THE U.C.W. MUSEUM AND ART COLLECTIONS 1872-1918 The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in just over 100 years of existence has accumulated considerable art collections and objects of historical and local interest. The College Museum however, no longer exists. It did not disappear overnight but rather petered out over a long period of neglect and lack of interest in the face of more urgent and pressing needs for space and finances on the part of College authorities. Some of the actual material remains on display in odd cases around the College, most of the remainder is in store. This article will cover the first 45 years of the history of the College Museum when it could be described as a general museum embracing the sciences, archaeology, local history, art and ethnography with varying emphasis at different periods. In 1918 the Museum received a generous endowment which meant that objects could be purchased as deemed desirable. Although it did not actually get its name until 1923 this lead to the establishment of the Arts and Crafts Museum with a much more specific brief than its predecessor and for this reason I have chosen to end this article at that point. "There were at first many things lacking which are essential to a properly equipped teaching institution. The library was small there were no chemical or physical laboratories. There was no teaching museum. "1 Thus wrote W. R. Evans, the first registered student, of the early days at the University College, Aberystwyth. To him a museum was essential to the functioning of the university. The problem was soon to be righted. In the quadrangle of the Old College, King Street, there is a brass plaque commemorating F. W. Rudler, Professor of Natural Science 1876-1879 and founder of the College Museum. The inscription cannot be strictly accurate for the first mention of a museum appears in the Report to the Court of Governors, 1873-42 in which there is a list of gifts to the Library and Museum. These include fossils, insects, old coins, medallions and a bust of the Rev. John Williams. These earliest gifts indicate the direction in which the Museum was to develop in succeeding years up until the 192os and reveal that within two years of the foundation of the College the collections had already been initi- ated. Professor Rudler, who also held the title of Director of the Museum, did not really have a long association with Aberystwyth. Indeed, of