West Glamorgan Archive Service is a joint service for the Councils of the City and County of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot County Borough, collecting documents, films, maps, photographs and sound recordings relating to the history of the area and its people.
The area of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot is covered by the Archive, which also includes Gower and the Afan, Neath and Swansea Valleys.
Whether you are studying the history of your local area, researching your family history, tracing the history of a house or researching for a school, college or university assignment, you will find the documents held of use. The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.
The Office also holds film and sound recordings in the West Glamorgan Screen and Sound Archive. This collection consists of tapes and films which have been transferred to digital format. Subject indexes are available, so you can find the appropriate oral history recording, which can be accessed in the Office. If you wish to use this service, booking in advance is essential.
Many of the oral history recordings held by the Archive that date from the 1960s are taken from memories of local people, some of whom were born in Victorian times.
The films date from the 1950s and include civil ceremonies and other films about the past. Many localities that have disappeared over the years are included in the films, as are old streets and railways, Swansea after the bombing, and the Eisteddfod held in 1964.
Their opening times can be found by going to their planning your visit page.
The Office is a 15-20 minute walk from the Railway Station. The bus station is 5-10 minutes walk from the Office. Car parking is accessible at the east side of the building. 16 spaces are available for blue badge holders. If these are full, parking is available in Waterfront and Paxton Street car parks.
The Office provides a photocopying service, but does make a charge to people using this service. Some documents cannot be photocopied because of copyright legislation and because some documents are fragile and easily damaged.
You are also able to use your own camera to take photographs of documents, but you have to purchase a photography permit and the same restrictions as for photocopying apply. You should ask a member of staff before taking any photographs.
The building is fully accessible, with the East car park being situated on the same level as the main automatic entrance. Once inside the building, all public areas are accessible to those using wheelchairs.
The Archive is located on the ground floor of the Civic Centre, with an automatic entrance providing easy access. All enquiry desks are low to provide easy access. Disabled toilets are also available.
The building also has a loop system.
Registered guide dogs are welcome, and magnifying glasses can be borrowed from the enquiry desks. A video magnifier is also available and can again be borrowed from the enquiry desks. The magnifier can be used to enlarge text onto a display screen.
A cafe is available in the Civic Centre, which is situated next to the main reception.
Many books are available in the Archive, some of which include:
Old maps and cards are also available from the Archive.
If you are unable to visit West Glamorgan Archives in person, they offer a research service, where, for payment of a fee, they can conduct research on your behalf. You are advised to check that the records you wish them to consult are available before submitting your research request as they cannot conduct research in other archives.
The Archive has a Facebook page, @WestGlamorganArchives, and a Twitter Account, @WestGlamArchive, where they provide details of their collections, events held at the Office and family history and local history related news. They also respond to visitors' queries.
You need to register for an Archives Wales Readers Ticket if you wish to consult documents at the Archive Service. In order to obtain a card, you will need to bring two documents with you, one of which to prove your identity and another to prove your address. Acceptable documents to prove your identity include a passport, driving licence, bank or credit card or European Union National ID Card.
To prove your address, acceptable documents include a driving licence with address, TV licence, utility bill (within the last three months), bank statement (within the last three months), credit card statement (within the last three months), home insurance policy or HM Revenue and Customs statement.
If you are unable to provide any suitable documentation, and are still at school or college, the office will accept a letter on headed paper signed by your teacher or tutor, and an item showing your identity such as a student card or passport.
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