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This section offers information and tips on how to use the catalogues, but also specifically how to start your family history research.

Catalogue help pages

Using a new catalogue for the first time can be difficult, so we have a help page for each of our main search resources:

How to start family history research

The Library is a treasure trove of information for family history research.

From the wills collection to marriage bonds, or the estate papers to the Church in Wales records, the history of Welsh families is kept safe at the Library.

If you're new to the field or not sure where to start, our help pages can point you in the right direction. Likewise, if you've started your research elswhere, our help pages will explain what we have to offer.

Help with your family history research


We have a series of information leaflets which you can read anywhere. These give you an introduction to some of the collections at the Library. They're a good starting point to learn more about the collections the Library has to offer.

Browse the information leaflets

Using the Reading Room

Anyone over 16 can register to use our Reading Rooms.

  • 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