Fonds GB 0210 ALFTDAVIES - Alfred T. Davies Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Alfred T. Davies Papers,


  • 1875-1965 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.114 cubic metres (4 boxes, 1 wallet)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sir Alfred Thomas Davies (1861-1949) received his university education in Aberystwyth and later became a solicitor in Liverpool. He was permanent secretary to the Welsh department of the Board of Education from its establishment in 1907 until 1925. During the 1914-18 war he was instrumental in the establishment of the British Prisoners of War Book Scheme (Educational), a project designed to provide educational books to students in prisoners' camps to enable them to continue their studies and even to acquire professional and academic qualifications. He was the author of Student captives: an account of the work of the British prisoners of war book scheme (educational) (1917), Student captives: a further account of the work of the British prisoners of war book scheme (educational) (1918), Light through prison bars: some war-time adventures in education, The Lloyd George I knew (1948), and Robert Owen (1771-1858): pioneer, social reformer and philanthropist: a memoir (1948).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by the sons of Alfred T. Davies in two groups: by A. Mervyn Davies of Connecticut, USA, in 1971 (Annual report 1971-72, pp. 36-7), and by Rev. Alfred T. Davies of Ohio, USA, in 1981 (Annual reports 1981-82, p. 47).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of Alfred T. Davies, 1875-1965, including family and personal correspondence, 1887-1949; papers relating to the British Prisoners of War Book Scheme, 1914-1918; and papers relating to his works, including Student captives, I (1917), Student captives, II, Robert Owen... a memoir (1948), The Lloyd George I knew (1948), and intended books Light through prison bars and Owned of God: or Moody and Sankey, 1875 and 1883: some memoirs and a tribute, with a Welsh translation by Rev. E. K. Jones, 1945. Also three bound volumes of the printed magazine produced by civilian prisoners at Ruhleben Camp near Berlin.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records have been retained..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged into the following: correspondence folders; press-cuttings, collection of pamphlets and lectures, speeches, and miscellaneous.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

The 1971 group remains uncatalogued. A hard copy of the catalogue of the 1981 group is available in Minor Lists and Summaries 1982, pp. 9-10, at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

A copy of Light through prison bars, a publication-ready typescript of The British prisoners of war book scheme (educational), and a dossier of material used in the operation of the scheme during the war of 1914-1918, deposited by Sir Alfred T. Davies, are held by the National Library of Wales's Department of Printed Books (Annual report, 1940-41, p. 26). Copies of Rev. Alfred Mervyn Davies's Foundation of American freedom (1955), and Presbyterian heritage (1965), part of the 1971 group, are also held by the Department of Printed Books. NLW also holds typescript copies of autobiographical work by Sir Alfred T. Davies (NLW ex 2158 and NLW Facs 925). Sir Alfred also deposited material relating to the Owen Glyndwr Memorial Institute, Glyndyfrdwy, 1931-1933 (NLW MS 16214C) and the Ceiriog Memorial Institute (NLW MS 16215D). The papers of one of his sons, A. Mervyn Davies (d. 1976), are also held by NLW.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

January 2004.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Minor Lists and Summaries, 1982; Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941-1970 (London, 2001);

Accession area