- [1800x2001] (predominantly 1890-1976)(accumulated [c. 1908]-[c. 2001]) (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.074 cubic metres (3 boxes, 4 vols, 10 folders, 6 envelopes)
Name of creator
W. S. Gwynn Williams (1896-1978), musician, composer, author, editor and administrator, established the Gwynn Publishing Company and was one of the founders of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.
He was born, 4 April 1896, at Plas Hafod, Llangollen, the son of the musician W. Pencerdd Williams. He composed numerous songs, including the popular 'Tosturi Duw' ('God's Mercy') and 'My Little Welsh Home'. From 1922 to 1929 he edited Y Cerddor Newydd, and was also responsible for the short lived musical review, Y Delyn: the Welsh Music Review, of which three issues only appeared, in 1947.
His devotion to the field of Welsh folk music is one of his main contributions. He was secretary of the Welsh Folk-Song Society, 1933-1957, becoming chairman in 1957. He also edited the Society's Journal for thirty years. He published many collections of folk-songs and tunes, including Old Welsh Folk-songs (1927), and Caneuon Traddodiadol y Cymry in two volumes (1961, 1963). He published a pioneering study of traditional Welsh music entitled Welsh National Music and Dance, of which four editions appeared between 1932 and 1971.
He established the Gwynn Publishing Company which, over the years, produced a wide range of both Welsh and European music. He also played a prominent part in the inception of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in 1947, becoming its first musical director. He was a prominent member of the Eisteddfod Gorsedd, and was musical organiser of the Gorsedd of Bards. He died in 1978.
The papers of W. S. Gwynn Williams (including those of his father, W. Pencerdd Williams) were passed to his widow, Mrs Elizabeth Eleanor Gwynn Williams, after his death in 1978. Following Mrs Williams's death in September 2001, various interested parties were given the opportunity by the executor (the local representative of HSBC Probate Services) to take possession of items, including printed material, papers and audio tapes, belonging to the estate of W. S. Gwynn Williams.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Donated by The Estate of the late Mrs Elizabeth Eleanor Gwynn Williams, Llangollen, widow of W. S. Gwynn Williams per Mr Alwyn Jones, Probate Service Manager, HSBC, Rhos on Sea, December 2001.; A2001/83
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The fonds comprises mainly his professional papers, 1908-1976, a few personal papers, [1800x2001], and papers of his father, W. Pencerdd Williams, [c. 1890]-[c. 1924]. Papers relating to the Welsh Folk-Song Society and to his role as first musical director of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod are not included.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged according to provenance at NLW into three groups: professional papers, 1908-1976, personal papers, [1800x2001], and W. Pencerdd Williams papers, [c. 1890]-[c. 1924].
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 laws apply.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
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GEAC system control number
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Description control area
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
Compiled by Barbara Davies.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Griffiths, Rhidian, 'Gŵr y gân' (Y Casglwr, 56/57 (1996)); Canu gwerin, 19 (1996); 'Ein Cerddorion: Mr Wm. Pencerdd Williams' (Y Cerddor, XVIII (1906)).