Fonds GB 0210 DAFMAS - D. 'Afan' Thomas (Composer) Music Manuscripts,

Identity area

Reference code



D. 'Afan' Thomas (Composer) Music Manuscripts,


  • 1883-1949 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.199 cubic metres (9 boxes).

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The composer David John 'Afan' Thomas (1881-1928), was born 15th April 1881, in Cwmavon, Glamorgan. He was the son of Evan Thomas, a choir conductor, and his wife, who was a singer and the daughter of David Nicholas, an accomplished musician. He adopted the name 'Afan' around 1899. He studied for a time under Dr Joseph Parry. He studied the organ at Bournemouth and was organist at Bethesda Congregational Chapel, Briton Ferry, 1903-1927. He was a frequent winner of musical composition competitions at the National Eisteddfod, and his works were performed at National Eisteddfod concerts. His sacred vocal works include Eirin Afan 1 & 2. His most ambitious work was his composition for choir and orchestra to words by Sir Henry Newbolt, 'He fell among thieves' performed at Aberafan. Many of his manuscripts were copied by his father, Evan Thomas, and his brother, Gwilym Thomas. He died 13th May 1928 and was buried in Cwmavon. One of his personal friends was Rev. William Evans ('Wil Ifan'), who wrote his biography published in 1944.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Rev. W. Evans, 1950

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Music manuscripts, etc., of D. Afan Thomas, comprising instrumental music, 1909-1922; vocal music, namely ballads, monologues and cantatas, 1912-1923; songs, [1890s]- 1928; part-songs 1899-1918; anthems, magnificats and chants, 1904-1923; hymns, [1890s]-[1928] and carols, [c. 1900]-1927; and letters and papers, consisting of letters to Afan, 1902-1928; letters from Afan, 1903-[1928]; miscellaneous letters, 1883-1949, and miscellaneous papers, 1883-[c. 1944], including the manuscript of the biography by Rev. William Evans ('Wil Ifan'), Afan, a Welsh Music Maker [Cardiff 1944].

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 into the following: instrumental music; vocal music; letters and papers.

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 regulations apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title compiled from content of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Access points

Place access points

Name 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

March 2003.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Seri Crawley for the the ANW project. The following sources were used for the preparation of the description: NLW Schedule of D. Afan Thomas Music Manuscripts; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959). Some of the letters and papers post-date the death of D. Afan Thomas;

Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: D. 'Afan' Thomas (Composer) Music Manuscripts.