Bangor University Library & the Local Community

Members of the local community are very welcome to come and use the reading rooms and some of the collections at the University Library. Please continue reading to learn more about our history, and our resources.
The origins of Bangor University are rooted in the local community. In the 19th century, quarrymen, farmers and many other local people generously donated money from their meagre earnings towards the establishment of a college of higher education for North Wales.
“…the poor Welsh farmers and quarrymen were, in proportion to their means, the most liberal supporters of the North Wales College, putting those of us who belong to the wealthier and leisure classes to shame by the largeness of their contribution”. (William Rathbone, MP for Caernarfon, and one of the founders of the university, addressing the House of Commons in the 19th century).*
The collection which formed the core of the University Library and Archives was begun in 1883 by William John Parry of Bethesda, who later became known as the Quarryman’s Champion due to his role in raising funds for the quarrymen during the Penrhyn quarry strike of 1900-1903.
W.J. Parry donated 350 books, and wrote to potential donors for contributions, saying: “The Library of such an Institution must become, in course of time, an inestimable advantage and blessing to all North Wales…It is my purpose to commence such a Collection that must become more precious and valuable from generation to generation.”**
In 2011, we have a wide range of resources at the University Library and Archives. The Main Library on College Road contains the Welsh Library (a collection of books relating to the history and culture of Wales, including novels and reference books), the Law Library, and books, journals and dissertations for subjects including history, archaeology, business, literature, music, social sciences, linguistics and more. Next door to the Main Library we have the University Archives, which contains historical papers relating to the university, manuscripts from local estates, individuals and families, farming records and more.
The Fron Heulog library in the Healthcare Sciences building opposite Morrisons in Upper Bangor has books on health, nursing and midwifery, the Normal College library by the Menai Straits contains our collections to support teacher training and sports science courses, plus teaching materials and children’s books. In Lower Bangor, on the Deiniol Road leading up to the train station, is the Deiniol Library which houses the science and psychology collections.
Local people are very welcome to visit any of the libraries, use the Reading Rooms, and read printed books and journals in the libraries. You can even borrow books if you join a public library, and use Linc y Gogledd, which links together academic and public libraries across North Wales.
Any library resources accessed online, including e-books and e-journals, may only be accessed by members of the university, due to license restrictions; and computers may only be used by university members with network passwords.
*Quoted in J. Gwynn Williams,1985. The University College of North Wales: foundations, 1884-1927. p.49. Welsh Library.
**Coetmor MS2iii, Coetmor Papers, 1818-1926. University Archives.
(Thanks to Shan Robinson for some of the background research).

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