- About NLW
- Visit Us
- Family History
- Digital Mirror
- What's On?
Monday - Friday 9:30 – 18:00
Saturday 9:30 - 17:00
For the latest information regarding changes to our services, both in the building and online, see our visitor notices page.
The nation's treasures come alive, in the new short film created by Wordley Productions for the Library, that promotes the digitisation of the collection for the use of anyone, anywhere in the world.
The soundtrack for the film is 'Danse Macabre' by Camille Saint-Saëns.
Welcome to The National Library of Wales, one of the great libraries of the world.
What will you find here?
In our building in Aberystwyth, a mountain of knowledge about Wales and the world – millions of books on every subject, thousands of manuscripts and archives, maps, pictures and photographs, films and music, and electronic information. All of this you can use for free in our reading rooms after becoming a reader.
Come and visit us – you don’t have to be a researcher or student. Tour our magnificent building, view our exhibitions, watch films and enjoy lectures in the Drwm, use our learning facilities, browse in the shop and have a meal in Pen Dinas, our restaurant. We welcome everyone - young and old, individuals and groups, from Wales and well beyond. All you need to bring is your curiosity.
On our website you’ll find a parallel collection - the Digital Mirror. Here you’ll find hundreds of thousands of electronic copies of books, manuscripts, archives, pictures and photographs – again, all available free. Or become a reader and use our electronic library from home.
Come in and enjoy! And let us know what you think, to help us improve still further.
Andrew M W Green
Though there was talk of a national library for Wales in the 18th century, it was only in 1873 that a serious campaign started. A committee was set up to collect Welsh material and house it at the University College in Aberystwyth.
Leading Welsh people and Members of Parliament worked hard to establish a National Library and a National Museum. In 1905 the government promised money in its Budget, and the Privy Council appointed a committee to decide on the location of the two institutions. Aberystwyth was selected as the location of the Library partly because a collection was already available in the College. Sir John Williams, physician and book collector, had also said he would present his collection to the Library if it were established in Aberystwyth. Cardiff was selected as the location of the National Museum.
Both the Library and Museum were established by Royal Charter on the same day, 19 March 1907. The building on Penglais Hill above the town of Aberystwyth was begun in 1911, and was first occupied in 1916.
Several extensions have been added since then. In 1996 a large new storage building was opened, and in recent years many changes have been made to the front part of the building to make it more open and welcoming. A new Royal Charter was granted in 2006.
If you have any questions regarding the Library, its work or our collections you are very welcome to contact the enquiries team.