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National Library of Wales
Sylvester, A. J., papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 AJSYLTER

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: A. J. Sylvester Papers

Short Title: Sylvester, A. J., papers

Creation date(s): 1912-1986

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.925 cubic metres (44 boxes)

Name of creator(s): A. J. Sylvester


Administrative/Biographical history: Albert James Sylvester (1889-1989) served as Principal Private Secretary to David Lloyd George from 1923 until his death in March 1945. A native of Staffordshire, Sylvester served as private secretary to the Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence, 1914-1921, to the Secretary of the War Cabinet and the Cabinet, 1916-1921, to the Secretary of the Imperial War Cabinet, 1917, to the British Secretary of the Peace Conference, 1919, and to three successive Prime Ministers, 1921-3: D. Lloyd George, Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin. He ran Lloyd George's private office in London. After Lloyd George's death, A. J. Sylvester earned his living as a member of Lord Beaverbrook's staff from 1945 until 1948, and spent a further year as unpaid assistant to Liberal Party leader, E. Clement Davies. In 1947, he published The Real Lloyd George, based on his diaries. In 1949, he retired from political life, and moved to a farm at Corsham, Wiltshire, England. His ambition to publish a full-scale autobiography, upon which he was actively engaged in extreme old age, never came to fruition. His papers provide an insight into the life of Lloyd George after his fall from power in 1922.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of A. J. Sylvester, 1909-1986, including shorthand diaries and notebooks, 1912-1953; subject files, 1914-1948, including files relating to the First World War, 1914-1920, the Paris Peace Conference, 1918-1920, Germany and the Second World War, 1936-1944; material relating to the Liberal Party, politics and elections, 1918-1945; Lloyd George family letters and papers, 1912-1985; general correspondence, 1912-1983; and papers relating to A. J. Sylvester's publications, 1945-1986.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: diaries; subject files; correspondence; publications; personalia; 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 not expected

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased from A.J. Sylvester's daughter, Maureen Sylvester Evans, in 1990.


Related material: Further papers are NLW, Lloyd George Papers, MSS 20403-20493, 21787-21792, 22514-22537, 23657-23871; William George Papers; Lady Olwen Carey-Evans Papers; Frances Stevenson Family Papers.

Publication note: Colin Cross (ed.), Life with Lloyd George: the Diary of A. J. Sylvester, 1931-45 (London, 1975), published lengthy extracts from the diaries.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of A.J. Sylvester Papers.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2003

Great Britain | Politics and government | 20th century
Liberal Party (Great Britain) | Archives
Lloyd George family | Archives
Paris Peace Conference, | 1919
Sylvester, Albert James, | 1889- | Archives
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1939-1945 | Germany

Personal names
Lloyd George , David , 1863-1945
Sylvester , Albert James , 1889-

Corporate names
Liberal Party (Great Britain)


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