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If you're looking for something in particular for your academic research, or generally searching for something to help with your family history research, the Library is the place for you. 

Read on to learn more about our catalogues and how to use them.

The Main Catalogue

Search and order material from across our collections to view in our Reading Room. Remember that you must register with the Library before you can order material. You'll find details on how to register on our Reader's Ticket page.

The Main Catalogue is a good starting point if you have a general search. You can refine or limit your searches in order to reduce the number of results. You'll find help on our Main Catalogue help page.

Search the Main Catalogue

Specialist Catalogues

As our collections are so varied, we have many specialised catalogues, which search across certain types of materials or specific collections. Many of these catalogues allow you to see the items on the websites.

It's not possible to order materials to view in the Reading Room from most of these catalogues. You must use either the Main Catalogue or NLW Archives and Manuscripts to order materials.

Search NLW Specialist Catalogues

Other Resources

Contributing our collections to other people's search websites is an important part of our work in order to give access to our collections to as many people as possible. This could be individual items to be discovered on websites like Wikicommons, or exhibitions of our items on websites such as Google Arts and Culture.

A list of other resources

About our Collections

We have over 6 million books, over 40,000 manuscripts, over 1.5 million maps and much more. We are a Legal Deposit Library which means we have a right to a copy of every book published in Britain. Our main collection area is items relating to Wales and the Celtic nations, but our collections aren't limited to this. 

This section will give you an idea of the types of collections we hold. It's not a full list by any means, but it offers a general introduction.  You can search the Main Catalogue for specific items. 

Learn more about NLW's collections

Help to Search

Is this the first time you've used our catalogues? Or do you want to improve your searching?

View our help to search section for help pages, tips and leaflets on how to begin and improve your searching. 

Get help to search

Using the Reading Room

Anyone over 16 can register to use our Reading Room.

  • You must register as a reader to gain access to our Reading Room
  • You need to show 2 forms of identification (one including your current address) to get a full reader's ticket

You can only order items to view in the Reading Room on the Main Catalogue and NLW Archive and Manuscripts.

Register and use the Reading Room