Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture

Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture (formerly Mercator - Media) was established in 1988 as a direct result of the European Parliament recommendation that EC Member State Governments and the European Commission take positive action to recognize regional and minority languages. From its very beginning, the mission of the Institute was to gather, store, analyse and distribute information on regional and minority languages within the European Union as part of the Network of specialist research centres.

Today, the Mercator Institute is based at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, IAH, Aberystwyth University, Wales. It hosts a number of projects specialising in languages, creative and literary translation, media, publishing and culture, with much of the activity based around a wide network of institutions, universities, companies, agencies, associations and individuals across Europe and increasingly in other parts of the world. Minority languages are central to the Mercator Institute's vision, and most of its projects have a specific focus on these languages and their contexts.

Please see below for a portfolio of current projects.

Literature Across Frontiers

Literature Across Frontiers‌ ‌

Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) is a European Platform for Literary Exchange, Translation and Policy Debate. LAF aims to develop intercultural dialogue through literature and translation and highlight lesser-translated literatures. Based at Aberystwyth University, Wales, LAF works in partnership  with organisations and individuals across Europe and beyond on a range of activities creating opportunities for new literary connections, acting as a catalyst for collaborations and projects, as well as monitoring translation activities and debating policy in the field of literature and translation.

Since 2001 LAF has been supported by a number of external programmes and institutions, including The Culture Programme of the European Union, Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland, Anna Lindh Foundation for Intercultural Dialogue, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Rene Seydoux Foundation, British Council and many more. 

Wales Literature Exchange

Wales Literature Exchange ‌

 Wales Literature Exchange is the translation junction connecting writers, translators and publishers in Wales and abroad. Based in the unofficial cultural capital of Wales, Aberystwyth, the Exchange is committed to literary translation as a necessary element in a delicate ecology. Respect for human relations and their context in the world are vital to international exchange, and so we travel consciously, always asking why and how. The Exchange is small, but many things: an agency facilitating the sale of translation rights, a translation grant fund for publishers, a workshop bringing together writers and translators, a library of translations, and a curator of translation events. In essence, we are a window between Wales and the world.

Since 2013, WLE has been a partner in project Schwob: A European Gateway to the Best Unknown Books, supported by The Culture Programme of the European Union

Mercator Networks LEARNMe project

Mercator Networks LEARNMe project (Language and Education Addressed through Research and Networking by Mercator)

Less widely spoken languages have very special needs when it comes to education. Often practitioners but also policy makers are overstrained when it comes to finding solutions for these needs. The LEARNMe project 2012-2015is an EU-funded project providing policy guidelines and recommendations for policy stakeholders in the field as well as for practitioners. These guidelines and recommendations are meant to provide a very practical outline of how multilingual needs of less used languages can be approached. We furthermore will find out how implicit or explicit policies on multilingualism and linguistic diversity can be effective through education and for what purposes.

The project is supported by Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union

Catalogue of Translations into Welsh

Catalogue of Translations into Welsh

This is a project to compile a new descriptive Catalogue of Translations into Welsh, an online catalogue that brings together translations that are of academic interest in the Arts, the Humanities, and the Social Sciences. There are over 650 items in the catalogue so far, and they represent translations from over 30 different languages. Amongst them one may find items in the fields of Literature, Drama, Poetry, Geography, Philosophy, History, the Study of Religion, Education, Agricultural Sciences and many more. The scope of the catalogue is very broad, containing as it does examples of printed texts, unpublished works, typescripts, official documents, audio and video recordings, and items that are still in the possession of the original translator. You can browse the catalogue by clicking the following link -

The project is funded by the Strategic Development Fund of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.



This pilot project involves wide consultation and is intended to lead to a programme of commissioning key academic texts into Welsh, thus providing a valuable resource for those teaching or carrying out research through the medium of Welsh. It derives from the Catalogue of Translations into Welsh project (see above) which revealed not only the wealth of texts which have already been translated into Welsh, but where the gaps are, and where the demand is for further translation. The pilot project also aims to identify specialists and translators essential to the success of the programme whether they work inside or outside the academic community, and within Wales or beyond.

As part of the consultation process, the Mercator team developed an online survey, to be circulated both in Wales and among wider academic community. The survey (which can be found here) will be a valuable source of feedback on the texts proposed already and suggestions for further expansion of the list. All contributions are welcome!

The project is funded by the Strategic Development Fund of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

Digital Explorations

Digital Explorations

In recognition of the benefits of deepening the relationships between arts organisations and schools, in 2014 Arts Council of Wales initiated a new R&D project ‘Digital Explorations’. This pilot initiative supported two partnerships (consisting in each case of an arts organisation, a school, and a digital producer) embarking on a creative and experimentative journey to develop two separate projects. In both cases the overarching aim was to explore how digital technology in conjunction with iterative Y&D can stimulate new collaborative projects, enhance relationships between the partners and address geographic barriers and communications problems. Mercator Institute for Media Languages and Culture was engaged in the project as a research partner, responsible for monitoring, analysing and facilitating design and implementation of the project activities, as well compilation of the final report, due to be submitted soon. 

‌The project is funded by Arts Council of Wales.


ReDraw – Research Development for Digital Arts in Wales

RE-DrAW is an academic consortium led by the University of South Wales working with Aberystwyth University and the University of Surrey, supporting the aims of the Digital R & D fund for Wales “to enable the use of digital technologies in the arts sector to engage audiences in new ways and to create opportunities for new business models”.The consortium explores the implications of the digital economy within Wales and helps good ideas happen through active co-creation and action research approaches.

Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones is one of Research Leads in a number of projects implemented by the consortium:

Supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts in Wales - Nesta, Arts & Humanities Research Council and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council of Wales

Contact For This Page

Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Director of Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture, Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, ILLCA

Tel: +44 (0)1970 622533, Fax: +44 (0) 1970 622831, Email: