Revealing the Objects: Children’s Literature

Collections / Digitisation - Posted 27-07-2018

As of October 2018 the Library will share a number of additional items from its collections on Europeana, a European digital cultural platform. We are currently working with 12 other partner institutions on a project entitled ‘The Rise of Literacy’ which aims to explore the history of reading and writing in Europe. In this weekly blog series – ‘Revealing the Objects, some of the Library’s contributions will be disclosed on a thematic basis.

Here’s a selection of children’s literature that will be digitized as part of the project.


Robert Richards – Darlleniadur : sef hyfforddiadau hawdd ac eglur i ddysgu darllain Cymraeg (1820)

During the end of the eighteenth century children in Wales were taught to read at the circulating schools of Griffith Jones and at Sunday-schools. Both of these placed a great emphasis on the importance of understanding the Bible in order to save an individual’s soul. This volume by Robert Richards should be considered within this particular context. It was amongst the earliest Welsh spelling books for children, most of which were not designed or formatted with the tender years of the pupils in mind. The volume’s purpose is clearly stated within its title – ‘A reader, that is a simple and clear instructor to teach the reading of Welsh, intended as a first spelling-book for children, containing a wide selection of lessons, set out in a suitable order to lead the young from step to step from the easy to the difficult’.

O. M. Edwards – Llyfr Del (1906) and Yr Hwiangerddi (1911)

O. M. Edwards was a renowned editor, writer, historian and educator. From 1888 onwards he devoted his energy to publishing popular books and journals, especially volumes concerning the history and culture of Wales. From 1896 to 1930 he was a professor of History at Aberystwyth University, however Edwards would continue to write, edit and proof-correct out of his official working-hours and often in the early hours of the morning. One cannot overestimate his service to Wales, and indeed, Edwards’s influence reached extensively further than the university lecture room. He wrote many books for children, including ‘Llyfr Del’ and ‘Yr Hwiangerddi’; a book of Welsh nursery rhymes. These books were attractive, packed with illustrations and their texts easy to read. Edwards’s books for children were unique in the sense that they provided age appropriate content for a young target audience through the medium of Welsh for the first time.

Hugh Evans – Y Tylwyth Teg (1935)

Hugh Evans was a noted writer and set up his own press, Gwasg y Brython in 1897 in Liverpool. However, his children’s book ‘Y Tylwyth Teg’ was published posthumously in 1935. This volume was also packed with illustrations and the tale was later republished in several editions.

Want to see more posts from this series? See below:


Elen Hâf Jones – Digital Access Projects Officer

This post was created as part of the Europeana Rise of Literacy Project

This post is also available in: Welsh

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