New Guidelines for Search Room Visitors

Protecting the health and safety of our staff and visitors is our main priority. We therefore ask you to read these guidelines carefully before visiting.

Which services are available?

A restricted service will be provided in our Search Room and you will need to book an appointment at least one week in advance.

We will open every Thursday, for one day per week:

  • 10.00 – 12.30
  • 13.30 – 15.00

Entry will be limited to 1 visitor at a time unless a carer or companion is required to accompany you for health reasons. Please let us know if you have any special requirements at the time of booking.

How do I book my visit to the Search Room?

You will need to contact the Royal Commission’s Library and Enquiry Service at least a week in advance listing the library and archive items you wish to view. If you are unsure which documents will be most relevant, please contact us for assistance.

Search our archive catalogue at and our library catalogue at
A health questionnaire will be emailed to you which will need to be completed and returned prior to your visit.
Once accepted you will be issued with an agreed time slot for your visit.

Please ensure you arrive on time as visitors will not be able to gain access to the building if you are more than 15 minutes late.

NB. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 on the day of your appointment or you are unable to attend please contact us to reschedule or postpone the booking.

What should I bring with me?

You will need to bring a face mask, which you are required to wear for the duration of your visit for your own protection and the protection of other visitors and staff.
If, for health reasons, you are unable to wear a mask, you will be excused from doing so, but you will be required to bring a visor with you to wear for the duration of your visit. There will be no exceptions for any other reasons.
Please bring tissues with you in case you need to cough or sneeze during your visit.
Please bring your own laptop if you can. You should also bring your own paper and pencils (pens are not permitted in the Search Room).

Will it be possible to make photocopies/scans?

The photocopying service is not available at present. You are welcome to order high and low-resolution scans, subject to copyright restrictions, by completing an order form and putting slips of paper in the archive files to mark the item you would like copied. These will be copied after the 72-hour quarantine period has been adhered to. An invoice will be emailed once the material has been copied. No payment can be made while visiting. Please note there may be delay of up to 10 working days.
For this period alone we will waive the fee for taking photos with your own phone or camera in the Search Room. All copyright restrictions will still apply.

What should I do if I feel unwell during my visit?

If you develop a high temperature or a persistent cough while visiting, you should take the following steps:

  • Inform a member of our staff
  • Avoid touching anything
  • Return home immediately

You must follow the guidance on self-isolation and not return to work or the Royal Commission until the period of self-isolation has been completed.

What to expect on the day of your visit

Entering and exiting the National Library of Wales building will be via the lower ground main entrance (by the Reception and Shop).
Please ensure you arrive on time as visitors will not be able to gain access to the building if you are more than 15 minutes late.
Please ensure that you follow the guidelines provided below:

a. There is signage outside the building directing all persons to sanitise their hands regularly by using the sanitising dispensers located at various positions in the Library building.
b. You will be greeted at the National Library by a member of the Security Team where you will be required to answer these 3 questions:

  • Question1 – Have you in the last 14 days travelled outside of the UK?
  • Question 2 – Have you in the last 7 days experienced any fever-like symptoms, coughing or shortness of breath, or loss of taste?
  • Question 3 – Have you recently had contact with any person that is confirmed or suspected of fever or flu-like symptoms?

Your body temperature will also be taken using a thermal imaging camera. Your temperature must be below 37.5*C to gain entry.
c. On arrival at the National Library of Wales, all visitors will be expected to complete a short questionnaire in accordance with the Welsh Government’s track and trace policy.
d. You are required to wear a face mask for the duration of your visit for your own protection and the protection of staff.
e. The 2-metre social distance rule came into existence on 7 April 2020. You must adhere to this rule during your visit as this is a legal requirement in Wales.
f. Lockers will be available to you on the main floor of the National Library of Wales. These are cleaned thoroughly after each use.
g. Please wait by the shop for a member of Royal Commission staff to collect and escort you to our Search Room.
h. Once in the Royal Commission’s Search Room you will find the available archive and library items you have ordered on a trolley. Once you have viewed the items please return them to the trolley before leaving.
i. Please ensure the document request slips are kept with the archival items.
j. You will not be able to browse the library shelves or order any additional archive documents during your visit.
k. Feel free to ask a member of staff if you have any queries about the items you have ordered. We will try to assist you wherever possible, but a comprehensive service will not be available.
l. Should you feel the need to cough or sneeze and you do not have your tissues to hand, please ensure you cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
m. It will not be necessary to wear gloves. The Royal Commission will have a safe retrieval service in place. There will be a 72-hour quarantine period in place following contact with collections.
NB. Our usual Search Room and document handling rules still apply. Please see below.
o. It will be necessary for you to leave the building between 12:30 and 13:30. NB. Pendinas, the National Library of Wales’ café, is presently closed to visitors. To regain access to our Search Room, please ensure you re-enter the building at 13:30. If you are more than 15 minutes late you will be unable to gain access. A member of Royal Commission staff will again collect you from the area by the shop and escort you to the Search Room.

Will public access terminals be available?

Access to a terminal will be available in the Search Room for basic research but there will not be access to our GIS systems.
We strongly urge you to bring your own laptops, if possible. There will be full access to our Wi-Fi.

Hand Washing

Hand washing facilities with soap and hot water are provided in the rest rooms. All visitors will ensure stringent hand washing takes place for at least 20 seconds at a time.
Paper towels for drying hands are provided. Hand sanitisers are also provided in various locations.

Social Distancing

All visitors must adhere to social distancing rules. This reduces the number of persons in any work area to comply with the 2-metre (6.5 foot) gap recommended by Public Health Wales. The tables will be placed in such a way that wheelchair access is possible while maintain 2-metre social distancing.


Anyone who has a high temperature, a new persistent cough or is within 14 days of the day when the first member of their household showed symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19) should not visit the National Library of Wales or the Royal Commission’s Search Room, but must follow the guidance on self-isolation.

Visitors at increased risk

Anyone who is at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (Covid-19) is strongly advised to stay at home and should be particularly stringent about following social distancing measures.


The measures necessary to minimise the risk of spread of infection rely on everyone taking responsibility for their actions and behaviours.
Please adopt an open and collaborative approach with our staff whilst visiting and discuss any issues openly so they can be addressed in a positive and respectful manner.
Everyone will be expected to abide by these rules and failure to do so will result in you being asked to leave the premises.

Search Room and Document Handling Rules

Please place coats and bags in the lockers provided.
Please do not bring food and drink into the Search Room.
Please use pencils only.
Please do not lean on the material, or mark it in any way; or take tracings without prior permission from staff.
Please turn mobile phones and other devices to silent, and keep noise to a minimum.
Please complete the ‘Private photography application’ form (LRS03) prior to taking photographs.
Any incidence of theft or wilful damage to the records will be treated as a criminal offence.
Please note that the computer facilities and wireless network provided by the RCAHMW may not be used to access or view obscene or other material that could offend other users.

Thank you


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