CBHC / RCAHMW > News > We’re Adding New Services to our Enquiries Service

We’re Adding New Services to our Enquiries Service

Every year we review the services we offer and the prices we charge for them to ensure they are fair, fit for purpose, and reflect those of other Welsh and British archives and libraries. This year we’ve decided to make several changes, including beginning to offer remote video consultations, removing the charge for photography in our Search Room, and making our data available under an Open Government Licence.

The new video consultations can be conducted by Microsoft Teams or Zoom and will allow you to speak to a helpful and knowledgeable member of our Enquiries Team. These consultations can be about documents in which you are interested, and help you make decisions about whether it would be best to come in and conduct further research in person or order scans or copies of archive material. We can show you documents during the consultation, subject to their size and condition, although owing to time and logistics it will likely not be possible for you to closely scrutinise archive material or peruse lengthy texts. Alternatively, we can offer advice and guidance on using our resources similar to what you would receive if you visited us in person in our Search Room in Aberystwyth. Whether you are trying to uncover the history of your home or family or a professional researcher aiming to gain a better understanding of our collections, we are here to help. Forty-minute sessions are available every Friday, but booking is essential. Please see our Price List for further details and book your place using our Enquiry and Order Form, or by phoning, emailing, or writing to us.

We’ve also removed the charge for photography in our Search Room, in line with many other institutions across Wales. For copyright reasons, users wishing to photograph items from the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) archive and library will still need to complete relevant forms and declarations, and we will continue to charge for research-quality photographs taken by staff.

Finally, as we’ve recently announced, we’ve decided to make the NMRW site data available under an Open Government Licence and are in the process of making the data itself available for download from the RCAHMW-managed portal Historic Wales and the Welsh Government portal DataMap Wales. You can also still order bespoke datasets from us, subject to a processing fee, using our online Order Form. See our Price List for details.

We are hoping that these changes will have a number of positive effects, the foremost of which is making the information available in the NMRW, one of Wales’s three national collections, more readily available to everyone. We have noticed an increase in people accessing our collections remotely in recent years and are working to adapt our services accordingly. This has benefits beyond public health, and we are conscious that reducing the need to travel to libraries and archives where possible also helps the environment and our commitment to future generations, as well as saving people the time and expense of travel. However, we also remain committed to offering an excellent in-person service and are always happy to welcome visitors, researchers, and groups to view our collections in our Search Room.

There are also some changes to our pricing, including the introduction of a fee for aerial photography searches. This is unfortunately necessary due to the nature of the collection, but we are currently working, with the assistance of Welsh Government funding, to make these collections more easily available in the future.

Moreover, while all basic searches are undertaken by our Enquiries Team for free, we have retained a charge for undertaking complex searches. As part of this we are now offering content summaries for lengthy documents and reports, where appropriate, which will assist researchers in better understanding which documents they need to see or obtain copies of. Please see our Price List for details.

Finally, we have slightly changed how we charge for orders of a large volume of research-quality scans, which will hopefully rationalise our charges and help users to understand and estimate costs more easily.

All of these changes can be seen on our new Price List and Licence fees on our website.

The Library and Enquiries Team

19/06/2023

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