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Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Royal Commission’s Digital Publications on World Book Day

Why Digitise Old Books?
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has been publishing books for over a century, and for the first time these important volumes are now available online. The digitisation project was undertaken to promote the fundamental recording work of the Royal Commission, and to make available books that have been cited many thousands of times in the last hundred years but are now often only available in libraries and command a high price in the second-hand market. But now all our out-of-print titles can be accessed via our website and viewed through Google Books. Most importantly, those published over fifty years ago are now free to download while those published later are available for purchase from Google Play.

Our first volume was the Inventory for Montgomeryshire in 1911, which listed all the monuments and sites of interest in the county, parish by parish. This was soon followed by volumes for Flintshire (1912), Radnorshire (1913), Denbighshire (1914), Carmarthenshire (1917), Merionethshire (1921), and Pembrokeshire (1925). After the publication of the Pembroke Inventory a more rigorous archaeological approach was followed and the first of these new-style volumes appeared for Anglesey in 1937 and was followed by three volumes covering Caernarvonshire (1956-64). All the titles are now available to download free via our website.

The later inventories for Breconshire (two volumes, 1986-97) and Glamorgan (seven volumes, 1976-2000) replaced the parish-by-parish approach and were arranged thematically instead. The last printed inventory was the Later Castles of Glamorgan published in 2000. These later volumes are available for purchase at £9.99 or less. Individual site records are available via our online database Coflein.

The publication of Houses of the Welsh Countryside in 1975 was the first thematic book by the Commission, and following its second edition in 1988 many smaller volumes appeared, including Brecon Forest Tramroads (1990), Lighthouses of Wales (1994), Collieries of Wales (1994) and Copperopolis (2000). All these titles and many more are now available via the bookshop on our website from as little as £1.99.

View: Bookshop

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