The Welsh Political Archive is a dedicated programme within the National Library to collect, store, catalogue and promote archival material which reflects the political life of Wales. Many of the political archives we hold are personal collections of well know political figures - Members of Parliament, Lords, Members of the European Parliament and Assembly Members as well as the formal records of a large number of political organisations including the main political parties, campaign groups, referendum campaigns, business and labour groups. One of the most important collections we hold is the collection of campaigning material – leaflets and posters from elections and referendum campaigns since 1837.
The Welsh Political Archive was set up in 1983 to co-ordinate the collection of documentary evidence of all kinds about politics in Wales. It collects the records and papers of political parties, politicians, quasi-political organisations, campaigns and pressure groups; leaflets, pamphlets, other printed ephemera, posters, photographs, and tapes of radio and television programmes. Its work is not restricted to a specific department within the Library
In accordance with the National Library of Wales’ Collection Development Policy, the Welsh Political Archive collects the personal papers of politicians who have played an important role in the life of the nation, and individuals with a high profile for campaigning on national or international issues.
We collect the papers of Members of Parliament, Assembly Members, Members of the European Parliament and Lords if they have for example held positions such as Secretary of State, party leader, minister, senior committee chair. We do not usually collect the papers of other elected members or constituency papers.
We collect the national archives of political parties (e. g. Labour Party Wales Archives) but we no longer collect the regional or branch papers of political parties (e. g. Records of Abergavenny Labour Party).
We collect the archives of national pressure groups and groups which campaign on national issues.
We collect election ephemera from all constituencies in Wales for national elections and referenda including elections for Police and Crime Commissioners. We do not collect material related to elections to local authorities.
For more information about the Archive please contact the library's enquiry service.
The member of staff responsible for the archive is:
Tel: 01970 632 984