Skip to main content

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales to relocate to The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth


One of Wales’ leading heritage organisations has today announced that it will be moving to new offices at The National Library of Wales (NLW) in 2016. 

Work is already under way at the NLW to refurbish one wing of the Library for the use of the 30 staff of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW). 

The NLW’s former Manuscript Room will also be converted into a new public search room and open-access library for the National Monuments Record of Wales, a huge and rich collection of photographs and heritage records that the Commission has built up since its foundation in 1908.

These records will be stored in carefully controlled environmental conditions in two floors of the new six storey archive store that is currently being constructed at the Library. 

Christopher Catling, Secretary of the Royal Commission said that:

“The move from the present Plas Crug offices (the former tax offices in Aberystwyth) to purpose-designed premises at the Library will enable us to provide a much better service to our many users, as well as much-improved storage facilities for the Commission’s archives, which include photographs dating back to the earliest years of photography, along with historic maps and records of buildings and monuments throughout Wales.’

Above all, he said: ‘we hope that the move will raise our profile and increase substantially the number of people visiting our search room to make use of the records we hold as part of their research on family and community history or on aspects of the history and archaeology of Wales.’

Linda Tomos, National Librarian, The National Library of Wales, said that the Library was looking forward to having the Royal Commission as a tenant. She said:

‘Our rich and diverse collections complement each other very well and there are already plans for our two organisations to collaborate on outreach and engagement activities. Discussions have started to deliver joint events and exhibitions in Aberystwyth and there is exciting potential to work more closely to extend our digital and community reach right across Wales and beyond – building on each other's strengths to ensure that the rich cultural heritage of Wales is fully exploited by the Welsh economy to inspire, innovate and grow.’

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, paid a visit to the Library on 21 September 2015, during which he inspected the new building works. The Deputy Minister said: ”The Royal Commission’s move into the National Library sees two of our nation’s important heritage organisations come together under one roof. These improved facilities, along with the high-profile of The National Library, provide an excellent opportunity for the Royal Commission to reach new audiences and raise awareness of their fascinating work.” 

Further Information

Rhian Haf Evans 01970 632938 or

Notes for Editors

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has a leading national role in developing and promoting understanding of the archaeological, built and maritime heritage of Wales, as the originator, curator and supplier of authoritative information for individual, corporate and governmental decision makers, researchers, and the general public. 

The landscape and built heritage of Wales result from people’s interaction with the natural world over thousands of years. Since it was established in 1908, the Royal Commission has led the way in researching and explaining the remains of that interaction – the archaeology and the historic buildings we see around us.

The National Library of Wales

The National Library of Wales (NLW) serves as the nation’s memory. It is a repository of treasures and facts, a disseminator of knowledge, a venue, a destination, a place to keep the past safe and readily available for all to access, use and be inspired by, now and in the future.

Located in Aberystwyth, the Library plays a central role in culture and heritage as one of Wales’s major national institutions. As one of the six Copyright Libraries in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the National Library of Wales’ collections are vast and varied and are free to access. They include 950,000 photographs, 150,000 hours of sound recordings, 250,000 hours of moving image, 25,000 manuscripts, 50,000 works of art, 1,500,000 maps, as well as 6,000,000 books. More than 5,000,000 individual items from these collections have been digitised and made freely available on the internet.

The National Library of Wales engages in a full and continuous programme of public events that include high-quality permanent and temporary exhibitions with associated educational and presentational activities.  These are crucial to NLW’s mission of interpreting the collections for, and encouraging participation by, a wide range of audiences whether onsite, at external locations or online.