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About Cardiff EDC



Introduction to Cardiff EDC

Cardiff EDC Collection

The European Documentation Centre (EDC), located in the Aberconway Guest Study Centre at Cardiff University, is part of the Europe Direct Information Network set up by the European Commission. The Cardiff EDC is also an active member of the Wales European Information Network.

The EDC is a major source of information and expertise about the institutions, activities and policies of the European Union (EU). It is a formal European Union Information Relay, and as such contains the publicly available documentation of the institutions, agencies and departments that together comprise the EU.

In addition, the collection at Cardiff includes much material from other sources that describe, analyse, comment upon and relate to developments in the EU, the countries and regions of Europe, and the wider Europe.

Today, much information is also available electronically. The Cardiff EDC staff can help you find this information quickly and efficiently.

The primary function of the EDC is to aid the academic study of European integration and the growing European dimension in other academic disciplines. Cardiff EDC is open to students and researchers from all institutions in the region. In addition, the wider public in South Wales is welcome to make full use of the Centre.

Cardiff EDC aims to:

  • provide information about all aspects of the European Union and the countries of Europe in a professional and non-partisan way
  • encourage debate about the EU and awareness of the European dimension in our lives
  • give the public the opportunity to communicate their views to the EU in the form of questions, suggestions and response to consultations.



Staff profiles

Ian Thomson

Ian Thomson

Ian Thomson is a librarian and European information specialist who has worked in European affairs for over thirty years. Currently, he is the Director of the European Documentation Centre at Cardiff University (Cardiff EDC) and Executive Editor of European Sources Online.

Until the end of 2012 he was also a Consultant to the Enterprise Europe Network, Wales and President of the European Information Association.

The Cardiff EDC is a high profile and innovative specialist European information service. Offering a traditional enquiry and training service, the Cardiff EDC also offers a programme of events for the public, a successful internship programme and is the editorial base for the electronic information service European Sources Online (ESO).

Whilst working as a researcher to a Member of the European Parliament, Ian created in 1980 European Access, which became the leading bibliographic service for European information in the 1980s and 1990s. Later, under his continuing editorship, an electronic version, European Access Plus, was launched, as was a new information service called KnowEurope (now known as European Sources Online).

European Sources Online, a web-based European information service, is a leading specialist information service that focuses on providing information about Europe. Originally published by ProQuest Information and Learning until June 2006, it is now published by Cardiff University Press as an activity of the Cardiff EDC within the University Library Service. Since 2014 ESO has been a free access service.

Ian was winner of the European Special Librarian of the Year Award 1994, presented by the European Chapter of the Special Libraries Association. He was the author of the standard reference book 'The Documentation of the European Communities' (Mansell, 1989). He has also published a large number of articles in professional journals during his career.

Ian directs and presents papers at a large number of training courses and conferences on European topics throughout the world, in the United States, Canada and Australia and in most European countries. He has regular teaching and training assignments at the College of Europe, Natolin, Poland and the European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht, the Netherlands. He has also worked at the Universities of Zagreb in Croatia and Örebro in Sweden. In March 2015 he spoke to graduates at the 10th Annual Graduate Student Conference on the European Union held at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

Ian also provides information training and lectures for the European Commission in Brussels and throughout the rest of Europe. Since 2005 he has lectured and trained in Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden, as well as the UK.

Since 2013 Ian has particularly focused on providing training to legal practitioners and law librarians. This has included workshops for the Scottish Law Librarians Group in Edinburgh in 2013, in Ireland for BIALL Ireland and The Law Library in 2014, and to the American Association of Law Libraries in Philadelphia in 2015. He has been asked to provide workshops in March 2016 for BIALL in Bristol and for the Irish law practice Arthur Cox in Dublin. He has also provided bespoke courses for international law practice DLA Piper in Manchester and Germany’s leading research organisation, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg.

The training of journalists and student journalists in European affairs has also become a particular focus of Ian’s activities over the years. For many years since 2006 he has been asked to present the EU module on a Masters in Global Journalism for journalists from across the world at the University of Örebro, Sweden. This is now a regular biannual assignment. In the summer of 2008 he trained young journalists from Northern Europe at the European Summer Academy held at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. He also contributes to a course for trainee journalists and media professionals at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Cardiff University and has taught at the European Journalism Centre in Maastricht. A number of interns at the Cardiff EDC have also gone into media-related careers.

In the United Kingdom Ian has directed courses for many organisations, including BIALL, ASLIB, the Network of Government and Library Information Specialists (NGLIS), the National School of Government, the Standing Committee on Official Publications (SCOOP), as well as the European Information Association (EIA).

Ian has carried out consultancy work for the Wales European Centre, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and European Commission. During 2009 he acted as an 'Expert' for the European Economic and Social Committee advising on the development of the EESC Library. In December 2010 Ian advised the multinational pharmaceutical company MSD on EU information matters, and has carried out a similar activity for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

In 2010 Ian was selected to join the European Commission DG Communication's new Pan-European Working Group (PEWG) looking into the issue of electronic depositories and the potential for the network of European Documentation Centres to cooperate on initiatives in this area. As an outcome of the PEWG Ian is now leading a project involving EDC personnel from across the EU contributing to the editorial work of ESO. A second PEWG for EDCs was established in 2012 and Ian was selected as a member with a particular focus on the role of social media in the work of EDCs. He was also selected to be the UK representative on the Third PEWG in 2015, on the future of the EDC Network.

Ian was invited to present a paper ‘50 Years of European Documentation Centres’ at the EDC Training Seminar in Brussels in December 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the EDC network in 1963.



Frederico Rocha

Frederico Rocha
Assistant Director

Frederico has been the Cardiff EDC’s Assistant Director since January 2016. He became a permanent member of staff in September 2013, following a six-month internship. Frederico is a member of the European Sources Online editorial team.

Frederico concluded a BA in Political Science and International Relations in 2010 from Nova University (Portugal), followed by an MA in Political Science in 2012 from the same institution. As a researcher, Frederico has been focusing his attention on forms of nationalism, democratic transitions and radical right-wing parties. EU politics, Scandinavia and the Balkans are also featured in his research interests. Frederico has taken part in several research projects throughout the years, based in Portugal and beyond. As a result of his research, he has produced and presented a number of papers.

Frederico also worked on several occasions with the Electoral Office of Portugal’s Ministry of Home Affairs, conducting research and being involved in the organisation of the country’s parliamentary elections.



Ceri Thomas

Ceridwen Thomas
Senior Library Assistant

Ceri has over thirty years of library and information experience, including twelve years in the EDC. She has been a member of the European Sources Online editorial team since 1993.




Annual report