Monmouthshire Record Office was established in 1938, but became part of Gwent County Archive due to local government reorganisation in 1974. The county was divided into five unitary authorities in 1996. It became known as Gwent Archives in 2011, moving to a new site in Ebbw Vale.
The authorities of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council (former Islwyn Borough area), Monmouthshire County Council, Newport City Council and Torfaen County Borough Council are all served by the Archives.
The building houses approximately 10km of storage so the collection of resources can be preserved into the future. This collection is also constantly being expanded and they are always pleased to accept donations of documents to add to their collection.
It is also possible to download leaflets regarding Parish Registers, Non-Conformist Registers, Catholic Registers and School Log Books and Admission Registers held by the Office.
The collections can be preserved for future generations because they are housed in state of the art storage. It is also possible to see conservation and repair work being carried out in their modern archive conservation studio. If you wish to know more about using Archive resources, lecture and group facilities are provided.
The Mechanical Link from Ebbw Vale town centre offers direct access to the Archive. A pedestrian route may also be used.
If you are travelling from Heads of the Valleys Road (North) on the A465, please follow the signs for Ebbw Vale until you reach the roundabout close to the fire station. From here, you should take the A4821 signposted 'The Works/Y Gweithfeydd and Newport/Casnewydd. If you go down the hill you should come to two sets of traffic lights where you go straight on. You should move over into the left-hand lane at this point, and when you arrive at a roundabout, you have to take the 1st exit, labelled 'The General Offices'. The Archive is located in this building.
If you arrive from the M4, you should exit a junction 28 signposted Brynmawr/Risca (South) and follow the A467 towards Aberbeeg. When you reach a roundabout, you have to head towards Cwm, taking the first left, and then take the second left at the next roundabout. You should then take the second left onto the A4281 (A465 towards Abergavenny/Merthyr. You have to then take the first exit at the following roundabout and continue until you can see the clock tower at the General Offices.
Two free car parks are available near the Archive. A multi-story car park is also available next to Coleg Gwent Campus, Lime Avenue, NP23 6GL.
Travelling from Cardiff to Ebbw Vale by train takes approximately 1 hour. The Ebbw Vale Town rail extension gives access to the Archive.
Bus 22 (Stagecoach) travels from Cwmbran to Ebbw Vale, it stopping near the Archive. Bus X18 travels from Newport to Ebbw Vale via Risca.
You can use a digital camera to take photographs of some documents, but the flash must be turned off. Some documents cannot be photographed because doing so may cause damage to them as they are fragile and easily damaged. Using a handheld scanner is prohibited.
It is possible to take photocopies of documents, but this must be done by staff members to protect the documents. The Office makes a charge for people using this service.
Wi-Fi is available in the Office, but to use the network, you have to obtain a 'token' from a member of staff, which includes a 12 hour log-in name and password. You have to show ID to be issued with a token.
Disabled parking is available at the Office, with access to the Archive being provided through the rear quadrant entrance. Disabled toilets are also available.
They also sell publications, which includes Gwent Local History - Chartist Anniversary Edition. The publication discusses new research into the Chartist Rising, one of the most important events in the history of Gwynedd.
The Office offers a research service for people unable to visit in person. If you require details of their collections, basic information will be provided free of charge. If you require someone to undertake more substantial research on your behalf, a fee is charged.
The Office has a Facebook page, @GwentArchives. Information regarding Office events, new collections, their projects and old photographs is provided on this page. They also answer visitors' queries.
The Archive also has a Twitter Account, @GwentArchives. The Office gives details of events, collections and family history and local history related news using this Account.
Monmouthshire Record Office is a member of CARN (County Archive Research Network). You are also required to sign-in, entering your name, country/first half of postcode, and CARN ticket number.
Day tickets can be issued to people without proof of identification, but if you have not shown ID by your third visit, you will not be allowed to access the Office. Under-18s, however, are able use Day Tickets.