Cultural institutions

In Wales there are a number of culture and arts institutions which have been established by Royal Charter or Warrant. These include:

National Library of Wales

The National Library of Wales was established by Royal Charter on 19 March 1907. Supplemental Charters, revising the constitution, were given to the Library in 1911 and 1978.  On 19 July 2006 a new supplemental Charter was granted by Her Majesty. The 2006 supplemental Charter dissolved the 1978 supplemental Charter and changed the constitution and the governance of the Library significantly. Whereas previously the Library had a Court of Governors to preside over it, it now has a Board of Trustees.  The National Library of Wales is an incorporated body and a registered charity. The Library receives an annual grant in aid from the Welsh Government.

The National Museum of Wales

The National Museum of Wales was established by Royal Charter on 19 March 1907. A supplemental Charter was given to the Museum in 1990, which revised the constitution and governance of the Museum. In 2006 a new supplemental Charter was granted by Her Majesty which dissolved the 1990 supplemental Charter and changed the constitution and governance of the Museum significantly. Whereas previously the Museum had a Court of Governors and a Council to preside over it, it now has a Board of Trustees. The National Museum of Wales is an incorporated body and a registered charity.  The Museum receives its core funding through a grant from the Welsh Government.

The Arts Council of Wales

The Arts Council of Wales was established by Royal Charter on 8 February 1994 (as amended by the Privy Council on 24 November 1999). The Council is also a registered charity whose objectives are:

  • to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts and
  • to increase accessibility of the arts to the public. The Council receives grant funding from the Welsh Government.  

The Welsh Books Council

The Welsh Books Council, or Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru, was established in 1961. It is funded by the Welsh Government. The Council's aims are to promote the interests of Welsh language books and English language books of interest to Wales, to promote the publishing industry in Wales, and to assist and support authors by offering a number of services and distributing grants. It offers design and editorial services for publishers, distributes grants for authors and publishers, and provides services for libraries.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales was established in 1908 by Royal Warrant.  The Royal Commission is based in Aberystwyth and sponsored by the Welsh Government.  It has a role in developing and promoting understanding of the archaeological, built and maritime heritage of Wales, as the originator, curator and supplier of authoritative information for individual, corporate and governmental decision makers, researchers, and the general public.