Archives Network Wales is a project to create a web resource to allow easy searching of the collections of documents held by record offices, universities, museums and libraries in Wales, so that users will be able to identify which repositories hold information relevant to their research or interest.
Archives and Records Council Wales (ARCW) represents organisations involved in administering the documentary heritage of Wales, including local government archive services, universities and national bodies. It was set up in 1995 to raise the profile of archives in Welsh public life, as Archives Council Wales. In November 2004, it changed its name to Archives and Records Council Wales. ARCW is responsible for the ANW project; there is a Project Management Group overseeing the ANW team. See Project partners.
ANW will use the existing finding aids (lists of the contents of each collection) to create a standardised electronic description of the nature, extent, type and scope of the records, which will then be searchable through the website. Records will be added throughout the course of the project. The 4,500 records will represent 90% of the catalogued collections of the ARCW members. ANW will also be training staff of ARCW members in the use of the system.
Each repository has been asked to select their most important collections of documents. These include corporate papers and business archives, personal papers and diaries of prominent literary, artistic, political or other figures (living and dead), estate archives, council, academic and church records. The records take many forms: manuscripts, printed materials, photographs, maps and picture. The data will exclude uncatalogued material.
No. ANW provides information about the location and nature of the sources, and access details to the repositories. It operates as an index to sources rather than as a source itself.
Examples of websites which display primary documents include:
- Gathering the Jewels
- National Library of Wales Digital Mirror
- Powys County Archives Office
- Gwynedd Archives Slatesite
- Swansea University Coalfield Web Materials project
- Powys Digital History Project
- Aberystwyth University (53),
- Anglesey County Record Office (211),
- Bangor University (1,191),
- Caernarfon Record Office (229),
- Carmarthenshire Archives Service (310),
- Ceredigion Archives (115),
- Conwy Archives Service (40),
- Denbighshire Record Office (180),
- Flintshire Record Office (214),
- Glamorgan Record Office (1,250),
- Gwent Record Office (609),
- Meirionnydd Archives (211),
- National Library of Wales (1,390),
- Pembrokeshire Record Office (230),
- Powys County Archives Service (462),
- Swansea University (615),
- University of Wales, Lampeter (24),
- West Glamorgan Archive Service (595),
- Wrexham: A. N. Palmer Centre
- Limited:- Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales