Fonds GB 0210 PETERFINCH - Peter Finch Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Peter Finch Papers


  • [c.1967]-2010 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

22 large boxes (0.638 cubic metres.) [18 boxes February 2012; 4 boxes September 2012].

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Peter Finch is an internationally known poet, writer and critic, and was born in Cardiff in 1947. He sometimes writes in traditional literary forms, but he is best known for his interest and innovation in experimental literature, especially concrete, found and sound poetry. His writing process has evolved in tandem with the forefront of technological advances, often using computers, images, sound, video, e-mail and webpages. He has published more than 25 volumes of poetry, and has also written critical works relating to poetry publishing in the UK.

Beginning in the late 1960s, Finch organised poetry readings in Cardiff and contributed to the pioneering and influential literary magazine, Second Aeon, which he edited until 1974. He was also treasurer of the Association of Little Presses from the 1970s until the 1990s, and was responsible for the Arts Council of Wales’s specialist Oriel Bookshop in Cardiff in the same period. His interest in performance poetry also led him to become a founder member of Cabaret 246 and the trio Horse's Mouth in the 1980s and 1990s. From 1998-2011 he was the Chief Executive of Literature Wales. He now spends his time writing, and also appears at many literary readings and festivals. Finch’s later work includes psychogeographies of the Severn estuary and alternative literary guides to Cardiff, including the Real Cardiff trilogy. He has received a number of awards.

Archival history

The archive remained in Peter Finch's possession until it was purchased by the Library.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Purchase; Peter Finch ; Cardiff ; February 2012 and September 2012 ; 006226778

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of Peter Finch, comprising early poetry and literature, early typescripts, manuscripts, several hundred files and note books, proofs and research for the Real Cardiff trilogy, some files about the Writers Handbook, and correspondence, together with material accumulated through his involvement with the Association of Little Presses, including fanzines, unofficial publications, and experimental and amateur publications. The archive includes many aspects of Finch’s work, notably his concrete verse, visual poetry, sound poetry, found poetry and collage poems, and it reflects his technical experimentation with poems created on typewriters, word processors and photocopy machines.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records donated to NLW have been retained.


Accruals are possible.

System of arrangement

Arranged as found.

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 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library. = Disgwylir i ddarllenwyr sydd am ddefnyddio papurau modern yn Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru gydymffurfio â Deddf Gwarchod Data 1998 yng nghyd-destun unrhyw brosesu ganddynt o ddata personol a gasglwyd o gofnodion modern sydd ar gadw yn y Llyfrgell. Nodir y manylion yn yr wybodaeth a roddir wrth wneud cais am Docyn Darllen.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual restrictions apply.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales VM 8794-VM 8810 comprises one box of tapes transferred from this archive (19/12/2012), and further letters and other papers of Peter Finch are in Harri Webb Papers, Emyr Humphreys Papers, Welsh Academy Papers, Planet Papers, Rowland Mathias Papers and Alison Bielski Papers.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Preferred citation: Peter Finch Papers

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Previous description identifier: VTLS 6226778

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

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



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion

May 2017


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by David Moore. The following sources were used in the creation of this description: Peter Finch's website (viewed April and May 2017); papers within the archive.

Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places