This film is part of Free

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru - trysordy'r genedl

Behind the scenes at The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth: as readers enter by the front door, acquisitions arrive by lorry at the back.

Amateur film 1937 15 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


As readers enter the elevated front entrance of The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth - which will provide them with a panoramic view of the town when they leave, and a glorious sunset if they are lucky - a lorry arrives round the back with new acquisitions, some of which are very old and will need conservation and binding before they can be viewed. Ifan ab Owen Edwards’ film reveals the work that goes on behind the scenes and introduces the Library’s unique treasures.

Ifan ab Owen Edwards, scholar, educationalist and founder of the youth movement Urdd Gobaith Cymru [Welsh League of Hope], shot this film in order to promote the nation’s fledgling treasure-house which was royally opened on 15/7/1937. It was shown at Urdd centres across Wales and library staff were grateful to its maker for introducing so many thousands of people to the “scope, size, and purpose of the Library” (Annual Report 1937-38). As one of six legal deposit libraries in the UK and Ireland, the Library receives, on request, a copy of any publication printed in the UK and, since 2013, any material published digitally and online. It also receives donations of material from a multitude of other sources.