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National Library of Wales
Jones, Thomas, Professor, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 THOJON

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Professor Thomas Jones Papers

Short Title: Jones, Thomas, Professor, papers

Creation date(s): 1922-1981

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.258 cubic metres (9 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Thomas Jones


Administrative/Biographical history: Professor Thomas Jones was born on 16 July 1910. He was the eldest son of William and Elizabeth Jones of Alltwen, near Pontardawe, co. Glamorgan. He attended the local primary school and in 1922 moved to Ystalyfera Intermediate County School. He left the school with a State Scholarship in 1928, and enrolled as an undergraduate at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He took his initial degree with First Class Honours in Latin in 1931, and the following year obtained a similar distinction in Welsh. He was then granted a Dr Samuel Williams Research Scholarship, and took for his subject of study three Welsh pseudo-historical works and their Latin originals. As a consequence of this study, he was given the degree of MA with distinction in 1935.
From 1933-1937, he held a temporary assistant lectureship post in Welsh at Aberystwyth, and was subsequently promoted to lecturer in 1941. During his two years of national service in the Second World War, he contracted rheumatic fever whilst serving in Madagascar. Upon returning to Aberystwyth, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1946, and in 1952 he succeeded Professor Thomas Herbert Parry-Williams to the Chair of Welsh Language and Literature. He was Dean of the Faculty of Arts in 1958-1960 and Vice-Principal in 1965. However, the fever that he had contracted whilst in Madagascar had damaged his heart, and he suffered periods of severe illness during the latter years of his life. This led to his early retirement from his chair in 1970. He was elected to a personal chair, and on reaching pensionable age, he was granted the title of Emeritus Professor.
His contribution to Welsh and Celtic scholarship was considerable in terms of both quality and quantity. His first major publication was Y Bibyl Ynghymraec, being the text and a study of the sources of the Welsh version of the Promptuarium Bibliae in 1940. He made a great contribution to Welsh historiography in his trilogy of texts of Brut y Tywysogion, the Welsh text of Peniarth MS 20 in 1941, and its English translation in 1952, and a critical text, translation and notes, of the Red Book of Hergest version in 1955. This trilogy was followed by the publication of Brenhinedd y Saesson or the Kings of the Saxons in 1971.
In 1948, he collaborated with Professor Gwyn Jones in the translation of the Mabinogion, a translation which replaced Lady Charlotte Guest's in the Everyman's Library series in 1949. In the last months of his life, he was preparing a definitive edition of the Welsh versions of the Legend of the Holy Grail, and completed the first part for the press, but did not live to complete his study of the second part.
In 1947, he married his former pupil, Mary Eileen (Mair), daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Sivell of Glangwili, and they had two daughters, Nia and Heledd. Thomas Jones died in Llandovery Hospital on 17 August 1972.


Scope and content/abstract: The fonds comprises papers relating to Professor Thomas Jones's professional and personal life, including his career and research interests, 1922-1972; correspondence and personal papers, 1932-1979; and papers, 1945-1981, of his wife, Mary Eileen Jones (Mair).


Language/scripts of material: English; Welsh (see series/file level descriptions)

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW into two groups: professional papers, 1928-1972, and personal papers, 1922-1981.

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 list is available at NLW.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All the papers donated to NLW have been kept.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history: The papers of Professor Thomas Jones passed to his widow, Mary Eileen Jones, after his death in 1972. Following her death in 2001, the papers passed to his daughters.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by his daughters, Mrs Nia Harper and Mrs Heledd Hayes per Mr Tegwyn Jones, Bow Street, April 2002. Additional papers (BC2/13) were received in June 2005.


Related material: Photographs have been transferred to NLW Special Collections (0200301395).


Note: The papers include material accumulated after the death of Thomas Jones by Mair, his wife.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Sally McInnes.
The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Studia Celtica (vols. 10/11, 1975-1976).

Rules or conventions: This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: December 2003. Revised June 2005.

Jones, Thomas, | 1910-1972 | Archives

Personal names
Jones , Thomas , 1910-1972

Corporate names


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