Welcome to Archives Wales. Our online catalogue allows you with a single search to obtain information about more than 7,000 collections of historical records in the holdings of 21 archives in Wales. These archives are open to the public and you can use this site to plan your visit and find out more. Archives Wales forms part of the UK's National Archives Network.
Archives Wales uses existing finding aids from the 21 member repositories (lists of the contents of each collection) to create a standardised electronic description of the nature, extent, type and scope of the records, which are then searchable through the website.
The original Archives Network Wales project, which ran from 2003-2005, was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with match funding from the National Library of Wales and the other bodies forming Archives and Records Council Wales. In 2009, the site was relaunched as Archives Wales after a refurbishment overseen by the National Library of Wales and funded by CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales.
The website is maintained by Archives and Records Council Wales. The system is designed to allow the partners to continue to add records to the website.
Each repository has been asked to select their most important collections of documents. These include corporate papers and business archives, personal papers and diaries of prominent literary, artistic, political or other figures (living and dead), estate archives, council, academic and church records. The records take many forms: manuscripts, printed materials, photographs, maps and picture. The data will exclude uncatalogued material.
No, unfortunately not. Archives Wales provides information about the location and nature of the sources, and access details to the repositories. It operates as an index to sources rather than as a source itself.
Examples of other websites which display digital images of original documents from archives in Wales include:
The website allows a range of search options, including a simple text search, advanced searching of specific fields, thematic searching using subject, personal and corporate names, and geographical searching.
No. Archives Wales provides information at collection level (describing a group of documents rather than individual items).
Websites allowing searches at other levels include:
Yes. The web pages and search facilities are fully bilingual. The underlying data has been created in English, so search results will not be bilingual.
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Want to find out more about family and local history resources and other services available at your local library? Visit library.wales.org