Carmarthenshire’s family researchers and amateur historians will be forced to take a break from digging up the past after it was announced that the county’s archives were closing to the public due to the discovery of mould in some of the storage rooms.

Environmental and structural surveys are currently being carried out on part of Carmarthen’s Parc Myrddin building, where the archives are held.

The work follows the deterioration over time of the environment in the section which houses some of the material.

A spokesman for Carmarthenshire County Council said Initial exploratory work indicated that more detailed investigations are required.

While further analysis is carried out, some of the original historical material housed at Parc Myrddin would be inaccessible to the public.

Some documents need to be sent away for cleaning due to the mould problem, which was first identified earlier this year in one of the building’s three strong rooms.

Those wishing to research their past can continue to access the family history service at libraries in Llanelli and Carmarthen, and one-to-one appointments will also be available with archive staff for more specific enquiries.

CyMAL, the Welsh Government’s Division overseeing Archive Services, and The National Archive, are working with the county council to address the problem.

The council’s head of leisure services, Ian Jones, said: “We are proud of our collections which have been developed since our record office was established in 1959, and are keeping our depositors fully updated on progress.

“This survey work is essential in providing us with vital information on how the building is reacting to environmental conditions.

“The right conditions are critical in order to meet required standards for the safe storage of our collections, preserving them for the future.

“In the meantime, we can assure the public that the most well-used elements of the archive service will continue to be offered via our libraries, and arrangements can still be made to answer legal and evidential enquiries through our staff remaining at Parc Myrddin.”

For further information on the county’s records, call 01269 830007.