League of Nations 1926 Visit to Aber
22 June 2016
A display is being held in Aberystwyth University's Hugh Owen Library to commemorate the visit of the International Federation of League of Nations Societies to the town exactly 90 years ago.
The display contains a number of different objects relating to the visit, including photos and newspaper extracts from the time.
But why Aberystwyth? In 1926, celebrations were to be held to commemorate Germany’s admission to the League of Nations after its imposed exile following World War I. Dresden was to have been the venue but after objections were raised at a meeting in March 1926, threatening the celebrations, it was decided that Aberystwyth was to be the venue.
One of the leaders, and main financial backer, of the League of Nations Societies in Wales and Great Britain was David Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, grandson of the famous David Davies. As well as being a businessman and philanthropist, he was also President of Aberystwyth University, and in order to save the 1926 congress he offered Aberystwyth as an alternative venue.
His offer was accepted, and following three months of preparations by Aberystwyth Corporation, University officials and the ready cooperation of the residents of Aberystwyth and surrounding areas, a successful congress was held between 29 June and 3 July 1926.
The list of places that the Federation visited before and after 1926 shows that Aberystwyth – and Wales – was in very good company: 1919 Paris. 1919 London. 1919 Brussels. 1920 Milan. 1920 Geneva. 1922 Prague. 1923 Vienna. 1924 Lyon. 1925 Warsaw. 1926 Aberystwyth. 1927 Berlin. 1928 The Hague. 1928 Prague. 1929 Madrid. 1934 Brussels. 1936 Geneva.
The display has been curated by Elgan Davies, Information Services Research Fellow at Aberystwyth University and can be seen at the Hugh Owen Library until 29th of July 2016. The opening hours are between 8.30 and 5.30 Monday to Friday during the vacation.