Fonds GB 0210 JGLIES - J. Glyn Davies Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



J. Glyn Davies Papers,


  • [17 cent.]-2016 (with gaps) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.008 cubic metres (49 boxes, 1 bundle)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

John Glyn Davies (1870-1953), a Celtic scholar, was born in Liverpool, the son of John Davies, a tea merchant, and his wife Gwen, the daughter of John Jones (1796-1857) of Tal-y-sarn, Caernarfonshire, a celebrated Methodist preacher. He received his education at the Liverpool Institute, and worked for two sailing boat companies before being employed in 1899 as librarian of the Welsh Library of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, which was intended to form the nucleus of a national library of Wales. He left in 1907 for Liverpool University's Celtic Department, where he was head of department from 1920 until his retirement in 1936. His published works include collections of songs for children, Cerddi Huw Puw (1923), Cerddi Robin Goch (1935) and Cerddi Portinllaen (1936), many of which are based on sailors' songs he had heard during his youth, and a posthumous book of poems, Cerddi Edern (1955). He assembled the Tanycastell collection of papers, books and paintings relating to his ancestral Davies and Jones families, particularly John Jones of Tal-y-sarn (1796-1857), and manuscripts of Welsh poetry, including the Henblas manuscript and Gwallter Mechain manuscripts.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Acquired by the National Library of Wales in thirteen groups between 1937 and 1993, the earlier groups from J. Glyn Davies (d. 1953), and later groups from Mrs Glyn Davies. With the permission of Mr Gwion Davies, the Library has converted into donations several groups of manuscripts and papers which were received on deposit.
Mrs Joscelyn Davies; Llanfairfechan; Donation; August 2017; 99126171502419.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of J. Glyn Davies, mainly letters, many relating to antiquarian, academic and library interests, including 400 from Robert Scourfield Mills ('Owen Rhoscomyl'), 1903-1919, almost 200 from Jennie Thomas relating to Llyfr mawr y plant, 1920-1950, and 150 from T. Gwynn Jones, 1908-1947; papers of his family, including the Tanycastell Collection, 1821-1858; and manuscripts collected by him, including the Henblas manuscript (Welsh poems by various authors, 1664-1685) and the Gwallter Mechain manuscripts.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

The archive is mainly arranged within the groups in which it was received, and catalogued in five volumes. Readers should be aware that some reference numbers are repeated within separate groups. Also that some paper copies of vol. 3 of the schedule have incorrect numbers for items 12975-14933, numbering them 12975-15003. Arranged into the Henblas Manuscript, [17 cent.] (1), other manuscripts and miscellanea, [17 cent.]-1951 (2-124), Tanycastell collection, 1821-1946 (1-50), portraits, [date not supplied] (1-2), John Davies papers, 1833-1905 (1-119), printed books with manuscript notes or associational value, 1729-1939 (1-46), Tanycastell collection: books with manuscript signatures or particular associations, 1799-[c.1933] (1-9), books to be added to the A. O. Vaughan material, 1899-1912 (1-2), miscellaneous papers etc. (received 1930), 1632-1926 (1-30), John Jones, Talysarn, manuscripts etc., 1845-1913 (1-5), Walter Davies ('Gwallter Mechain') manuscripts, 1638-1833 (1-19), a manuscript (deposited June 1952), [c.1853], A. Stanley Davies collection, 1857-1913 (1-255), J. Glyn Davies Papers (donated Feb. 1984), 1864-1981 (1-56), letters and postcards received from Liverpool (1947), 1892-1936, letters and papers received from Llanarth (5 July 1948), 1844-1945 (1-2495), prints and photographs (1948), 1888-1927 (1-9), and 'Owen Rhoscomyl' correspondence, 1903-1931 (1-316). The main group of correspondence is arranged into letters addressed mainly to J. Glyn Davies, 1891-1948 (2496-2813), family correspondence, 1912-1939 (2814-3226), letters to J. Glyn Davies, 1896-1937 (3227-3773), letters to J. Glyn Davies (received from Liverpool, 1947), 1879-1936 (3774-8045), letters to J. Glyn Davies (deposited 1938), 1886-1936 (8046-8803), letters to J. Glyn Davies (deposited 1939), 1890-1938 (8804-9860), 'Owen Rhoscomyl' correspondence, 1902-1935 (317-714), letters to J. Glyn Davies, 1885-1951 (9861-12,768a), letters to J. Glyn Davies (New Zealand letters), 1893-1911 (12769-12873), letters to J. Glyn Davies (Scandanavian letters), 1923-1940 (12874-12967), letters to J. Glyn Davies, 1890-1951 (12968-14012), family correspondence etc., 1852-1951 (14013-14284), letters to D. E. Jenkins relating to a testimonial to J. Glyn Davies, 1936 (14285-14314), copies of letters from J. Glyn Davies, 1892-1951 (14315-14933), letters from J. Glyn Davies, 1895-1953 (14934-16164), portions of letters, 1921-1953 (16165-16364), letters to J. Glyn Jones, 1897-1953 (16365-16953), letters to John Davies, Liverpool, 1855-1905 (16954-17032), letters to Gwen Davies, 1871-1918 (17033-17074), letters to Mrs Glyn Davies, 1904-1952 (17075-10797), miscellaneous letters, 1856-1953 (17098-17172), letters from J. Glyn Davies, 1906-1948 (17173-17212), and letters to J. Glyn Davies, 1888-1951 (17213-17227). The remaining manuscripts are arranged into the manuscripts of J. Glyn Davies, 1884-1949 (17228-17286), and other manuscripts (17287-17295).

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Yn unol â deddfau hawlfraint, yn achos llythyrau oddi wrth J. Glyn Davies, Mrs H. Glyn Davies, Mrs Gwen Koblenz, Mrs Mair Burman, Mrs Elin Williams a Mr Gwion Davies, bydd angen caniatâd ysgrifenedig ymlaen llaw ar gyfer archebu llungopïau neu ar gyfer eu cyhoeddi, boed yn gyflawn neu'n rhannol. Byddai'r teulu yn falch iawn o glywed gan unrhyw ymchwilydd sydd yn defnyddio'r papurau hyn. In accordance with copyright legislation, prior written permission will be required for any photographic reproduction or to publish in whole or in part letters written by J. Glyn Davies, Mrs H. Glyn Davies, Mrs Gwen Koblenz, Mrs Mair Burman, Mrs Elin Williams and Mr Gwion Davies. The family would be very glad if any researchers consulting these papers would contact them. 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, Danish.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogues can be accessed online.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Papers of J. Glyn Davies, mainly lecture notes, are also held at Uppsala University, Sweden. The National Library of Wales also holds the papers of his brother, George Maitland Lloyd Davies (1880-1949), a group of papers purchased (1936-1938) from another brother, Captain A. Stanley Davies, and a group of letters, c.1900-1944, mainly from George M. Ll. Davies to Captain Davies (NLW Annual Report, 1960-1961, p. 25).

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds. Some papers pre-date the life of J. Glyn Davies.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Access points

Subject 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

October 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, Schedule of J. Glyn Davies Papers; Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941-1970 (2001).

Accession area