Fonds GB 0210 RBRYNIAMS - R. Bryn Williams Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



R. Bryn Williams Papers,


  • 1865-1962 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.036 cubic metres (72 volumes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

R. Bryn Williams (1902-1981), poet and historian, was born in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Merionethshire, but from 1909 to 1923 lived in Trelew, Chubut, Argentina. He then returned to Wales, studying at University College of North Wales, Bangor, and the Theological College, Aberystwyth; in 1932 he became a Welsh Presbyterian minister, and from 1952 he worked in the National Library of Wales. He married Eunice Bryn Williams (d. 1991). He wrote extensively on the history of the Patagonian settlement, including his 'Cymry Patagonia' (1942), 'Y Wladfa' (1962) and 'Gwladfa Patagonia, 1865-1965' (1965) and his collections of reminiscences by the settlers ('Atgofion o Batagonia' (1980)) and prose and poetry written by them, published between 1944 and 1976. He wrote fiction for adults and children about Patagonia, in 'Y March Goch' (1954), 'Bandit yr Andes' (1956) and others. His poetry, published in the volumes 'Pentewynion' (1949), 'Patagonia' (1956), and 'O'r Tir Pell' (1972), was also dominated by the settlement. He also wrote plays, travel books, and an autobiography, 'Prydydd y Paith' which appeared posthumously in 1983.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated to the National Library of Wales by R. Bryn Williams, Llanbadarn Fawr, 1962.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of and acquired by R. Bryn Williams, mainly relating to the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, including a diary of Joseph Seth Jones, one of the first wave of emigrants on the Mimosa to Patagonia, 1865, and correspondence, 1865-1868; correspondence of his brother, Robert Charles Jones, 1867-1877; copy records of the Welsh courts in Y Wladfa, 1872-1881; letters and minute books relating to Vrondeg Baptist Chapel, 1875-1887, Gaiman, 1877-1891, Eglwys Llanddewi, 1891, Eglwys Bryn Gwyn and Cyfarfod Misol Y Wladfa (Calvinistic Methodists), 1881-1955; papers relating to the Centenary Celebrations of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, 1952-1962; letters from the founders of the Welsh colony, 1866, and from others who had experienced life there; letters to R. Bryn Williams from Patagonia and from Wales relating to Patagonia, [c. 1941-1961]; research notes and manuscripts of books and radio plays by R. Bryn Williams, 1942-1962; miscellaneous records relating to Wales and elsewhere collected by Williams, 1865-1962; papers relating to John S. Williams, 1901-1962; papers and press cuttings on the history, culture and industry of Patagonia, 1869-1962; and typescripts of published and unpublished works, lectures, scripts, etc.

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 NLW MSS 18175-18246. The collection had earlier been numbered R. Bryn Williams MSS 1-76. Of these, MS 56, 'Bathodynnau ynglyn ag Eisteddfod Cenedlaethol Caerlleon, 1866, a Rhuthyn, 1868', has been transferred to NLW Print Room. A list of ships from the USA to Patagonia was assigned the number RBW MS 6 / NLW MS 18180, but the donor could not find it at the time the collection was presented: "Yn ôl llyfryddiaeth Y Wladfa, dylai hwn fod yn cynnwys rhestr o longau o'r Unol Daliethiau, ond methais â rhoi fy llaw arno ar hyn o bryd."

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

English, Welsh, Spanish.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

The catalogue can be accessed online, or in hard copy at NLW. The collection is described in more detail (in Welsh) in the former schedule, 'Rhestr o lawysgrifau R. Bryn Williams' (1962), which is available in hard copy at NLW.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Further papers of R. Bryn Williams are NLW MSS 19010-37 and 19356-7. See also Papurau Eunice Bryn Williams. Further papers relating to the Welsh settlement in Patagonia include NLW, Edward Jones Williams and Chubut Mercantile Company Papers, Kenneth E. Skinner Research Papers, E. R. Williams (Patagonia) Papers, David Richards Papers, and Kyffin Williams Papers, and University of Wales Bangor, Bryn Williams's Patagonia Papers and Rev. Nefydd Hughes Cadfan Papers.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds. Include papers which pre-date R. Bryn Williams.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


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

April 2003.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Rhestr o lawysgrifau R. Bryn Williams (1962);

Accession area