- 1543-1923 (accumulated -) (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
3.181 cubic metres (1,549 volumes, 56 boxes)
Name of creator
John Humphreys Davies (1871-1926) of Cwrtmawr, Llangeitho, Cardiganshire, bibliographer, served as Principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth from 1919 to 1926. Davies's deep interest in Welsh literature and culture manifested in his acquisition of a vast collection of Welsh manuscripts and books from many sources over a long period. He died on 10 August 1926 and was buried at Llangeitho.
The largest group within his collection was acquired by J. H. Davies from John Jones (Myrddin Fardd, 1836-1921), of Chwilog, Caernarfonshire, who had assembled a large collection of historical and antiquary material copied from parish registers and libraries such as Peniarth. Davies also acquired substantial material derived from the collections of the following: Daniel Silvan Evans (1818-1903), cleric, editor and lexicographer, whose major work was his unfinished Geiriadur Cymraeg (5 vols, 1887-1896, 1906); the Richards family of Darowen, Montgomeryshire, a Welsh clerical family active in the Welsh church and in cultural movements and which included the Reverend Thomas Richards (1754-1837), his five sons (all ordained), and three daughters, the eldest of whom, Mary (1787-1877), compiled over 20 volumes of transcripts and memoranda; 'Gwilym Cowlyd' (William John Roberts, 1827-1904), poet and printer and nephew of Ieuan Glan Geirionydd (1795-1855), cleric and poet; Peter Bailey Williams (1763-1836), cleric and writer and son of Peter Williams (1723-1796), Methodist and Biblical commentator. J. H. Davies also collected several important smaller groups of material.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
John Humphreys Davies; Cwrtmawr, Llangeitho; Donation; 1925 & 1926
John Humphreys Davies (per T. I. Ellis); Rhyl; Bequest; 1933
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Manuscript collections containing original and transcribed poetry and prose, 1543-[20th century]; religious works, 1611-1914; biographies, chronicles, archaeological and historical notes, works on travel, folklore, recipes, grammars, vocabularies and philological notes, 1673-1900; rent-rolls, parish registers, tithe account books, bidding books, minute books and registers of various societies, 1608-1863; pedigrees and genealogical notes, [17th century]-1871, commonplace books, [18th century]-1904, volumes of press-cuttings; manuscripts in the hand of J. H. Davies, including transcripts of and indexes to Welsh poetry, bibliographical notes, literary and legal extracts, pedigrees, biographical data and notes on place-names, 1891-1923; autograph letters from prominent Welsh literary figures, 1674-1921; autograph manuscripts of John Jones, Gellilyfdy, Dafydd Ellis of Criccieth, Eben Fardd (including diaries, 1836-1859), Peter Williams, D. Silvan Evans, Thomas Richards and Myrddin Fardd.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: All records donated to the National Library of Wales have been retained..
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged at NLW as Cwrtmawr MSS 1-1492.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Hard copies of the catalogues are available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogues are available online.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title derived from domicile of collector and donor, J. H. Davies.
Virtua system control number
Place access points
Name access points
Description control area
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
Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used to compile this description: NLW, Catalogue of the Cwrtmawr Manuscripts; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959);