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Some tips on what to expect

Information about what to expect when you visit the archives.

Using the searchroom

The Family History Centre
The Family History Centre in Swansea Civic Centre is a separate room dedicated to family history research. Here you will find major genealogical resources on microfiche and CD-ROM, such as the Registrar General's index of births, marriages and deaths; census returns; the International Genealogical Index; and a wealth of other transcripts and indexes. Free internet access is also available, with free access to Ancestry.com. Advance booking is recommended for consultation of resources on microfiche, microfilm or computer. Telephone 01792 636589 to make an appointment, or, if you have a City and County of Swansea library card, you can book a computer online.

Further information about our services to family historians can be found here.

Reader's tickets
In order to see original documents from the collections, you will need to register for an Archives Wales reader's ticket. You can get a ticket on your first visit, but you will need to bring with you proof of identity on either one or two documents which show your name, address and signature. Click here for more information about getting a reader's ticket.

Security in the searchroom
For reasons of security, coats and bags are not allowed in the study area. Lockers and lockable coat racks are available for your personal belongings in our supervised reception area.

All our researchers are asked to follow the searchroom rules. They are for the protection of the documents in our care. Click here to read more about our searchroom rules.

For a brief guide to how to handle documents correctly in the searchroom, click here.

Ordering documents
We will do our best to produce the documents you need straight away, well within our target time of 20 minutes. However, we are unable to produce documents between 1 and 2pm. If you would like to look at documents during this period, please ensure that you order them by 12.45. The latest time for ordering documents is 4.30pm (4.45 on Tuesdays). Documents need to be returned by 4.45 (6.45 on Tuesdays).

What should I bring?
You may find it useful to bring the following to take into the search room

  • Notebook
  • Pencil - please note, no pens are permitted in the study area
  • Camera to photograph documents (no flash)

You can bring a laptop pc if you have one: a number of the tables have power supply sockets. You can use your mobile phone in the Family History Centre but, to avoid disturbing other researchers, we ask you not to make and receive calls in the quieter atmosphere of the archive searchroom

Are there copying facilities?
Staff can provide photocopies for you, within copyright guidelines and providing this does not damage the document. You can also use your own camera to photograph documents, within the same guidelines. We also offer a high quality scanning and digitisation service.
Fees and charges at West Glamorgan Archives

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