganddi i ddathlu eu pen-blwydd priodas – silffoedd llyfrau symudol wedi eu peintio’n goch, ei hoff liw:

‘...immensely durably strong which, at a rough calculation will hold a hundred or so really thick tomes and I suppose twice that number of paperbacks...I can’t stop musing at it.’
Dyddiadur Richard, 22 Awst 1980

Nid oes syndod fod Richard angen lle i storio ei lyfrau gan ei fod yn darllen cymaint ag ar raddfa aruthrol. Pan roedd ganddo amser, byddai’n darllen sawl llyfr mewn diwrnod a tra roedd yn gweithio, roedd yn edrych ymlaen at y cyfle nesaf i brynu mwy o lyfrau.

‘[...] I am reading anything and everything. Most days I read at least 3 books and one day recently I read 5!’
Dyddiadur Richard, 24 Ebrill 1969

‘I can’t wait for my next day off to augment my library.’
Dyddiadur Richard, 5 Tachwedd 1971

Roedd gan Richard lyfrgelloedd ym mhob un o’i gartrefi ar draws y byd yn y Swistir, Mecsico, ac ar ei gwch pleser, Kalizma. Wrth deithio’r byd, byddai’n cario casgliad o lyfrau yn ei fag pwrpasol, fel llyfrgell symudol. Ynghyd â chloriau meddal, roedd y bag hwn wastad yn cynnwys gweithiau cyflawn Shakespeare, Oxford Book of English Verse a geiriaduron, yn ddibynol ar ba iaith roedd yn ei ddysgu ar y pryd. Mae’n debyg yr oedd yn cadw copi o In Parenthesis gan David Jones wrth ei wely o hyd. Cofiodd ei ferch, Kate Burton, un achlysur pan gollodd y llyfr a tra roedd yn chwilio amdano yn ei lyfrgell yn Céligny, y Swistir, cwympodd y copi allan o’r silff lyfrau y tu ôl iddo!

Er mai canran fechan o lyfrgell gwreiddiol Richard sy’n cael ei harddangos yn Bywyd Richard Burton, mae’n datgelu ystod eang ei ddarllen. Ei brif ddiddordeb oedd llenyddiaeth ond roedd hefyd yn mwynhau darllen cofiannau, llyfrau hanes a gwleidyddiaeth a nofelau ditectif. Mae nifer o’i lyfrau yn cynnwys nodyn gan y rhoddwr - teulu, ffrindiau a llenorion a oedd yn gwybod y byddai pob llyfr yn cael ei werthfawrogi a’i drysori gan Richard yn ei lyfrgell, ei hoff encil, yn ei eiriau ef: ‘the best cell ever for a literary man’.

Llyfrgell Richard Burton yn Le Pays de Galles, Céligny, y Swistir

Llyfrgell Richard Burton yn Le Pays de Galles, Céligny, y Swistir
© Archif Richard Burton

Dechreuodd y BBC ddarlledu yng Nghymru ar 13 Chwefror 1923, gyda’r darllediad radio cyhoeddus cyntaf yn dod o Gaerdydd. Mae Amgueddfa Cymru mewn partneriaeth â BBC Cymru yn cynllunio arddangosfa i ddangos sut y bu’r BBC yn ‘rhannu, addysgu a darparu adloniant’ i bobl Cymru dros y 100 mlynedd ddiwethaf.

Byddwn yn plymio i archif helaeth y BBC ac yn pori drwy ein storfeydd yn Amgueddfa Cymru i gael gafael ar ddelweddau, clipiau ffilm a gwrthrychau, ond mae angen mwy arnom.

Rydym yn awyddus i glywed eich straeon a’ch atgofion CHI. Pa eiliadau yn hanes y BBC sydd wedi aros gyda chi a pham? Pa sianeli neu orsafoedd radio ydych chi wedi eu mwynhau fwyaf? Beth yw eich atgofion o deledu a radio’r BBC dros y Nadolig?

Ynghyd â’ch straeon, hoffem glywed os oes gennych unrhyw gofroddau o’r BBC; teganau o’ch hoff raglenni teledu, sticeri, bathodynnau, posteri, crysau-T.

Cysylltwch a ni dros ebost - casglu@amgueddfacymru.ac.uk

Helo unwaith eto Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn! Mae llwyth o dywydd amrywiol i gofnodi yn ddiweddar – gwelsom ni iâ ac eira i heulwen hardd a phob dim arall rhyngddynt!  Efallai eich bod yn tybio am effaith yr holl dywydd gwahanol yma ar eich Bylbiau Bychan – peidiwch â phoeni cyfeillion, mae eich Bylbiau Bychan yn hapus i ymlacio ym mhob math o dywydd.  Gallant wrthsefyll glaw, rhwystro’r rhew a goroesi’r gwres yn hawdd!

Yn sôn am dywydd, hoffaf ddweud diolch i’r holl Gyfeillion y Gwanwyn a’u hathrawon am barhau i lanlwytho eu data tywydd lle’n bosib.  Plîs peidiwch â phryderi os ni allwch lanlwytho data ar hyn o bryd – deallwn wrth gwrs fod amodau pawb yn unigryw sy’n hollol ffein!

Mae nifer o Gyfeilion y Gwanwyn wedi gweld blodau ar eu crocysau a’u cennin Pedr sydd yn wych!  Rhaid bod hwn yn deimlad arbennig i weld effaith eich gwaith caled.  Rydw i wastad y mwynhau clywed sôn am Fylbiau Bychan sydd wedi tyfu i mewn i flodau hardd felly cofiwch gadw cofnod o’r dyddiad pryd sylwch chi’r blodyn gyntaf a rhowch wybod i mi trwy gofnodi’r dyddiad ar wefan Bylbiau’r Gwanwyn.  Mae pob Cyfaill y Gwanwyn yn edrych ar ôl Bylb Bychan eu hun, felly mewn dosbarth o 25 er enghraifft, bydd 25 dyddiad i lanlwytho i’r wefan.  Athrawon – os sylwch nifer o flodau wrth i chi ddychwelyd i’r dosbarth, gallwch ddefnyddio’r dyddiad dychwelyd fel y dyddiad blodeuo, jyst cofiwch adael sylwad ar y wefan i fy atgoffa!

Peidiwch â phoeni os nad ydy’ch Bylbiau Bych wedi blodeuo eto, mae’n bosib bod y tywydd oer diweddar wedi eu harafu ychydig.  Dwi’n siŵr welwch chi flodau dros yr wythnosau nesaf wrth i’r tywydd cynhesu!

Wrth gwrs mae nifer o Gyfeillion y Gwanwyn dal i fod i ffwrdd o’r ysgol a’u Bylbiau Bychan.  Peidiwch â phryderi os nad ydych wedi gweld eich Bylbiau Bychan am sbel, bydden nhw’n hollol iawn yn yr ysgol!  Gobeithio bydd Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn yn ôl yn y dosbarth yn fuan, ond wrth i ni aros am hynny rydw i wedi paratoi pecyn gweithgareddau hwylus i geisio oddi adref!  Mae’r gweithgareddau yn ymwneud a’r tywydd a garddio a byddant yn help mawr os ydych yn colli eich Bylbiau Bychan.  Beth am roi cynnig arnynt a rhannu eich gwaith caled ar Drydar?  Fy nolen yw @Professor_Plant a chofiwch ddefnyddio’r hashnod #CyfeillionYGwanwyn!

Diolch o galon i bawb am eich gwaith caled ac ymroddiad Cyfeillion, athrawon a rhieni.  Rydych i gyd yn sêr!

Garddio Hapus!

Athro’r Ardd.

How to Name Nature

My Professional Training Year placement in the Natural Sciences Department at National Museum Cardiff has been going for a few months now and we are making great progress! We have gotten to the stage where it is time to name the new species of shovel head worm (Magelonidae) that we have spent many months describing and drawing. Shovel head worms are a type of marine bristle worm.

So, the big question is, how exactly do scientists name the new species they discover? 

All species are named using a system called binomial nomenclature, also known as the two-term naming system. This system is primarily credited to Carl Linnaeus in 1753 but there is evidence suggesting the system was used as early as 1622 by Gaspard Bauhin. You will know them as the Latin names for organisms or scientific names. These names are firstly formed of a generic name, identifying the genus the species belongs to and a specific name, identifying the species. For example, the binomial name for humans is Homo sapiensHomo is the genus, which also includes our ancestors like the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) but if you want to specifically refer to modern humans you add the species name, sapiens. So, Homo sapiens is what you get.

Today, binomial nomenclature is primarily governed by two internationally agreed code of rules, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICNafp). Across the two codes the rules are generally the same but with slight differences. As my work focuses on naming animals, I will focus on the rules set out by the ICZN.

The first step in naming a new species is figuring out exactly what to name it after. There are generally 3 main ways to pick a name.

Firstly, you can pick a physical trait of the animal. This trait usually makes it stand out from the other species in its genus. This is my preferred method of naming because it gives people an impression of what it is like just by its name. For example, European robins are given the binomial name Erithacus rubecula and rubecula is derived from the Latin ruber, meaning red which emphasises the robin’s iconic red breast.

An example of a shovel head worm with a name like this is Magelona cepiceps, translating from the Latin cepa for onion and ceps referring to the head. This relates to the shape of the ‘head’ (prostomium) of the worm resembling an onion!

Secondly, you could name the new species after the place it was discovered. It’s not as descriptive as naming the animal after a physical feature but tells you where you may find it. The binomial name for the Canada Goose is Branta canadensis, displaying that although the bird is a common sight in many places thanks to its introduction, it is originally from Canada.

A shovel head worm with a regional scientific name is Magelona mahensis, indicating that it is from the island of Mahé in the Seychelles.

 

 

 

 

Lastly, you can name it after someone. Of course, a person’s first instinct might be to try and name a species after themselves. The ICZN doesn’t have a rule explicitly against this but it is seen as a sign of vanity. But perhaps if you name enough species in your field, eventually someone may name a species after you. This is my least favourite way to name species because it may not tell you anything about the species at all, but it is nice to give honour to those that are important to us or those who have put in a lot of work in the field. For example, in honour of Sir David Attenborough’s 90th birthday a dragonfly was named after him, taking the name Acisoma attenboroughi. Attenborough has inspired so many scientists that he has around 34 species named after him currently. There is a shovel head worm named Magelona johnstoni which is named after Dr George Johnston, one of the first scientists to describe shovel head worms.

While the names can be taken from words in any language they must be spelt out in the Roman alphabet, ensuring they can be universally read. Many binomial names are formed of words from ancient Greek but have been Latinised. Typically, if you have selected a physical feature it is translated into Greek or Latin. There are several books specifically written for helping scientists translate and create new species names.

To Latinise the name, you have selected you have to make sure it follows the rules of Latin grammar. This is where it gets a little complicated as you have to start considering the genus name of the species. Latin has masculine, feminine and neutral words, you can tell this by how the word ends. The gender of the genus name will affect the ending and gender of your species name.

And with that information you are just about ready to name your species!

It might seem like a lot of things to consider when you are naming a new species, believe me I never expected to know this much about Latin grammar! But these rules are incredibly important to ensure we can orderly name and keep track of each of the fascinating organisms that are discovered and allows everyone to universally understand which animals scientists are talking about. Especially when you consider that there are over 12,000 known marine bristleworms globally and that number is increasing.

Once all of the drawings and descriptions are complete, the scientific paper goes through a peer-reviewed process where other experts in the field consider your decision to describe and name the new species. If the reviewers agree the species is formally described and those that were involved are now the species authorities. In scientific journals the species name will be written down followed by the names of those who described it and the year it was described. So, while you might not name a species after yourself, whenever the species is mentioned you will get recognition for the work you have done.

So, what will our new species be called?........Well, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out........

The launch of Lambcam 2021 seems like the perfect opportunity to think about the world of the very first farmers in Wales. This takes us back around 6000 years, to the beginning of the Neolithic period, a time when the hunting and gathering ways that had governed life for millennia were being challenged for the first time. Here we’ll take a quick look at three Early Neolithic innovations – farming, stone axes and pottery. 

Farming fundamentally altered how people interacted with their environment. The wild woodlands that covered most of Britain started to be cleared using axes and fire creating areas suitable for animals and new cereal crops. Seasonal rhythms that had previously encouraged movement around the landscape became tied to the demands of cultivating crops and raising animals for milk, meat, skins and hair. 

Today sheep are a familiar sight grazing on the Welsh hills but before 4000BCE people living in Britain would have been more used to aurochs (wild cattle measuring 1.8m at the shoulder), red deer, wild boar and wolves than exotic creatures like the domestic sheep! That said, a Neolithic sheep might challenge our modern expectations of what it is to be a sheep! They were much smaller with shorter, brown wiry hair rather than having the fluffy white wool we’re more familiar with – something like the modern Soay sheep found in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. 

Polished stone axes were another Neolithic innovation! The Public History and Archaeology department holds over 1,200 ‘roughouts’ and finished axes that have been found across Wales.  

Many stone axes come from specific rock outcrops that were returned to over many years. In these remote places, stone was quarried and roughly shaped before being taken elsewhere to be finished and polished into fine axes. Sometimes axes are found considerable distances from their original outcrops – this helps archaeologists to understand the ways different groups of Neolithic people might have been connected.  

Making and finishing a stone axe was a time-consuming business - it took hours of polishing with sand and water to create the smooth, polished surface.  

Some axes would have been practical tools, used for felling trees, shaping wood or even as weapons. Others are incredibly beautiful and finely made. These may have been used to show prestige, status and connection to special places or groups of people. 

Most of us have a favorite tea mug, breakfast bowl or plant pot so it’s hard to imagine a time when pottery did not exist. For the first farmers, pottery was the latest technology! Wet clay was shaped and changed into hard ceramic in a bonfire – this might have seemed magical at first, but it quickly caught on and pottery use spread across Wales. The first pots were simple bowls with rounded bases that were good for resting on the ground. They could be used for cooking, serving and storing food or to hold liquids such as soups and stews.