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National Library of Wales
Humphreys, Emyr, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 EMYREYS

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Emyr Humphreys Papers

Short Title: Humphreys, Emyr, papers

Creation date(s): 1908-1993 (dates of accumulation [1930]x1993)

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 2.26 cubic metres (79 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Emyr Humphreys


Administrative/Biographical history: Emyr Humphreys (1919-), one of Wales' most significant writers and cultural activists, was born in Prestatyn and brought up in Trelawnyd, both Flintshire. He was educated at UCW, Aberystwyth, where he studied history, learnt Welsh, and where he became a Welsh nationalist. He had registered as a conscientious objector in 1939, and was sent to work in Pembrokeshire during the Second World War. Later in 1944 he was sent as a war relief worker to the Middle East and then to Italy until 1946, where he was an officer with the Save the Children Fund. He married in 1946, the daughter of a Congregational minister. He became a teacher, and taught at Wimbledon Technical College until 1951, and then at Pwllheli Grammar School. He worked for the BBC as Drama Producer from 1955 until 1965, when he became a lecturer in drama at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. In 1972, he left to become a full-time writer. He has won numerous prizes, including the Somerset Maugham Award in 1952 for his novel Hear and Forgive, and The Hawthornden Prize in 1958 for A Toy Epic, and has published articles in Planet and the Welsh Internationalist. He has published over twenty novels, including The Little Kingdom (1946), The Voice of a Stranger (1949), A Toy Epic (1958), The Anchor Tree (1980), A Change of Heart (1951), Hear and Forgive (1952), A Man's Estate (1955), The Italian Wife (1957), Outside the House of Baal (1965), National Winner (1971), Flesh and Blood (1974), The Best of Friends (1978), Salt of the Earth (1985), An Absolute Hero (1986), Open Secrets (1988), Bonds of Attachment (1991), The Gift (1973), Jones (1984), Unconditional Surrender (1996) The Gift of a Daughter (1998), Ghosts and Strangers (2001)Old People are a Problem (2003), and The Shop; a collection of short stories, Natives (1968), and four volumes of verse, Ancestor Worship (1970), Landscapes (1976), The Kingdom of BrĂ¢n (1979), Pwyll a Rhiannon (1980). His book Emyr Humphreys: Conversation and Reflections (2004), bring his uncollected writings together.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of Emyr Humphreys, 1908-1993, comprising mainly correspondence, 1939-1993, including personal correspondence, 1939-1993, correspondence between parties other than Emyr Humphreys, 1930-1993, and correspondence relating directly to his work, 1942-1994 and his interests, such as the arts and politics, including papers relating to Plaid Cymru and Gymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, 1956-1992; volumes, published and unpublished, [1946]x1991; short stories, in manuscript and typescript form, together with some poems and scripts and unidentified prose, 1937x1981; articles, reviews, adjudications and lectures, c. 1949x1993; radio and television scripts, including scripts containing references to Emyr Humphreys, with contributions by him and reviews of his work, 1946xc. 1993; poems, 1936xc. 1993; together with miscellaneous items, which include a file of official publications, circulars, memoranda and related papers (c. 1945-1946) relating to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration in Italy, and Welsh and English newspaper cuttings, 1908-1990.


Language/scripts of material: Welsh, English, German

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: correspondence; volumes (published and unpublished), with the exception of short stories and poetry; short stories; articles, reviews, adjucations and lectures; poems; and miscellaneous.

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 online.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are expected

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased from Emyr Humphreys in 1994.


Related material: Further material relating to Emyr Humphreys are held in NLW National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, including television programmes scripted by Emyr Humphreys UM 000248 /01, VM 000186/02, VM 000077/03, UM 000722/01, UM 001058/01-UM 001059/01, SM 001423/05, VM 000263/ 04, SM 000240/05, SM 001118/06, UM 002061/02, SM 001089/07, VM 000533/08, SM 003488/08, SM 003489/01, SM 005485/02, SM 003776/07, SM 003777/01, UM 003370/01, UM 002606/01, UM 003397/01, UM 002624/01, UM 003401/01, UM 003433/01, UM 003437/01, UM 003438/01, SM 006561/08, SM 006562/01, VM 002953/01, AM 000883/03, AM 000896/03, AM 000913/03, AM 000930/03, AM 002227/03, 1983-1995; radio programmes containing Emyr Humphreys's work, RM 002595/13, RM 002604/02, RM 002621/04, RM 002621/12, 1994; and radio and television programmes containing discussions on Emyr Humphreys's work or interviews with the author, RM 000357/04, RM 000548/07, RM 001237/12, RM 001257/15, UM 000617/07, UM 001172/02, SM 000145/03, SM 002203/03, SM 005262/09, UM 003338/01, 1983-1991; in addition the Library holds a manuscript copy of 'Y Gosb', see NLW MSS 22259DE and a colour picture of Emyr Humphreys, promotion photographs for the launch of S4C and a volume of maps of Yugoslavia were transferred to the Department of Pictures and Maps.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds. Records acquired by Emyr Humphreys pre-date his birth.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of Emyr Humphreys Papers; Stevens Meic (ed.), Cydymaith i Lenyddiaeth Cymru (1997).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2003

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg
English fiction | Welsh authors | 20th century
English literature | Welsh authors
English poetry | Welsh authors
Humphreys, Emyr, | b. 1919 | Archives
Novelists | Archives
Plaid Cymru
Radio scripts
Short stories, English | Welsh authors
Television scripts

Personal names
Humphreys , Emyr , b. 1919

Corporate names


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