Visiting the Archives

The Old Town Hall - our home since April 2012

There is a warm welcome for everyone in Ceredigion Archives. Whatever your interests and field of study - on family history, local history, school projects, old vehicle registration and many other subjects - come and see what we have to help you.

Staff at the Archives can suggest appropriate lines of research, and guide you in the use of the documents.

New Search Room Guidelines – Covid-19

Making an Appointment

We are currently operating an appointment only system, and you will need to pre-order your documents. You will need to contact us a day or more in advance in order that documents can be retrieved and to ensure that they are available as all documents viewed by the public will be quarantined for a period of 72 hours to ensure that our users and staff are kept safe when handling our collections.

Ordering Documents

Documents can be ordered by browsing the online catalogue and then contacting Ceredigion Archives with your choice of documents in order for staff to check availability. Or if you are unsure which documents you need please contact us so that a member of staff can assist you. Contact us by emailing or phoning 01970 633697 or 01970 633698.

Confirmation of Appointment

Our opening hours have changed. When we are able to confirm that the documents you require are available we will confirm the date of your appointment and you will be given a specific time during the hours noted below to enter the building in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines with other users and staff. As spaces are limited if you wish to bring someone with you, you will need to book an appointment for them also.

Our new opening hours are: Monday-Friday, 10.00 – 12.30 and 14.00-16.30

(Closed on Bank and Council Holidays. If you are coming from a distance contact us first to confirm that we will be open.)

NB. If you do not feel well on the day you have been given an appointment or are unable to attend please contact us to reschedule or postpone the appointment.

During your visit

When you enter the Record Office you will be asked to:

• Wear a face covering.
• Sanitize your hands before you enter the search room.

Whilst in the search room to ensure your safety and others we ask that you:

• Don't walk around the search room
• Adhere to social distancing guidelines with regard to other users and the Archives staff.

NB: Our usual document-handling rules still apply - please see below.


Only the material you have ordered will be available to you. We will not issue any additional documents to you during your visit. Depending on how much material you have ordered the material will either be placed on the table ready for you or a member of staff will provide your material on a trolley. If the material is provided on a trolley the staff member will bring the trolley to you, and once the staff member has stepped back you can retrieve the material and return to the table. You will be asked to leave the material on the table unless you have ordered additional material. If you have ordered additional material please inform when you are ready to view this material.

If you are having trouble with any aspect of the documents you have ordered, e.g. reading a word, please ask a member of staff to assist you.

You are welcome to bring lap-tops, cameras and other devices with you as usual.

Reference books will not be available during your visit but staff can check details for you.

Microfilm and fiche readers will be available but you will be asked to wear disposable gloves when using them, which we will provide.

A Public Access Computer is available and the keyboard and mouse will be sanitized and changed between users.


You can order and pay for photocopies, but as the documents you have used will be quarantined for 72 hours we will not make any photocopies on the day you visit. We will post the material to you after the quarantine period ends.


Location map

The Archives are situated in Aberystwyth's old Town Hall, about ten minutes walk from the railway and bus stations. There is free on-street parking in town and on the sea-front, but please remember Aberystwyth can be very busy in the holiday season. There are also several pay-and-display car parks in the town.
(The map above is the Ordnance Survey Map of 1905 - here is a more contemporary view)


The Archives are accessible to people in wheelchairs.

Food and Drink:
Eating and drinking are not allowed in the Searchroom. When lunchtime comes (or a cup of coffee becomes irresistible) go for a short walk to the town centre. Aberystwyth is full of cafes and restaurants. We're sure you'll find somewhere you'll like!

Rules for Readers

In the Searchroom

• No food or drink (including sweets) to be consumed in the Searchroom
• Please turn off your mobile phone ring tone
• No bags on tables in the Searchroom
• Photocopying, scanning and photography at the discretion of the Archivist
• Children and their parents should respect the quiet atmosphere of the search-room

Most of the documents in the archives are unique and some are fragile. Please handle them with great care

• Make sure you have clean hands
• Turn pages carefully (and never lick your fingers to help the process please!)
• Do not lean on documents, and avoid unnecessary handling of documents
• Do not rest your own writing pad on the document
Always use a pencil, never a pen.
• Use a book-rest or book support for bound volumes
• No more than four documents per person at any one time

If you would like help using a document ask a member of staff for assistance.

NB. Our existing reader's ticket scheme is being replaced by the Archives Card, a single archive reader's ticket which gives you access to a wealth of original material held in archives across the UK. The Archives Card is free of charge and valid for five years. You can start the registration process at home; click here to find out more.

Local Accommodation

The Tourist Office in Aberystwyth can provide details of local accommodation for those who need to stay overnight.

Bow Street Camp, early 20th century

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