A century after the last religious revival in Wales, a recording of the voice of the most prominent leader of the movement has been discovered. The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales in Aberystwyth, says it is the only recording of Evan Roberts. A wax cylinder that contained the recording in 1905 was brought back to life by an expert in Los Angeles.
In 2002, the archive received a donation of six wax cylinders from a Barrie Davies from Tredegar. Among them was one which had a label in pencil which read: 'Revival Address, By Rev E Roberts, 18 Jan 1905 (ER).' But of the cylinders in the collection the one containing the address by Mr Roberts was the only that was damaged. The broken voice of Mr Roberts was flown to Los Angeles where Dr Michael Khanchalian, a dentist with an interest in wax cylinders, began the restoration process.
'By placing the needle on the cylinder the voice of Evan Roberts was heard for the first time in decades - and in Los Angeles of all places.' A digital copy was made in a studio in Pasadena and further work carried out at the British Library in London. 'The process of restoration has proved once again the importance of safeguarding our screen and sound heritage,' said Iestyn Hughes, head of the archive. 'Rediscovering and restoring a voice that had such an impact on the spirit and history of our nation is an important and timely event for the archive and Wales.'