Reading at The National Library of Wales

Closure of the Library Building

Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and the well-being of readers, visitors and staff, the Library building in Aberystwyth is closed for an indefinite period.

Full details on the Library's closure


To enjoy the experience of using the Reading Rooms, you must first have a valid Reader's Ticket.

The National Library of Wales is a reference library only, and material has to be consulted in one of our 3 reading rooms, or where available, online. Readers are encouraged to pre-order material before their visit; this is essential if visiting on a Saturday, as we only issue material on a Saturday which has been pre-ordered during the week, or which has been placed on reserve during the week. More details can be found on our Item Delivery Times page.

For details regarding the different levels of access please see the What can I access page.

Wi-fi is free and available in all the Reading Rooms.

The Reading Rooms

  • North Reading Room - this is where readers can consult printed books, journals and access our electronic resources, including our external e-resources.
  • South Reading Room - this is where readers can consult non print material including archives, manuscripts, maps,  microforms, photographs, pictures and original newspapers.
  • National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales - this is where readers can consult sound and moving images including films, television programmes, videos, sound recordings and music. Please note that if you would like to view or listen to the Archive's materials, we ask that you give 24-72 hours notice before your visit. Notice is required as many of the Archive's materials are kept in special conditions, and will need to be prepared before your visit.

Information sessions

To enable you to make the best use of your time at the Library, we hold regular information sessions where you can have a one to one session with a staff member on how to use the catalogues, and an introduction to the resources available for your research. These sessions cover:

  • Family history and local history
  • Property history
  • Catalogue and Subscriptions


The Library has equipment available in its reading rooms to assist with access to our resources, and includes:

  • Smartview and AverVision machines for magnification of manuscripts and printed material
  • ScannaR machine which reads text aloud 
  • Supernova facilities which magnify and read text aloud
  • tables which can be raised or lowered as required


Data Protection

To see how we deal with your personal data view our Privacy Statement.