Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society collection

Scope and Content

Records, deeds and documents collected by Carmarthen Antiquarian Society, 1281-1989, mainly relating to Carmarthen and Carmarthenshire, including Carmarthen borough records, 1400-1938; Corporation orders, 1569-1627; records relating to the police, 1856-1877; records relating to the Poor Law in Carmarthen, 1836-1916; legal documents, 1634-1950; industrial papers, 1800-1953; poor law accounts, and rate books in Carmarthenshire, 1736-1911; education papers for Carmarthenshire, 1832-1905; deeds and documents, 1281-1944; literary and historical papers, 1539-[c. 1941]; papers relating to the Parliament, 1472-1888; ecclesiastical material, 1627-[c. 1955]; papers of social interest, 1795-1953; newspapers, 1793-1965; reference books relating to the building of the railway in Carmarthenshire, 1800-1850; calendar of mayors, bailiffs and sheriffs of Carmarthen, 1400-1732; and maps, plans, drawings, prints, photographs, and posters, [18th century]-[20th century].

Administrative / Biographical History

Carmarthen Antiquarian Society was founded in 1905 and its members began collecting Carmartheshire documents from it's inception. The society opened a museum in 1908. In 1940, the Carmarthenshire County Council bought the building (in Quay Street, Carmarthen) and its contents, which included artefacts, documents and books.


Arranged into the following: papers relating to Carmarthen borough; police papers; Poor Law papers; legal documents; industrial papers; administration Poor Law and rate books (county); education (county) papers; deeds and documents; Kidwelly papers; papers relating to tithes; literary and historical papers; genealogical papers; religious papers; maps; plans; engravings; miscellaneous; papers relating to Carmarthen borough; education papers; parliamentary papers; ecclesiastical papers; social papers; estate papers; deeds and documents; papers relating to industry, trade and transport; poor rate assessments; heraldic papers; maps, plans, drawings, prints, photographs, posters; newspapers; miscellaneous; postcard album; and drawings.

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Museum in 1964 and 1973.


Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation this description: Carmarthenshire Archives Service, Catalogue of Museum Collection; Carmarthenshire County Council website (, viewed 22 September 2003; Davies, John, A History of Wales (London, 1990); Lodwick, Joyce, Lodwick, Victor, The Story of Carmarthen (Carmarthen, 1994); Lloyd, Sir John E., A History of Carmarthenshire, vol. I ; vol. II (Cardiff, 1935, 1939); Prys-Jones, A.G., The Story of Carmarthenshire, vol.I (Landebie, 1959); and Hey, David: Oxford Dictionary of Local and Family History (Oxford, New York, 1997); Richards, Melville, Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units (Cardiff 1969); Nicholas, Thomas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County families of Wales (Baltimore, 1991 (fascimile of 1875 ed.); Jones, Francis, Historic Houses of Pembrokeshire and their Families (Newport, Pembrokeshire, 1996); Jones, Francis, The Francis Jones Treasury of Historic Carmarthenshire (Pembrokeshire 2002); C. Awdry and W. Adams, Encyclopaedia of the Great Western Railway (Sparkford, 1993); Carmarthen Record Office Survey of Archival Holdings; Collis, Kim, The West Glamorgan Archive Service, A Guide to the Collections (Swansea, 1998); Davies, William, Samuel, W., Llandeilo (Carmarthen, 1993).

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy of the catalogue, under the title 'Museum Collection', is available at Carmarthenshire Archives Service.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained

Custodial History

The large and varied collection of documents ammassed by the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society in the early years of this century was transferred to the County Museum in 1940. The Railway Maps and Plans were originally held by the Clerk of the Peace. The Book of Ordnances, 1569-1609, came into the possession of Alcwyn Evans, a Carmarthen antiquarian who published papers on the history of the town, based on the manuscript of the Corporation. It is unknown what happened to the manuscript after his death but it re-appeared, and it was purchased by a Sotheby's Auction in 1973 by the Carmarthen Borough Council before the Order Book was deposited in the Record Office. A Booke of Ordinaunces made in the Tyme of Griffith ap Ieavan, Maior (of Carmarthen) Anno Dom. 1581 must have gone astray from the main body of the collection. The second Museum collection was deposited by the Curator at the County Record Office in 1975. A few items have been returned to the depositor: First World War Posters were moved to Carmarthen Museum.


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Related material are Carmarthenshire Archives Service, Poor Law Records and Carmarthen Borough records.


The antiquarian Alcwyn Evans published various papers on the history of the town of Carmarthen based on the manuscripts of the Corporation in the collection. Numerous articles published in the Transactions of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society and the Carmarthen Antiquary. The Book of Ordnances 1569-1609 by John Davies, a transcription of the earliest extant minute of Carmarthen Borough