Fonds GB 0210 DAVHARR - David Harries Music Manuscripts

Identity area

Reference code



David Harries Music Manuscripts


  • 1952-1995 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.143 cubic metres (5 large boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

David Harries (1933-2002), composer, was born in Portsmouth to Welsh parents on the 24th March, 1933 and spent most of his life in Wales, attending Pembroke Grammar School. In 1952 his Introduction and Allegro Scherzoso for String Quintet was awarded a prize at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Aberystwyth, and he successfully gained a Robert Bryan Music Scholarship to study Music at University College Wales, Aberystwyth, graduating in 1954. He then taught at Ounsdale School, Staffordshire, and at Milford Haven Grammar School before being appointed Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Music at Aberystwyth until 1975, following which he joined the staff of the Welsh College of Music and Drama as Head of the Performer's Course and then as Head of Composition from 1985. He continued to compose until the 1990s. He died on 25th December, 2002. Several of his compositions were published, including commissions for national platforms such as his Opus 25 No.2, Capriccio For Piano Duet (Llys Yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, 1976), commissioned for the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales, 1968; and his Opus 27, 'Neithiwr', in 'Songs from Wales volume I = Caneuon o Gymru cyfrol 1' (Cardiff: Welsh Music Information Centre, 1990), originally commissioned by the BBC, 1967.

Archival history

The collection was in the possession of the Harries family prior to donations being made to NLW by Mrs Alwena Harries in 2017 and 2021.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mrs Alwena Harries, Penarth, donated May 2017 and August 2021.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The music manuscripts of the composer David Harries, 1952-1995, comprising mainly drafts and scores of chamber and instrumental music, orchestral music, choral and organ, and voice and piano arrangements.
A second donation made in August 2021 contains further music manuscripts of David Harries, 1953-1993, and includes works by Harries' contemporary William Mathias (1934-1992) in addition to Harries' own compositions of chamber and instrumental music, orchestral music, choral and organ, and voice and piano arrangements.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records have been retained with the exception of some duplicate material which has been removed. 18 sound-tape reels and 2 sound discs have been transferred to the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales as the David Harries Archive.


Accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged in two groups: May 2017 Donation and August 2021 Donation.

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 set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply. Any reproduction of any part of the collection to be authorised by Mrs Alwena Harries (donor).

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

Mainly English with some Welsh.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

See also: National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, ref. David Harries Archive 33/6222, RM 18131, RM 18134, RM 18137, and RM 18150.

Related descriptions

Publication note

Details of published works are given at the appropriate level of description.

Notes area


Title based on contents of archive.

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


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

This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

November 2020. Revised March 2022.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by Lucie Hobson. The following sources were used in the compilation of this record: contents of archive; Oxford Music Online [accessed November 2020]; notes supplied with donation given by Alwena Harries.

Accession area