Robert Protheroe Jones was brought up in Felinfoel and attended Llanelli Boys Grammar-Technical School before studying geology at the University College of Wales Aberystwyth. From the 1970s he researched and recorded the industrial archaeology of the Llanelli area and became a member of the Llanelli Public Library Local History Research Group established by the late Harold Prescott, the then Borough Librarian. Since 1990 he has been on the curatorial staff of the National Museum of Wales where he is now Principal Curator of Industry, based at the National Waterfront Museum at Swansea. His research interests encompass all aspects of the mining and smelting of metals in Wales together with their subsidiary industries. With Dr. Malcolm Symons and the late Robin Craig he co-authored 'The Industrial and Maritime History of Llanelli and Burry Port, 1750-2000' (Llanelli: Carmarthenshire County Council, 2002), to which he contributed chapters on non-ferrous smelting, the iron, steel and tinplate industry, and subsidiary industries, and a map-based appendix on the region's transport systems. He continues to actively research and record the industrial history and archaeology of the Llanelli region, is a trustee of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, and represents the National Museum on the Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales Industrial Archaeology Panel.