Blog - Collections

The National Library of Wales and the World Cup

Collections - Posted 17-11-2022

With the World Cup in Qatar on the horizon, it’s worth remembering that the National Library holds a number of World Cup and football-related items that the general public can read, view and enjoy when they visit the Library.

The Qatar World Cup is only the second time Wales have qualified for the competition, our only previous qualification being the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. The Library holds a number of items from that World Cup campaign, including programmes from the games, Football Association of Wales reports on qualification and the tournament itself, and for Swedish language readers the official book of the tournament, published in Sweden shortly after the tournament. We also hold a number of biographies published after the tournament by key players such as John Charles, Cliff Jones and Jack Kelsey. You can also find newspaper reports of the games and of the build-up to the competition in the newspapers collection.

The Library also holds more recent works associated with the Welsh football team and the World Cup, including paintings of team members by Owain Fôn Williams, recent national team match programmes, biographies of leading Welsh footballers, books on the history of the Wales football team and books on the history of the World Cup. For those of us who enjoyed collecting Panini stickers in our youth, the Library also holds a recently published facsimile of completed Panini sticker albums from each World Cup from 1970 onwards.

So, in between watching the games and supporting your national team, why not take some time out to visit the Library and explore some of the materials related to the competition held in its collections. A selection of items will be on display at the Library during the World Cup period and our collections can be browsed online ( and in the Reading Room.

The Welsh Political Archive Annual Lecture 2022

Collections - Posted 14-11-2022

The Welsh Political Archive annual lecture is now a well-established event in the calendar of the National Library of Wales. On the first Friday of November the Welsh Political Archive Advisory Committee meets with the lecture following at 5.30pm. This is the first time since 2019 that we have held the lecture in the Library; a panel discussion was held online in 2020 and in 2021 Professor Paul O’Leary delivered his lecture on Lloyd George in the Senedd in Cardiff.



Huw Edwards at the National Library of Wales


Journalist Huw Edwards was the lecturer this year. Huw is a familiar face and voice since the 1980s on the BBC, and the subject of the lecture was his work as a reporter and Wales’ place in British news and politics. Huw looked back at the 1980s, noting in particular how the BBC had reported on the launch of S4C in 1982 and the coverage of Welsh affairs in the UK Parliament, comparing it to the period since devolution. He mentioned some prominent figures in Welsh politics including Jim Griffiths, Megan Lloyd George and Sir Wyn Roberts, the first Welsh debate in the UK Senate, developments such as the establishment of the Welsh Grand Committee, the Welsh Affairs Committee, the appointment of a Secretary of State for Wales and the establishment of a National Assembly Wales.



Huw presenting in the Drwm


As part of the day’s events we held a pop up exhibition in the Summers Room showing items from the the archives of 3 prominent Welsh journalists: Wynford Vaughan Thomas, Patrick Hannan and Gareth Vaughan Jones. Like Huw Edwards, Wynford Vaughan Thomas had presented BBC programs on major British events including royal funerals, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the Festival of Remembrance at the Albert Hall.



Pop up exhibition and Huw with Rob Phillips, head of the Welsh Political Archive


An interesting discussion followed the lecture, the text of which will soon be available to view on the Welsh Political Archive pages on the National Library’s website.


Rob Phillips

The Welsh Political Archive


This blog is also available in Welsh.

When War Follows the Script

Collections - Posted 11-11-2022

The Broadcast Archive, which is being established at the National Library, will give access to thousands of BBC radio and television scripts, as well as a great deal of audio visual digital material.

Emma Towner is cataloguing the scripts, and there are some chilling stories in some of the early scripts.

There are just over 1100 boxes in the BBC Script collection that are made up of radio and television programmes. With these programmes covering a dozen genres and spanning roughly 90 years, it was a challenge to decide what to prioritise and catalogue first. I began with the oldest scripts, Children’s radio programmes from 1931. They were full of light hearted tales of Magic Jam Pots, Plumtones and Pirates. There were also fun scripts that told the story behind nursery rhymes. Why did Jack and Jill go up the hill to begin with? Did a dish really run away with a spoon while a cow jumped over the moon, or did something else happen? They were a nice place for me to start.

World War Two news scripts were next on my list, and in contrast to the Children’s programmes, I found these scripts were harder to read. I had learnt about the war in school, and seen films. I knew what happened in Dunkirk and on the beaches of Normandy. I knew about Pearl Harbour, and my grandparents told me about the Blitz in London and in Swansea. But reading about these events as they happened, day by day, was different.

Not long after I began working on these scripts, fighting in Eastern Europe broke out. As I was reading about the First Soviet-Finnish (Winter War) where The Soviet Union was attacking Finland just over 70 years ago, I was watching footage on the news of the Russian attack on Ukraine that was happening in the present. The stories were very similar, towns were being attacked and bombs were falling on hospitals. Then 15 months after the First Soviet-Finnish War had ended came the Second Soviet-Finnish War, which bought more conflict between Russia and Finland. But this time the news featured a few more countries, one of which was Ukraine. Now the locations I’d been hearing about on the news were appearing in the scripts, and I found it getting increasingly difficult to watch the news when I returned home after finishing my working day. Just like this week, in 1943 it dominated the news.

Each news script would have been broadcast over the wireless every evening around 5pm. I often thought about the people listening to these broadcasts day in day out wondering, if the war would end, and hoping it would be soon. I was lucky, I knew the end date, and I knew how the war was going to end. Since the end of the Second World War, there have been more wars that have brought more pain and loss. It makes me sad that history seems to always be repeating itself. No one seems to be learning from what has happened in the past.

Literature and History of Medicine Research Centre

Collections / Digitisation / Events / Research - Posted 07-11-2022

Aberystwyth University, in partnership with the National Library, is launching a new research centre on Friday, 11 November, the Literature and History of Medicine Research Centre. The centre will make use of the research sources in the Library’s medicine collections as a foundation for new academic research in the field. A one-day conference has been arranged for the launch on 11 November. It’s free and you can book a ticket to the event here. The conference will be held in person and online.

The Library’s medicine-related collection is extensive, and includes print material, archival material, manuscript material, architectural material, drawings and photographs. As a result of the Library’s Medicine and Health in Wales before the NHS project, the medicine-related material that is part of the Welsh and Celtic Print Collection is now available on the online catalogue in its entirety, with the items that are out of copyright also digitized and available remotely. The print collection includes a number of important research sources, including the reports of the Medical Officer of Health for the rural and urban district councils across Wales, hospital reports and psychiatric hospital reports.

The psychiatric hospital reports offer a good example of the type of information and data that is included in these print sources. If we look at the example of the annual reports of psychiatric hospitals, in this case the reports of the Joint Counties Asylum at Carmarthen (see above for the embedded digital version or click here to see it on the Library’s digital viewer), we can see the feast of core data that the reports offer to researchers. The reports contain data on a large number of aspects of the life of the hospital and its patients including statistics regarding where patients came from, their work, the nature of their illnesses, mortality rates, the patients’ diet, the patients’ ages, readmission levels, the patients’ relationship status, and the institution’s financial statistics.

Such data is fundamental to research in this field, and it is hoped that establishing the Centre in partnership with Aberystwyth University will be a means of strengthening the relationship between the Library, our collections and the research community. If you want to learn more about the partnership, or if you’re interested in the latest research in the field of literature and the history of medicine, book a ticket to the conference!

Dr Douglas Jones,

Published Collections Projects Manager.

World Digital Preservation Day

Collections - Posted 03-11-2022

Today is World Digital Preservation Day and an opportunity to highlight the work undertaken by the National Library of Wales to ensure that digital content is preserved for the future. In order to raise general awareness of issues relating to enabling on-going access to digital content, which affect personal as well as organisational data, I would like to introduce you to Wilf.

Although Wilf is familiar with physical collections (having sat on a shelf watching archival cataloguing for many years) he has recently become interested in digital content and how it will be accessible in the future. To learn more about this, he went around the Library to film the digital preservation activities of the Library. The film is available to view here:

Following his tour around the Library, Wilf wanted to find out more about how he could make sure his digital content was preserved. He discovered that the Library had been given an award by the Preservation Coalition for its work Learning through doing: building digital preservation skills in Wales. The award was presented by the Dutch Digital Heritage Network as an acknowledgement of the value of the work in providing training and raising skills for staff across Wales. Through studying the resources which supported the programme, Wilf has developed new skills and can virus check content, identify file formats, check that data is not corrupted and create metadata. The resources to do these actions are available for all to view and use  on the Archives Wales website.

Wilf enjoyed his adventures in the Library but is now back on his usual shelf. He has gained the knowledge that digital content cannot be left sitting on a virtual shelf but that action must be taken for its preservation. If you want any help or advice about digital preservation, please contact

Sally McInnes, Head of Unique and Contemporary Content

A selection of Welsh related books acquired by the Library (September – October 2022)

Collections / New Accessions - Posted 31-10-2022

History and general works

Cerdded y caeau / Rhian Parry, 2022, 9781784619497

Cynllunio adferiad y Gymraeg = Planning the regeneration of the Welsh language / Cynog Dafis, 2019

A history of Welsh music / edited by Trevor Herbert, Martin V. Clarke and Helen Barlow, Cambridge University Press, 2023, 9781316511060

Border Crossings: Then and Now in the Welsh Marches / Richard Dobson, 2020, 9781839751981

A History of The Vale of Montgomery from Earliest Times to the Black Death / John Davies, 2021

The old firm’s proud past, Volume III 1990-2020 / Martyn Ham, Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd, 2021, 9781839754937

The Story of the Cardiff and Vale Perinatal Mental Health Team January 1998 – July 2020 / Dr. Sue Smith, 2022, 9781839759550

Coin-weights of Europe, Volume 2 & 3 / Paul & Bente R Withers, Galata, 2022, 9781908715173 (v. 2) 9781908715180 (v. 3)

Transport recalled: North and Mid-Wales / Martin Jenkins, Charles Roberts, 2022, 9781526787071

Gwent Federation of Women’s Institutes 1921-2021, 2022

Life under COVID-19 from 2020 to 2022: A Collection of 22 Rhyming Poems / Neil Davies, Independent Publishing Network, 2022, 9781800689459

An Open Letter to the Right Honorable David Lloyd George / Lajpat Rai, 2017, 9789386423900

The four branches of the Mabinogi : epic stories, ancient traditions / General Editor: Jake Jackson, 2022, 9781839649936




Breuddwyd Syr Ifan / Penri Jones, 2022, 9780995655652

Vaughan Williams / Eric Saylor, 2022, 9780190918569

The Roman King Arthur? / Tony Sullivan, 2022, 9781399084024

From Merthyr to Persia : Memoirs of the Rt Hon Aubrey Jones, Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd, 2021, 9781839755712

The Cathays Files 25 / Haydn Thomas, Resarton Books, 2022, 9781739760052



Edward Wynne of Bodewryd (Anglesey) and Hereford and other Welsh History Essays / Neil Fairlamb, 2021



Wysg / Gaerth Writer-Davies, 2022, 9781999849177

Open / Paul Blount, The Cluny Press, 2022, 9780954761097

Ten Poems about Swimming / Selected and Introduced by Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, 2022, 9781913627065


Science, education and nature

CBAC TGAU Drama, Dylunio Drama: Dylunio Goleuo, Sain, Set a Gwisgoedd / Sue Shewring, 2022, 9781913963330

The Birds of Wales = Adar Cymru / Edited by Rhion Pritchard …, 2021, 9781800859722



The Glory Years of Cardiff AAC / Clive Williams, 2020, 97818338257750

The Minor Counties Championship 1895-1914 / Julian Lawton Smith, Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, 2022, 9781912421329

Cardiff Arms Park : An Illustrated Architectural and Social History / David Allen, Cardiff Rugby, 2021, 9781527296527



Cyfrinach Fwyaf Siôn Corn / Lyndon Jeremiah, 2020, 9781838271312

Yes! Even a Mouse: The Very First Christmas / Christine Field-Davies, Bear With Us Productions, 2021, 9781838280819



Ring of spies : how MI5 and the FBI brought down the Nazis in America / Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, 2022, The History Press, 9781803990361

The Chronicle of Clemendy : or, The History of the IX. Joyous Journeys. In which are contained the amorous inventions and facetious tales of Master Gervase Perrot, Gent. now for the first time done into English / by Arthur Machen ; Illustrations by Jon Langford, 2022


Government and politics

Diwygio’r Senedd: Y camau nesaf = Senedd reform, The next steps, 2020

A Unique Binding by Julian Thomas

Collections / Exhibitions - Posted 24-10-2022

Over the years the library has collected books with fine and unusual bindings, especially those of Welsh interest.  A particularly rare example was added to the collection recently.  The volume is a reprint of a French book, La Prose du Transsibérien by the painter Sonia Delaunay-Terk and the poet Blaise Cendrars,  which was originally published in 1913.  The poem describes a train journey through Russia during the first revolution in 1905.  It is printed on four sheets glued together in concertina format.



For the 2019 reprint, 22 bookbinders were invited to create unique bindings.  The copy purchased by the Library this year was bound by Julian Thomas, the Library’s former Head of Binding and Conservation.  The case is covered in black calfskin coloured in fluorescent blue acrylic paint, with strips of calfskin inlaid, some gilded and others coloured with acrylics. The strips refer to the railway and the circle to the revolution and the wheels of the train.



This striking binding is a unique example of the work of one of the foremost bookbinders in the U.K.  More bindings by Julian Thomas, his predecessors in the Library and other craftsmen can be seen in the Beautiful Books exhibition in the World of the Book on the ground floor of the Library until 9th December 2022.


Timothy Cutts

Rare Books Librarian

Handel with care: remnants of the Wynnstay music collection

Collections - Posted 03-10-2022

On 6 March 1858 a devastating fire swept through the mansion at Wynnstay and the inhabitants fled in their night clothes. No lives were lost but much of the library was destroyed, along with furniture, paintings and other valuables. A report in the North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality on 13 March described the remains of the rare books and manuscripts as ‘masses of black substance in the shape of books but hard and wet, mixed with scraps of black-letter books (some partially legible), music and engravings’.

This dramatic description supplied the motivation for investigating the fate of the fourth baronet’s music collection. Did it all go up in flames……or not?

Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 4th Baronet (1749-1789)  was a passionate devotee of the fine arts. He almost bankrupted the Wynnstay estate through his excessive expenditure on pictures, sculpture, theatre and music. At great cost he created a private theatre at Wynnstay for plays and concerts. His luxurious London home in St James’s Square,1 designed by Robert Adam, had its own lavishly decorated music room containing a Snetzler organ. Sir Watkin’s interest in music developed early, perhaps influenced by the family harpist, John Parry, or perhaps during his teenage years at Westminster School. As a young man he joined the Noblemen and Gentlemen’s Catch Club  and he quickly became involved with the contemporary musical scene in London2  He was a steward at the annual music festival at St Paul’s to benefit the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy and treasurer of the committee for ‘Antient Concerts’. Inevitably he was on the committee for organising the Handel Commemoration Concert in Westminster Abbey in 1784.

Sir Watkin’s collecting habits were probably inspired by his Grand Tour3 in France and Italy, 1768-9. The first evidence comes from the account book4 of his long-suffering servant (later his steward) Samuel Sidebotham. The expenses included purchases of pictures, statues, furniture and rare books, concerts by Piantanida, Giovannini and others, music for the French horn for Mr Morris (a Wynnstay servant), harp strings and at Turin a violoncello for Sir Watkin, who was a proficient amateur player. Back at home the Wynnstay music accounts for 1773 showed purchases of Haydn’s quartets, Boccherini’s quartets, Hamal’s select overtures, Ebdon’s harpsichord sonatas and Noferi’s duets; as well as alterations to the cello, numerous concerts, and music lessons for Sir Watkin and for the bass singer, Mr Meredith. In 1774/5 some music by Handel (unspecified) was acquired. In April 1779 Sir Watkin attended the three day sale of the ‘truly valuable and curious library of music late in the possession of Dr William Boyce5 where he bought ten lots, comprising songs, madrigals, motets and instrumental works by Porpora, Bononcini, Orlando de Lassus, Caldara, Steffani, Gabrieli, Geminiani, Handel and others. The Williams Wynn family naturally subscribed to the works of John Parry, whose British Harmony being a collection of Antient Welsh Airs, published in 1781, was dedicated to his patron.



Wynnstay EH4/1, account book, 1768-69


More evidence of the Wynnstay music collection comes, unsurprisingly, from Charles Burney, whose Account of the Musical Performances in Westminster Abbey and the Pantheon May 26th, 27th, 29th; and June the 3rd, and 5th, 1784 in Commemoration of Handel6 described the grandiose event in equally magnificent detail. Fortunately Burney incorporated a list of Handel’s works, both in the royal collection and in the hands of private individuals, including Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, who owned printed operas, oratorios and Te Deums (sic); and in manuscript the Te Deum in A, the anthem Let God arise, I will magnify thee, As pants the Hart for five voices (‘with several alterations and additions by Handel himself….’), The King shall rejoice, Sing unto God, Blessed are they, versions for voices without instruments of Let God arise and As pants the Hart, and Ode or Serenata for the Birthday of Queen Anne.

Among the Trevor Owen Manuscripts (now NLW MS 2785C) is  A catalogue of the Wynnstay library, 1840 (therefore predating the fire) which lists histories of music by Hawkins and Burney, The Welsh Harper by John Parry and other scores by Haydn, Avison, Clark, Handel, Gay, Corfe and Arnold, stored in the library, study and other rooms at Wynnstay. These were probably components of the fourth baronet’s music collection. Other sad remnants were viewed by Alexander Hyatt King in 1945, ruined by damp, mouldering in the stables at Wynnstay, described as ‘…practically all unbound, mint, in wrappers, as issued. The bulk was English, back to the seventeen-thirties, but it also included many Hummel and Roger editions, beside some French and Austrian publications.’7

Clearly Sir Watkin had amassed a music collection of national significance. Sadly the inventory of books and furniture at 20 St James’s Square, dated 1789, is too fragile to access.8 The full extent of the collection is unknown and it is difficult to assess exactly what proportion was lost to fire or to damp. Nevertheless some of it did survive, ultimately to be sold together with the silver, pictures and other Wynnstay heirlooms, to discharge debts and tax demands in the 1940s. Tantalising fragments have turned up later, in archive repositories, libraries and unexpected places.



Wynnstay Estate by John Ingleby (1749-1808)


An article by Martin Picker in the Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries9 describes eleven volumes of Handel, acquired by the Rutgers Library, New Brunswick, c. 1950, which appear to have originated from Wynnstay. Six of the volumes correspond exactly in content and order to those listed by Charles Burney. The uniformity of the binding and the consistent use of the same copyists suggest that all the volumes once belonged to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. Picker notes the locations of other Handel scores from the collection, notably anthems in the Gerald Coke Handel Collection at the Foundling Museum10 and Italian cantatas and early editions of operas at the University of Sydney, Australia.11

Donald Burrows, in Newsletter of the American Handel Society12 notes the unexpected discovery, in a Manchester animal charity shop, of a Messiah score in the hand of John Matthews probably from the 1760s, once belonging to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. Other manuscripts from Wynnstay, containing excerpts from the operas of Pasquale Anfossi, Piccini, Monza, and Gassman were formerly in the library of St Michael’s College at Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, and are now held at the Bodleian Library13

Sir Watkin’s musical interests obviously were not limited to Handel. The British Library holds seven manuscripts of Purcell, comprising ‘dramatic music, odes, etc.’ [1683×1695], the majority copied c. 1771 by Jos. Fisher, Darwen, Lancashire.14  The name of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn is inscribed on the flyleaf of one volume and the Williams Wynn eagle crest appears on the spine of several in that series. Purcell’s theatre music featured in the programmes of the Catch Club and the Concerts of Antient Music, promoted by the Earl of Sandwich and Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. Sir Watkin is known to have owned copies of King Arthur, The Indian Queen and The Tempest.15



NLW MS 14427B, including compositions by Handel and John Parry, c.1764


Remarkably two of the instruments from the Wynnstay collection have survived the ravages of time. The first and most obvious is the magnificent Snetzler organ in its Adam case, originally located at 20 St James’s Square, removed to Wynnstay in 1864 and purchased by the National Museum Wales in 1995. The second is the cello which Sir Watkin bought in Turin on the grand tour in 1768. It cost him 480 Piedmontese livres and it was already an antique when he acquired it, bearing the label of Chiafredi Cappa, Mondovi 1697. The instrument was purchased from Wynnstay by Alfred Hill of W.E. Hill & Sons, London, and its provenance was confirmed by Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., Cincinnati & New York, 1931, Alfred Hill, 1934, Adolph Hoffman (n.d.), Desmond Hill, 1962 and Kenneth Warren & Son, Chicago, IL, 1962. It was entered for sale at Christies, New York, 6 March 1986, where it failed to achieve the anticipated $60,000.16 It has been identified as the cello which is now played by Marc Coppey, but confirmation is lacking.

Finally, immerse yourself in the sound world of the eighteenth century, recreated from music manuscripts held at the National Library of Wales.




  1. NLW Wynnstay Estate Records EH3/10.
  2. See NLW Blog 08-03-2021.
  3. The tour is described by Paul Hernon, Sir Watkin’s tours : excursions to France, Italy and North Wales, 1768-71 (Wrexham : Bridge Books, 2013).
  4. NLW, Wynnstay Estate Records EH4/1. Further account books of the fourth baronet are numbered EH4/2-10. Loose accounts are EH3/2-12.
  5. Robert J. Bruce and H. Diack Johnstone, ‘A Catalogue of the truly valuable and curious library of music late in the possession of Dr William Boyce (1779): transcription and commentary’ in Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle No. 43 (2010), pp. 111-171 (Taylor & Francis Ltd on behalf of the Royal Musical Association)
  6. Charles Burney, ‘List of Handel’s Works’ in An Account of the Musical Performances in Westmisnster Abbey and the Pantheon May 26th, 27th, 29th; and June the 3rd, and 5th, 1784 in Commemoration of Handel (London : T. Payne and son [etc.] 1785) pp 45-6.
  1. Alexander Hyatt King, Some British Collectors of Music, c. 1600-1960 (Cambridge University Press 1963), p. 18
  2. Denbighshire Archives, ref. Wynnstay Manuscripts DD/WY/7944.
  3. Martin Picker, ‘Sir Watkin Williams Wynn and the Rutgers Handel Collection’ in Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries Vol 53, No 2 (1991) pp. 17-26.
  4. Gerald Coke Handel Collection: Let God arise and Te Deum Laudamus, ref. 2/B/LET GOD ARISE (Former Coke Catalogue Number HC415a/C1 HC479c/C2)
  5. Reference not found.
  6. Donald Burrows, ‘Newly recovered Messiah Scores’ in Newsletter of the American Handel Society Volume IV, Number 3 (December 1989) pp. 1, 5.
  1. Bodleian Library, ref. MS. Tenbury 656 and MS. Tenbury 1153.
  2. British Library: Search Archives and Manuscripts, ref. Add. MS 62666-62672.
  3. S. Tuppen, ‘Purcell in the 18th century: music for the Quality, Gentry, and others’ in Early Music Vol. 43; Number 2, 2015 (Oxford University Press) pp. 233-245.
  4. Christies New York sale catalogue, ‘Important Musical Instruments’ Thursday March 6 1986, pp. 36-7.


Hilary Peters


This blog is also available in Welsh.

E-resources at the Library

Collections - Posted


The National Library of Wales offers users a wealth of electronic resources, right at your fingertips. The Library subscribes to a wide range of these resources, varying from online newspaper archives, scholarly journals, encyclopaedias, reference resources and genealogical resources:

You will need to join the Library but once you have done you can use your ID and password in order to gain access to these resources remotely, as long as you have a postal address in Wales.

Newspapers are an essential research resource for our users. They record birth and marriage announcements, death notices and obituaries as well as news articles about incidents and achievements. They can provide greater detail and photographs to enhance research and capture the attitudes of the time. By becoming a Library user, you can gain access to the following titles:

The Times Digital Archive 1785-2010

The Sunday Times Digital Archive 1822-2006

The Guardian and The Observer 1791 – 2003

The Telegraph Historical Archive 1855-2000

Daily Mail Historical Archive 1896- 2004

Independent Digital Archive 1986-2012

Illustrated London News

British Library 19th century newspapers

British Newspaper Library

Newsbank – a current newspaper service which usually gives access to yesterday’s copy of UK newspapers (including many from Wales) and going back several years before that.

We also of course have many newspapers from Wales that we have digitised ourselves. These are freely available to anyone in the world and you are welcome to consult these at any time, without registering. Welsh Newspapers Online currently lets you search and access over 1,100,000 pages from nearly 120 newspaper publications generally up to 1910.

Online scholarly materials are available to our users via the Library’s subscriptions to Sage Journals and JSTOR. Between them, these resources provide access to over 900 journals, and 12 million journal articles, books, images and primary sources. This high-quality, peer-reviewed material covers a wide range of subjects, and has proven to be invaluable to students and researchers.

The Library also subscribes to a number of different reference resources. These include resources such as Credo Reference, Oxford Reference Online, and Britannica Academic, all of which provide access to millions of articles, biographies, videos and images. These resources include materials from

a variety of different educational levels, and can be useful for primary/secondary schools pupils to university students alike.

We also provide access (within the Library only) to Ancestry and Find my Past, two resources that are invaluable to today’s genealogists. They include extensive coverage of the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States, including census, church, court, military and immigration records, as well as record collections from Canada, Europe, Australia and other areas of the world. In addition to these, they offer useful services such as a Family Tree Builder, and message boards for members.

New digital resources

Collections / Digitisation - Posted 29-09-2022

Our digitisation work has continued behind the scenes and a number of new items and collections are now available to view from home on the Library’s website and/or the catalogue. Find out what’s new in our blog.


Peniarth collection

Peniarth MS 32: Y Llyfr Teg
Peniarth MS 106: Interliwd Troilus a Cresida
Peniarth MS 416 iv: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 416 v: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 416 vi: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 416 viii: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 416 ix: A diary and a letter book
Peniarth MS 487: Records relating to Wales
Peniarth MS 491: Pedigrees
Peniarth MS 492: Pedigrees
Peniarth MS 521 i: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 521 iii: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 521 iv: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 521 x: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 521 xvi: Diaries and notebooks
Peniarth MS 526: The Gregorian calendar
Peniarth MS 528: A prayer book
Peniarth MS 529 i: A Welsh grammar
Peniarth MS 529 iv: A Welsh grammar
Peniarth MS 538: A catalogue of Hengwrt manuscripts
Peniarth MS 539: A translation of Peniarth MS 538
Peniarth MS 545: The five royal tribes of Cambria
Peniarth MS 556: Historical notes from Welsh records


Minor Deposit 150B: Collection of Welsh Airs compiled and arranged by ‘Orpheus’ for the Llangollen Eisteddfod 1858, 1888 a collection of unpublished airs submitted by James James to a competition at the Llangollen Eisteddfod in 1858 under the pseudonym ‘Orpheus’, which includes the second appearance of our anthem (on f. 23), under the title ‘Glanrhondda’.
NLW MS 331D: Llewelyn Alaw’s Collection of Unpublished Welsh Airs a collection of airs submitted by Thomas D. Llewelyn (Llewelyn Alaw), Aberdâr, to the Llangollen Eisteddfod, which includes the tune ‘Glan Rhondda’.


Acrefair Papers

Various letters relating to the migration of William and Hannah Morgan and family to Ohio (1852-59): 2623, 2647, 3096, 5152, 5153, 5154, 3499



Dr J. Lloyd Williams Music MSS and Papers, AH2/13 (Ifor Ceri Manuscripts):
Music manuscript books containing transcripts by J. Lloyd Williams of the manuscripts of Ifor Ceri [1815-1825]
Music manuscript book 1
Music manuscript book 2
Music manuscript book 3
Music manuscript book 4
Music manuscript book 5

Cottesmore Deeds and Documents: Irish deeds/22 Court Book of the corporation of Askeaton, giving the names of free-men and officers of the borough, 1692-1724.


‘The Chain’ Meteorological registers

The work on digitising a series of meteorological registers of thermometer, barometer and rain gauge readings in ‘The Chain’ has been completed. They will be available on ‘Torf’ in due course:
C 2/6: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/6/1-40, 1901, Jan. 1-1906, July 7
C 2/7: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/7/1-73, 1906, July 1-1911, July 1
C 2/10: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/10/1-9, 1918, Dec. 29-1923, Feb. 3
C 2/11: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/11/1-6, 1923, Feb. 4-1927, Feb. 12
C 2/12: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/12/1-13, 1927, Feb. 13-1931, Feb. 21
C 2/13: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/13/1-69, 1931, Feb. 22-1935, March 2
C 2/14: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/14/1-32, 1935, March 3-1939, March 11
C 2/15: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/15/1-26, 1939, March 12-1943, March 20
C 2/16: Meteorological register. Including enclosures C 2/16/1-78. The meteorological readings continue to 29 Dec. 1945 only, 1943, March 21-1947, Feb. 8

The following manuscripts were ingested so that users can access them through the viewer:
NLW 3B: Sermons
NLW MS 73A: Sermons
NLW MS 3265D: Llythyrau at S.R.
NLW MS 9521A: Llyfr nodiadau Iorthryn Gwynedd
NLW MS 14111D: Llythyrau teuluol Edward Peate
NLW MS 21578E: A register of Welsh Pioneers of the Mahoning Valley, 1898-1922
NLW MS 20995E: Jack Edwards Letters
NLW MS 21577E: Minute book of Welsh Pioneers Society of Trumbull and Mahoning counties, Ohio
NLW Misc. Records 35: Ezekiel Hughes Apprenticeship Deed
CMA – File 22331: Letter from John M. Jones, Saron, Welsh Hills, Newark, Ohio
Rees Jenkin Jones Family Papers: FR2/1: Letter from Humphrey Bromley to the Rev. John James, Gellionnen



392 items from the print collection have been made available through Primo, including works such as:

Ymadrodd newydd ar glefydau potatws: ac yn fwy neillduol i ddangos achosion o’r cyrl yn nalennau potatws; gida chlefydau eraill (1784)
David Samwell, Détails nouveaux et circonstanciés sur la mort du Capitaine Cook traduits de l’anglois (1786)
Marie de Médicis Queen, Lettre de la Royne au Parlement de Bretagne (1614)
A. O. Exquemelin, Historie der boecaniers, of vrybuyters van America van haar eerste beginzelen tot deze tegenwoordige tyd toe: met figuuren (1700)


David Worthington, Cofiant y Parch. Daniel Rowland, Llangeitho (1905);
Byr gofiant i Miss Brythonig Roberts ail ferch William (Ap Meurig) a Jane Roberts, Brynawel, Aberangell, Meirionydd ganwyd Medi 6ed, 1887. Bu farw Hyd. 11eg, 1904 (1905);
Alfred Russel Wallace, My life: a record of events and opinions (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1905);
Edward Fideli Kennard, The remarkable career of a well-known athlete (1913?);
W. M. Myddelton, Pedigree of the family of Myddelton of Gwaynynog (1910);
Edward Robins, Twelve great actresses (1900);
Rees Jones, Crwth Dyffryn Clettwr: sef gweithiau barddonol y diweddar Rees Jones (Ammon), Pwllffein, Llandyssul, Ceredigion (1906);
William Hopkyn Rees, Byr-hanes y cenhadwr Cymreig y Parch. Griffith John, D.D., China (1906);
Cybi, “Ardal y cewri”: enwogion plwyf Llangybi a’r cylch: ynghydag enwau lleoedd: eu hystyr a’u traddodiadau (1907);
David Griffiths, Auto-biography of David Griffiths, Ffrwdywhiad, near Lampeter (1907);
Ellen Owen, Merched enwog Cymru: neu, Cymruesau gwiwgof – hen a diweddar (1908?);
W. H. Davies, The autobiography of a super-tramp (1908?)


Arthurian collection

We have continued to scan printed works relating to King Arthur and the following 141 volumes are now available:
Thomas Malory, [Le Morte Darthur] (1529);
Thomas Malory, The most ancient and famous history of the renowned Prince Arthur and the knights of the round table (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1816);
Thomas Malory, The history of the renowned Prince Arthur, King of Britain (1816);
Thomas Malory, The byrth, lyf, and actes of Kyng Arthur: of his noble knyghtes of the rounde table, they’r merveyllous enquestes and aduentures …: and in the end, Le Morte Darthur, with the dolourous deth and departyng out of thys worlde of them al (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1817);
Thomas Malory, Morte DArthur (1883);
Thomas Malory, Morte Darthur: Sir Thomas Malory’s book of King Arthur and of his noble knights of the round table … revised for modern use (1886);
Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur (Vol.1, part 1), (Vol.1, part 2), (Vol.1, part 3), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1889);
Le morte Darthur Sir Thomas Malory’s book of King Arthur and of his noble knights of the Round Table (1891);
Thomas Malory, Le morte Darthur Sir Thomas Malory’s book of King Arthur and of his noble knights of the Round Table (1893);
Thomas Malory, La mort d’Arthure: the history of King Arthur and of the knights of the Round Table (1893);

Thomas Malory, The birth life and acts of King Arthur of his noble Knights of the Round Table their marvellous enquests and adventures the achieving of the San Greal and in the end Le Morte Darthur with the dolourous death and departing out of this world of them all (1893-1894);
Thomas Malory, The noble and joyous history of King Arthur (1894);
Thomas Malory, The book of marvellous adventures, & other books of the Morte d’Arthur (1894);
Thomas Malory, The story of Sir Galahad (1908?);
Thomas Malory, The romance of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table (1917);
Ernest Muret, Eilhart d’Oberg et sa source française (1887);
Ernst Brugger, Alain de Gomeret: ein Beitrag zur arthurischen Namenforschung (1905);
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Wolfram’s von Eschenbach Parzival und Titurel (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1870-71);
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival: a knightly epic (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1894);
John Bourchier Berners, The history of the valiant knight Arthur of Little Britain: a romance of chivalry (1814);
Paulin Paris, Les romans de la Table ronde, mis en nouveau langage et accompagnés de recherches sur l’origine et le caractère de ces grandes compositions (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3), (Vol.4), (Vol.5) (1868-77);
John S. Stuart-Glennie, Arthurian localities: their historical origin, chief country and Fingalian relations (1869);
Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval le Gallois: ou le Conte du Graal (1846);
Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval le Gallois: ou le Conte du Graal (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3), (Vol.4), (Vol.5), (Vol.6), (1867-1871);
Chrétien de Troyes, The high history of the Holy Graal (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1898);
Chrétien de Troyes, The high history of the Holy Graal (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1898);
Chrétien de Troyes, Cligés: textausgabe mit variantenauswahl, einleitung, anmerkungen und vollständigem glossar (1910);
William Henry Babcock, The two lost centuries of Britain (1890);
James Knowles, The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table (1869);
Albert Richter, Iwein und Parzival: zwei Rittersagen des Mittelalters, erzählt und erläutert (1876);
Adolf Birch-Hirschfeld, Die Sage von Gral (1877);
Constant Philippe Serrure, Le Livre de Baudoyn, Conte de Flandre (1836);
Gauthier Map, Le roman de la charrette (1850);
Thomas Chestre, Launfal: an ancient metrical romance (1891);
Richard Blackmore, Prince Arthur: An heroick poem (1696);
Richard Blackmore, Prince Arthur: An heroick poem (1697);
Théodore Hersart La Villemarqué, Contes populaires des anciens Bretons: précédés d’un essai, L’origine des épopées chevaleresques de la table-ronde (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1842);
Théodore Hersart La Villemarqué, Les romans de la Table Ronde et les contes des anciens Bretons (1860);
Théodore Hersart La Villemarqué, Les romans de la table ronde: et les contes des anciens Bretons (1861);
G. de. La Rue, Recherches sur les ouvrages des bardes de la Bretagne, Armoricane dans le moyen age (1815);
Tresplaisante recreative hystoire du trespreulx et vaillant Cheuallier Perceval le galloys (1530);
Arthur of Brytayn: the hystory of the moost noble and valyaunt knyght Arthur of lytell brytayne (1560);
Albert Schulz, An essay on the influence of Welsh tradition upon the literature of Germany, France, and Scandinavia (1841);
H. Oskar Sommer, The vulgate version of the Arthurian romances (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3), (Vol.4), (Vol.5), (Vol.6), (Vol.7) (1908-16);
H. Oskar Sommer, Die abenteuer Gawains Ywains und le Morholts mit den drei Jungfrauen (1913);
Walter W. Skeat, Lancelot of the laik: a Scottish metrical romance … (1870);
Thomas Bullfinch, The age of chivalry (1859);
Heinrich Zimmer, Nennius vindicatus: Über Entstehung, Geschichte und Quellen der Historia Brittonum (1893);
Godeford Kurth, Histoire poétique des Mérovingiens (1893);
Sir John Rhŷs, Studies in the Arthurian legend (1891);
John Rhys, Notes on the hunting of Twrch Trwyth (1896?);
Eilrert Løseth, Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études. (1890);
Guiot de Provins, Des Guiot von Provins bis Jetzt Bekannte dichtungen (1861);
Alfred Delvau, Collection des romans de chevalerie (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3), (Vol.4) (1869);
Robert de Boron, Le saint-graal: ou Le Joseph d’Arimathie (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3 part 1), (Vol.3 part 2) (1875);
Hermann zur Jacobsmühlen, Zur Charakteristik des König Artus im altfranzösischen Kunstepos … (1888);
Charlotte Guest, The Mabinogion: from the Llyfr Coch o Hergest and other ancient Welsh manuscripts (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1849);
Charlotte Guest, The Mabinogion (1906);
Layamon, Layamons brut: or chronicle of Britain (Vol.1), (Vol.2), (Vol.3) (1847);
Wace, Le roman de Brut (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1838);
E. Edwardson, The courteous Knight: and other tales (1899);
Thomas Percy, The old ballad of The boy and the mantle (1900);
Alfred Trübner Nutt, Studies on the legend of the Holy Grail (1888);
Geoffrey of Monmouth, Britannie vtriusq[ue] regu[m] et principum origo & gesta insignia (1517);
Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia regum Britanniae (1854);
Alfred Tennyson, Gareth and Lynette, etc. (1872);
Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the king (1904);
Joseph Loth, Le mabinogi de Kulhwch & Olwen (1888);
Félix Bellamy, La forêt de Bréchéliant, la fontaine de Bérenton (1896);
Georg Friedrich Benecke, Wörterbuch zu Hartmannes Iwein (1901);
Mark Twain, A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur (1897);
Arthur Charles Lewis Brown, The bleeding lance (1910);
Richard Edens, Erec-Geraint: Der Chrétien’sche Versroman und das wälsche Mabinogi (1910);
Gustav Engel, Die Enflüsse der Arthurromane auf die Chansons de Geste (1910);
Feodor Kittelmann, Einige Mischhandschriften von Wolframs Parzival (1910);
William Wells Newell, King Arthur and the Table Round: tales chiefly after the old French of Crestien of Troyes (Vol.1), (Vol.2) (1905);
Jessie L. Weston, King Arthur and his knights: a survey of Arthurian romance (1906);
Jessie L. Weston, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: a Middle-English Arthurian romance (1907);
Meta E. Williams, Tales from the Mabinogion (1907);
Emily Underdown, Knights of the Grail: Lohengrin, Galahad (1907);
Hans Herrig, Elaine. Dichtung in drei aufzugen (1908);
The Arthurian Episode in the Pageant of Gwent (1913);
Leopold Hansen, Die Ausdrucksformen der Affekte im Tristan Gottfrieds von Stassburg (1908);
J. Douglas Bruce, Historia Meriadoci and De ortu Waluuanii (1913);
John Harrington Cox, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1913)
Howard Pyle, The story of Sir Launcelot and his companions (1907);
Lizette Andrews Fisher, The mystic vision in the Grail legend and in the Divine comedy (1917);
Franz Finsterbusch, Der Versbau der Mittelenglischen Dichtungen Sir Perceval of Gales and Sir Degrevant (1918);
The Story of Enid and Geraint: retold from the Mabinogion and Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King” (1909);
Sebastian Evans, The high history of the Holy Graal (1910);
Franz Settegast, Hartmanns Iwein, verglichen mit seiner Altfranzösischen Quelle (1873);
Arthur Edward Waite, The hidden Church of the Holy Graal (1909);
Pio Rajna, Le origini dell’epopea francese (1884);
Dwy gân o Brophwydoliaethau Myrddin: a gymmerwyd allan o ‘Lyfr y Daroganau’; hefyd, Hanes o’r modd y daeth Myrddin i fod yn adnabyddus i’r Brenin Gwrtheyrn, mab-y’nghyfraith Hengyst (1810);
Edmund Brock, Morte Arthure: or The Death of Arthur (1871);
Richard Morris, Sir Gawayne and the green knight: an alliterative romance-poem (1865);
Eugen Kölbing, Arthour and Merlin nach der Auchinleck-Hs (1890);
Albert Wilhelm Nolte, Der Eingang des Parzival: ein Interpretationsversuch (1900);
Gottfried von Strassburg, Tristan und Isolt (1843);
Fridrich Pfaff, Tristant und Isalde: Prosaroman des fünfzehnten Jarhunderts (1881);
Robert Huntington Fletcher, The Arthurian material in the chronicles especially those of Great Britain and France (1906)



An album containing 44 photographs of the people and communities of Fiji, accompanied by a text and published as ‘A Trip To The Highlands of Viti Levu‘ by G Ansdell, London (1882).

Framed works

The following works were digitised and published on Primo before being exhibited at the Collecting exhibition (Gregynog Gallery, 14.02.22 – 08.10.22):
Ebb and flow by Patricia Anne Aithie
These Four Walls by Guto Llŷr Morgan
Eisteddfod, Rhondda by Pearl Binder
Golgotha by Karel Lek
Ystradgynlais by Catrin Williams
Self-portrait by Charles Burton
Thin partitions iii by Ken Elias
Math o ganu / Kind of singing by Nicholas Evans
Creirwy by Seren Morgan Jones
Ceridwen by Seren Morgan Jones
Self portrait in blue by Sarah Carvell
Olwen by Teresa Jenellen
I ‘Used’ to Hurt Myself by Jasmine Sheckleford
Chwilio am Ffigwr Cyfoes IV by Tomos Sparnon
Black Puck by Neale Howells
Chwiorydd Davies by Meinir Mathias
Flora, fluff, flow by Zena Blackwell
Painting about the land by Ernest Zobole
Way down to Easter Bay by Ray Howard Jones
Cegin/Kitchen by Kim James-Williams
Dancing at Dusk on Midsummer’s Night at Fontygary by Gerda Roper
Arfogi Lleu by Margaret D. Jones



16 new articles have been added to the website:
BATCHELOR, JOHN (1820 – 1883), businessman and politician
BOOTH, FLORENCE ELEANOR (1861 – 1957), Salvationist and social reformer
CAMPBELL, RACHEL ELIZABETH (1934 – 2017), teacher and community activist
DANIELS, ELEANOR (1886 – 1994), actress
DAVIES, RHYS (1795 – 1838), engineer and industrialist
GIVVONS, ALEXANDER (1913 – 2002), rugby player
GWINNETT, BUTTON (1735 – 1777), merchant, landowner and politician
JENKINS, EVAN (1794 – 1849), cleric and schoolmaster
JONES, DAVID JOHN (1906 – 1978), opera singer
JONES, GWILYM THOMAS (1908 – 1956), solicitor and administrator
PARRY, EDGAR WILLIAMS (1919 – 2011), surgeon
ROBERTS, ARTHUR RHYS (1872 – 1920), solicitor
ROGERS, OWEN (c.1532 – c.1570), printer and bookseller
THOMAS, BENJAMIN BOWEN (1899 – 1977), adult educator and civil servant
THOMAS, HELEN WYN (1966 – 1989), peace activist
WILLIAMS, ROBERT (1848 – 1918), architect, author and social reformer

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About this blog

A blog about the work and collections of the National Library of Wales.

Due to the more personal nature of blogs it is the Library's policy to publish postings in the original language only. An equal number of blog posts are published in both Welsh and English, but they are not the same postings. For a translation of the blog readers may wish to try facilities such as Google Translate.

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