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National Library of Wales
Jenkins, David, (composer), manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 DAVINS

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: David Jenkins (composer) Manuscripts

Short Title: Jenkins, David, (composer), manuscripts

Creation date(s): 1796-1935 (mainly 1896-1912) (accumulated 1877-1935)

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.058 cubic metres (3 boxes, 1 envelope)

Name of creator(s): Prof. David Jenkins (1848-1915)


Administrative/Biographical history: Prof. David Jenkins (1848-1915) was born on 30th December 1848 at Trecastle, Brecknockshire. Although apprenticed to the tailoring trade, he was attracted to the Tonic Solfa choral movement. In 1874, he enrolled at Aberystwyth College and studied under the renowned composer Joseph Parry, the first Professor of Music there. Jenkins received his Mus. Bac. from Cambridge in 1878. In 1893, he was appointed lecturer in the newly-formed Music Department of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and was appointed Professor in 1910, a post he held until his death. He was a prominent figure in the musical life of Wales, judging at the National Eisteddfod and provincial eisteddfodau, and conducting at cymanfaoedd (hymn-singing festivals). He was also a prolific composer; his best-known choral works are Arch y Cyfamod, Job, Yr Ystorm and The Psalm of Life, which was written for the Cardiff Triennial Festival in 1895, and was first premiered by two thousand singers at the Crystal Palace, London, on July 1896. He was also an editor of Y Cerddor. He died in Castell Brychan, Aberystwyth, on 10th December, 1915. After his death, his musical works remained popular and there were subsequent editions and translations.


Scope and content/abstract: Manuscript oratorios, operas, orchestral pieces, choruses, melodies and other musical compositions (including the four Welsh Airs arranged for choir and full orchestra premiered at the Crystal Palace, 1896); an autographed notebook containing solfa versions of Welsh melodies arranged for male voices, 1915; correspondence, 1934-1935, relating to the proposed publication of a memorial volume to Jenkins by nine of his contemporaries ('Er Cof am yr Athro David Jenkins Gan Naw o'i Gyfoedion'); music exercise books, 1877-1881, and a volume containing blacksmith's accounts, Trecastell, and particulars of payments to preachers, 1796-1810.


Language/scripts of material: Welsh, English

System of arrangement: Arranged as found.

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 donated to the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Library of Wales by his niece, Miss N. D. Jenkins, Aberystwyth, 1944.



Note: Title supplied from content of fonds. The archive includes papers accumulated by David Jenkins which pre-date him.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: National Library of Wales, Schedule of Professor David Jenkins Manuscripts; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); David Jenkins website (, viewed 26 February 2003. The date of the first performance of 'The Psalm of Life' is given in the Schedule as 1895, and in the Dictionary as 1896.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2003

Composers | Wales
Jenkins, D. | (David), | 1848-1915 | Manuscripts
Music | Wales | 19th century
Music | Wales | 20th century
Music | Wales | Manuscripts
Musicians | Wales
Operas | Wales
Oratorios | Wales
Orchestral music | Wales | 19th century
Orchestral music | Wales | 20th century

Personal names
Jenkins , D. (David) , 1848-1915

Corporate names
University of Wales, Aberystwyth | Department of Music


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