Members at our 2007 BBQ

Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwr



The Cardiff Naturalists' Society Library

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Having been founded in close association with the Cardiff Free Library and then having campaigned for the siting of the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff, it is no surprise that the Society continued to have a keen interest in maintaining a library to enhance the work of the Society and the museum.

The Cardiff Naturalists' Society Library, housed in Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, was built up from the later nineteenth century by two means. First, by exchanging its publications with national and international sister organizations, and second, through the generosity of major scientific organisations, notably the Natural History Museum in London and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, USA.

The publications received provided additional research material for the museum’s staff over and above the books and journals that form part of the museum library, and are of particular benefit to the natural history and, to some extent, the archaeology staff.

Members of the museum library staff have contributed to the society in a number of ways including as recorded on the Museum's own website

Elizabeth Harriet Edwards, known to family and friends as Hetty, was Librarian at the National Museum of Wales from 1931 until her retirement in 1970. She is our longest serving Librarian, racking up a whopping 39 years’ service. The National Museum’s Annual Report for 1969/70 records the Museum Council thanking her for her work;

‘Miss E H Edwards has served as Librarian for 39 years. During this period the Library has become one of the most important special libraries in Wales, now containing more than 80,000 books. She has served as Chairman of the Welsh Branch of the Library Association, and is President-elect of the Cardiff Naturalists’ Society.’

From our records we can tell that Hattie was our Librarian for 14 years and our longest serving was H. M. Hallett who was the Society Librarian from 1911 - 1948!

The collection consists of over 10,000 books and journals. However, since the society's transactions ceased to be published in 1986 a number of the exchanges have ceased, but certain key journals continue to be maintained by the museum’s library through subscriptions.

Copies of the Societies own transactions are housed in the library. From 1867 to 1986 it published annual Reports and Transactions. These publications contain studies of the botany, zoology, geology, archaeology, history and meteorology of southeast Wales, including historical weather records.

In recent years the Socety made an agreement with the National Library of Wales and issues 1-100 are available on-line See Welsh Journals Online Pages

More recently it has published a newsletter. Issues from 53 (March 2002) are on-line here at the society's website.

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Before this... The Society Today