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National Library of Wales
Morris, Jan, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 JANMOR

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Jan Morris Papers

Short Title: Morris, Jan, papers

Creation date(s): 1908-2010

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.499 cubic metres (8 large boxes; 30 small boxes).

Name of creator(s): Jan Morris


Administrative/Biographical history: Jan Morris, formerly James Morris, travel writer, historian and novelist, was born in Somerset in 1926 of Welsh and English parents. She spent ten years on the editorial staffs of The Times and The Guardian, and her books about places evolved from her travel experiences as a wartime soldier and as a foreign correspondent. Her published books, articles and essays include a historical trilogy about the British Empire, books concerning Wales, major studies of several cities around the world, books of collected travel essays, biographical works about Abraham Lincoln and Admiral Fisher, a novel, and several volumes of memoirs.


Scope and content/abstract: Notes, drafts of published and unpublished works, letters, talks, reviews, booklets, leaflets, periodicals, press cuttings and other material relating to Jan Morris's writing career and the places she visited in the course of her research, together with personal letters and records.


Language/scripts of material: English, German, Italian, French, Welsh and Swedish.

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW in four series: Notebooks and other research materials; Drafts of works; Printed material; and Personal papers.

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.

Finding aids: The catalogue is available online on the NLW website.


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

Accruals: Accruals are possible.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Jan Morris, Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd, July 2002, January 2003 and April 2010.


Publication note: Several of Jan Morris's published works were based on materials in the archive, including: Coast to coast (1956); Sultan in Oman (1957); The market of Seleukia (1957); Coronation Everest (1958); South African winter (1958); The Hashemite kings (1959); Venice (1960); Spain (1964); The presence of Spain (1964); Heaven's command: an imperial progress (1973); Pax Britannica: the climax of empire (London, 1968); Farewell the Trumpets: an imperial retreat (London, 1974); Conundrum (1974); Oxford (Oxford, 1978); The Venetian empire: a sea voyage (London, 1980); Stones of empire: buildings of the Raj (1983); The matter of Wales: epic views of a small country (1984); Last letters from Hav (1985); Sydney (1992); O Canada! (1992); and Trieste and the meaning of nowhere (2001).


Archivist's note: Compiled by Rhiannon Michaelson-Yeates, with additions by David Moore. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: e-mails from Jan Morris, September 2003 and April 2010; papers within the archive.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2003 and March 2015.

Morris, Jan, | 1926- | Archives
Travel writers | Wales
Travel writing | 20th century

Personal names
Morris , Jan , 1926-

Corporate names


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