PONTYPOOL Museum staff are undertaking a mammoth task to digitise their archive that is made up of around 4,000 old photographs, maps, and newspapers.

The museum’s fundraising officer, Sassy Hicks, is heading the project which will mean that the archive becomes more accessible to the public as it will be stored on a computer.

Between her everyday tasks, she is taking the time to scan documents and store them, so that they can be easily found if members of the public request information.

But she needs volunteers from the community to help her to upload the 4,000 item collection.

People can undertake free training to learn how to digitally store the items or they can help fundraise so that the museum can buy up to date digital tools as currently the museum, which is a charity, is making do with old equipment.

She said: “Only a fraction of our collection is digitised and we need around £5,000, made up of both public donations and grants to buy the equipment we need to be able to undertake the project.”

The archive is looked after by volunteers and is made up of items from all over Torfaen.

She said: “After all the items have been scanned the originals can be stored away for safe keeping so they don’t have to be exposed to light and dirt from handling as the copies can be used instead.”

People are also invited to become members of Torfaen Museum Trust. A lot of historical documents have already been digitised.

This includes items handed in as part of the £45,200 Heritage Lottery Fund project, Pontypool Townscape Project.

For more information about the archive project, contact the museum on 01495 752036 or email pontypool museum@hotmail.com