Yes it is true, and if you believe that Carmarthen Archives will re-open in the next 5
years, given "financial constraints" then you can probably think again.
I have on good authority from an insider, that the cost of dealing with the Problem is
Carmarthenshire County Council do not have the funds available to tackle the problem, and
the "Bullshit" messages on various Websites is simply "kicking for
touch" and the "whole truth and nothing but the truth".
Questions need to be asked of Carmarthen County Council.
1. Why is John Davies still listed as the County Archivist, while I understand he has
2. Did he reach pensionable age and retired, or was he given a "Golden
Handshake" to quietly disappear.
3. If he did receive a "Golden Handshake" or enhanced pension to quietly
disappear, then how much?
4. Does anyone in Carmarthenshire County Council know the source of the mould infection?
When the old John Francis Estate Agents Offices were being demolished for urban
development or whatever you care to call it; Carmarthen Archives were offered the a vast
number of old records including Deeds and Documents, Copy Wills, Abstracts of Title, Map
Most were in the Cellar and had suffered from Rats, Damp, Mould etc.
A valuable archive for the family historian, but Carmarthen Archives did not have the room
and rejected them.
The last I heard of them, is that they had moved for storage in a Shed at Withybush
John Francis covered the three counties of Dyfed, and also probably further afield.
John Davies the County Archivist for Carmarthenshire, rejected the John Francis Archive,
but not before he had looked through them and had "cherry picked" choice
He personally told me that he had obtained a number of Map Books - Hand Drawn Estate Maps
by various Cartographers.
When I asked him for what estates, he told me, that they were mainly in Cardiganshire and
Pembrokeshire with some in Carmarthenshire, and with other odds and ends.
When I asked him, why he wanted Map Books for Counties other than Carmarthenshire, he
replied - "Because they are valuable."
Nothing to do with Archiving Records but simply acquiring "Valuable Items."
These "Valuable Items" are undoubtedly the source of the mould in Carmarthen
Any bloody idiot will tell you that bringing paper items which are damp, and while not
mouldy may have been in contact with mould and have mould spores on it, into a
"controlled" environment is asking for trouble.
If John Davies had any honour, he would fall on his sword, and admit that he introduced
the problem to Carmarthen Archives.
I am not blaming him personally, as he at the time probably believed he was acting in the
best interests of the Carmarthen Archive in the face of Financial Constraints, and
Superfluous Map Books could be sold to continue paying his salary.
Carmarthenshire are not unique, in picking and choosing.
The papers of a prominent figure in Wales, were offered to the NLW, Ceredigion Archives,
and the National Museum of Wales.
They all wanted to "Cherry Pick" while his widow and family wanted it kept as a
whole. I ended up with them, along with his collection of books ,and until I find someone
to take them all, they will remain with me.
Is Carmarthen Archive fit for purpose?
Is Ceredigion Archive fit for purpose?
Is any County Archive fit for purpose?
Is the NLW fit for purpose?
The National Library of Wales, that tries to be everything to everyone and everybody.
I am not knocking the NLW, but they cannot be a National Library, a National Archive and
Art Gallery and a Museum rolled into one.
That was never the role that Sir John Williams the prime mover in founding the Library
In a time of Financial Constraint Archives and Libraries run by Local Authorities, are way
down their list of priorities.
The Welsh Government Act allows Wales to set up it's own National Archive.
As part of the reorganisation of the NLW, National Museum, and Local Authorities, I would
like to see, a National Archive for Wales, taking charge of all County Archives, and the
NLW Archives, and also repatriating records from the National Archives.
Message Received: Mar 16 2015, 07:14 PM
From: "REGINALD DAVIES via"
Subject: [Dyfed] Contaminated archives at Carmarthen
I can confirm Jennifer's mail that because of mould or similar material the Carmarthen
archives are closed.
According to an archivist all documents need to be sent away for cleaning and the whole
archive could well be closed until end of 2016.
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