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National Library of Wales
Fraser, Maxwell, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MAXSER

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Maxwell Fraser Papers

Short Title: Fraser, Maxwell, papers

Creation date(s): 1912-1980

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 2.62 cubic metres (67 boxes, 3 volumes)

Name of creator(s): Maxwell Fraser


Administrative/Biographical history: Dorothy May Fraser (1902-1980), adopted the pen-name Maxwell Fraser, and later became Mrs Edgar Phillips. She was a prolific author of popular travel books. She was born in London. Her father was one of the Frasers of Dumballock and Newtown, Inverness-shire and her mother was born in Philadelphia of old Puritan stock. In 1951, Maxwell Fraser married Edgar Phillips of Pontllan-fraith, Monmouthshire, better known as the poet 'Trefin', who was later to become Archdruid of Wales. She wrote several books of Welsh interest, including Wales (1952), West of Offa's Dyke (1958), Welsh Border Country (1972) and edited the anthology In Praise of Wales (1950). Her research on Augusta Waddington Hall (Lady Llanover) and related materials were printed in the the National Library of Wales Journal, 1960-1970, and in the Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1963-1964.


Scope and content/abstract: General letters, 1912-1980, to Maxwell Fraser, many relating to her research work and publications; correspondence between Maxwell Fraser and named friends, 1950-1980; materials on Lord and Lady Llanover and the Hall family, comprising correspondence, 1954-1980, and research materials assembled by Maxwell Fraser, 1806-1933, on the Llanover family; research papers assembled by Maxwell Fraser relating to her various books, 1935-1978; research notes, 1952-1977, concerning the preparation of Maxwell Fraser's articles and scripts; correspondence and papers, 1929-1968, relating to Maxwell Fraser's publicity work for the Great Western Railway Company (including Holiday Haunts, 1929-1962); notebooks bearing Maxwell Fraser's research notes; groups of press cuttings, 1924-1980; papers, 1947-1980, concerning Maxwell Fraser's links with numerous associations and societies, including the Cambrian Archaeological Association, the International Arthurian Society, the Kilvert Society, Offa's Dyke Association, P.E.N., Sherlock Holmes Society of London and other societies; papers, 1912-1980, deriving from Maxwell Fraser's hobbies and interests; papers, 1953-1968, concerning Maxwell Fraser's attempts to learn Welsh; miscellaneous papers, 1901-1980, relating to Slough; diaries kept by Maxwell Fraser, 1930-1980, of varying detail, including a journal, 1930, of a tour of Poland; theatre programmes; letters and papers relating to the testator's parents, 1900-1966, and her uncle, Lovat Fraser (1871-1926), the prominent journalist and author of India under Curzon and after (1911); and other personal papers relating to Maxwell Fraser; financial papers, 1911-1980; miscellaneous printed materials; and miscellaneous papers relating to research and writing by other individuals.


Language/scripts of material: English, Welsh

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following : general correspondence, 1912-1954; general correspondence, 1955-1980; correspondence with friends; Llanofer correspondence; notes and background material relating to Llanover; books-background material; articles and scripts-background material; Great Western Railway Company; notebooks; press cuttings; societies; hobbies and interests; learning Welsh; Slough; personalia; financial papers; parents; Lovat Fraser; miscellaneous printed material; other people's work.

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.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed on-line from:

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records bequeathed to the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: Another part of the same bequest, the 'Trefin Archdderwydd Cymru Bequest', has been described in the list "Papurau Trefin Archdderwydd Cymru" which appeared in 1994.

Immediate source of acquisition: Bequeathed to NLW by Maxwell Fraser upon her death in 1980.


Related material: The papers of Maxwell Fraser's husband Edgar Phillips ('Trefin') are also held at the NLW. A large group of visual items was placed in the custody of the Department of Pictures and Maps.


Note: Title supplied from creator's name.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW Schedule of The Maxwell Fraser Bequest; Stephens, Meic, Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales (Oxford, 1986).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2003

Authors | Wales | Archives
Authors | Wales | Diaries
Fraser, Lovat, | 1871- | Archives
Fraser, Maxwell | Archives
Hall family, | of Llanover | Archives
Poland | Description and travel

Personal names
Fraser , Lovat , 1871-
Fraser , Maxwell
Llanover , Augusta Hall , 1802-1896

Corporate names
Cambrian Archaeological Association
Great Western Railway (Great Britain)
International Arthurian Society
Kilvert Society
Offa's Dyke Association
PEN (Organization)
Sherlock Holmes Society of London


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