National Library of Wales
The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
|Reference to legal mandate||Established by Royal Charter on 19 March 1907. Supplemental Charters were given to the Library in 1911, 1978 and 2006|
|Items collected||Printed Works, Maps, Archives, Manuscripts, Audio Visual Material, Photographs, Paintings|
|Size||5M Books, 1M Maps, 800,000 Photographs, 50,000 Works of Art|
|Criteria for collection||Acquisition through purchase, bequest and legal deposit|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Library open to all. Access to reading rooms restricted to over 16s without prior permission.|
|Director||Aled Gruffydd Jones|
|Staff||around 350 FTE|
History and buildings
In 1873, a committee was set up to collect Welsh material and house it at University College, Aberystwyth. In 1905, the government promised money in its Budget, and the Privy Council appointed a committee to decide on the location of the two institutions. Aberystwyth was selected as the location of the library after a bitter fight with Cardiff, partly because a collection was already available in the College. Sir John Williams, physician and book collector, had also said he would present his collection (in particular, the Peniarth collection of manuscripts) to the library if it were established in Aberystwyth. He also eventually gave £20,000 to build and establish the library. Cardiff was eventually selected as the location of the National Museum of Wales. The library and museum were established by Royal Charter on 19 March 1907.
Designed by architect Sidney Greenslade who won the competition to design the building in 1909, the building at Grogythan, off Penglais Hill, was first occupied in 1916. The central block, or corps de logis, was added by Charles Holden to a modified version of Greenslade's design. In 1996, a large new storage building was opened, and in recent years many changes have been made to the front part of the building. A new Royal Charter was granted in 2006. The second phase of the build was built by T. Alun Evans (Aberystwyth) Ltd.
- John Ballinger (1909–1930)
- William Llewelyn Davies (1930–1952)
- Thomas Parry (1953–1958)
- E. D. Jones (1958–1969)
- David Jenkins (1969–1979)
- R. Geraint Gruffydd (1980–1985)
- Brynley F. Roberts (1985–1994)
- J. Lionel Madden (1994–1998)
- Andrew M. Green (1998–2013)
- Aled Gruffydd Jones (from August 2013)
The building houses over 4 million printed volumes, including many rare books such as the first book printed in Welsh (Yny lhyvyr hwnn, 1546) and the first Welsh translation of the complete Bible (1588). It also keeps many rare and important manuscripts including the Black Book of Carmarthen (the earliest surviving manuscript entirely in Welsh), the Book of Taliesin, and a manuscript of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. As a copyright depository, it is entitled to receive a copy of every published work from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Its collecting policy is focused on Wales, Welsh-language and Celtic material.
The Library also contains the Welsh Political Archive and National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales. It also keeps maps, photographs, paintings, topographical and landscape prints, periodicals and newspapers. It also holds the largest collection of archival material in Wales.
The Library has published a series of books about its history and collections, including manuscript catalogues, a bibliography of Welsh publications, Parish Registers of Wales, and academic studies of Gwen John, Kyffin Williams and others. The Library also publishes the National Library of Wales Journal.
The Library releases metadata into the public domain using the CC-O licence.
In April 2012, the Library made a brave policy decision not to claim ownership of copyright in digital reproductions. This meant that the rights information attached to digital representations of works would reflect the copyright status of the original (i.e. that originals in the public domain would remain in the public domain in their digital form). The Library has applied this policy to projects delivered since then (the Welsh Journals Online and Cymru1914) and is still in the process of updating rights information for its pre-2012 projects.
In February 2013, the Library contributed 50 images relating to Monmouthshire to Wikipedia, a successful Pilot project with Wikimedia UK. The following month, they became one of the cultural heritage organisations that partnered with Wikimedia Nederland, Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia France, together with Europeana, to be part of as part of their collaboration to provide a set of tools to mass upload material from GLAM institutions onto Wikimedia Commons.
Also in 2013, the Library was the winner of the Wikimedia UK 'GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) of the Year Award', as being 'a reliable supporter of the Wikimedia movement aims.’
The Library also has experience of sharing content from its collections under open content licences on platforms such as Wikipedia (eg from the John Thomas photographic collection) and Flickr. Many of the most important manuscripts and books at the Library have been digitised and made freely available to view on the library's website in its Digital Mirror. The Library intends to have digitised much of its image, sound and print collections by 2018.
Chwarel Sets, at Trefor; John Thomas c. 1875
An image from the Geoff Charles (1909-2002) Collection: a Sunday school trip to Rhyl; Geoff Charles 20 July 1955
Welsh Journals Online
The National Library of Wales has digitised the back-numbers of 50 journals relating to Wales, in Welsh and English, in the Welsh Journals Online project funded by JISC. It forms the largest body of Welsh text on the Web, and as well as allowing free access for all to scholarly articles on history, literature and science, and poems and book reviews. OCR of the page scans was undertaken to create TEI searchable text versions. The website contains a total of 400,000 pages. It is intended to add new issues of the titles as they emerge from the embargo period agreed with the publisher.
- Archaeologia Cambrensis 1846–1999
- Yr Arloeswr ('the pioneer') 1957–1960
- Bathafarn 1946–2003
- Brycheiniog 1955–2006
- Bwletin Cymdeithas Emynau Cymru ('bulletin of the Welsh hymns society') 1968–2003
- Cambria: a Welsh geographical review 1974–1989
- Cennad ('messenger') 1980–2001
- Ceredigion 1951–2004
- Y Cofiadur ('the recorder') 1923–2002
- Contemporary Wales 1987–2001
- Cristion ('Christian') 1983–2006
- Y Cymmrodor 1822–1951
- Cymru 1891–1927
- Efrydiau Athronyddol 1938–2000
- Fflam, Y ('the flame') 1946–1952
- Y ford gron ('the round table') 1930-1935
- Gower 1948–2005
- Gwent Local History, the journal of Gwent Local History Council 1977–2006
- Y Gwyddonydd ('the scientist') 1963–1996
- Heddiw ('today') 1936–1942
- Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society 1985–2004
- Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society 1910–1984
- Journal of Welsh ecclesiastical history 1984–1992
- Journal of Welsh Religious History 1993–2005
- Llafur ('labour'), the journal of the Society for the Study of Welsh Labour History 1972–2004
- Y Llenor ('the reader') 1922–1955
- Lleufer: cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Addysg y Gweithwyr yng Nghymru (Journal of the Workers' Educational Association in Wales) 1944–1979
- Minerva: transactions of the Royal Institution of South Wales 1993–2003
- Montgomeryshire collections, relating to Montgomeryshire and its borders 1868–2002
- Morgannwg, transactions of the Glamorgan Local History Society 1957–2006
- National Library of Wales Journal 1939–2005
- Nature in Wales, the quarterly journal of the West Wales Field Society 1955–1987
- Pembrokeshire historian, journal of the Pembrokeshire Local History Society 1959–1981
- Presenting Monmouthshire, the journal of the Monmouthshire Local History Council (now Gwent Local History Council) 1956–1975
- Proceedings of the South Wales Institute of Engineers 1857–1998
- Radnorshire Society Transactions 1931–2004
- Reports and Transactions, Cardiff Naturalists' Society 1867–1986
- South Wales Record Society publications 1987–1994
- Studia Celtica 1966–2000
- Tir Newydd ('new land') 1935–1939
- Y Traethodydd ('the essayist') 1845–2006
- Transactions and archaeological record, Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society 1911–1938
- Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion 1892–2005
- Wales 1937–1959
- Welsh book studies (Llyfr yng Nghymru)) 1998–2007
- Welsh history review (Cylchgrawn hanes cymru) 1959–2001
- Welsh music history 1996–2004
- Welsh outlook 1914–1933
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to National Library of Wales.|
- Welsh Language Scheme: 2006 at NLW Official website. Retrieved 27 April 2013
- "About NLW". NLW official website.
- Wmffre, Iwan, 'National Library', The Place-Names of Cardiganshire, Vol. III, pp. 980–981 (BRA British Series 379 (III), 2004, ISBN 1-84171-665-0)
- National Library of Wales fire investigation to begin BBC news, Mid Wales, 27 April 2013]
- Fire at National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth BBC News 26 April 2013
- NLW Board Minutes, 27 September 2013 at official website
- 'New National Librarian' – University of Aberystwyth Newsletter – 25 February 2013
- "The first printed Welsh book: Yny lhyvyr hwnn (1546)". NLW official website.
- "Welsh Bible 1588". NLW official website.
- "The Black Book of Carmarthen". NLW official website.
- "The book of Taliesin : digital version". NLW official website.
- "The Hengwrt Chaucer". NLW official website.
- "The Welsh Political Archive". NLW official website.
- "National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales". at NLW official website.
- "The Map Collection". NLW official website.
- "The National Collection of Welsh Photographs". NLW official website.
- "The Picture Collection". NLW official website.
- "Welsh Newspapers Online". NLW official website.
- "List of the newspapers that have been identified for digitisation". NLW official website.
- "Man stole 50 maps from library". BBC News. 8 October 2004.
- "£70,000 rare map thief is jailed". BBC News. 22 December 2004.
- "Digital Mirror". NLW official website.
- "Wales politics Library's £20m digital project". BBC News. 1 October 2008.
- Welsh Journals Online at NLW official website
- Publications available at NLW official website
- List of the journals that have been identified for digitisation at NLW official website
- Jenkins, David A Refuge in Peace and War—The National Library of Wales to 1952, Aberystwyth 2002; ISBN 1-86225-034-0
- Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (the University of Wales' Dictionary of the Welsh Language)
- The National Library of Wales official website
- National Library of Wales: Collections Key to LLGC collections, including digitised
- The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales
- Welsh Journals Online
- National Library of Wales Journal, Contents 1939–2000, UK & Ireland Genealogy (Genuki)