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National Library of Wales
Snell & Sons, collection of music manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MSSNELL

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Snell & Sons Collection of Music Manuscripts

Short Title: Snell & Sons, collection of music manuscripts

Creation date(s): 1747-1933 (accumulated [1900x1967])

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 137 volumes

Name of creator(s): Snell & Sons


Administrative/Biographical history: The music publishing company of Snell & Sons, Swansea, Glamorgan, was established by D. J. Snell in 1900. The firm has always taken great interest in purchasing the publishing rights of Welsh compositions, and has long enjoyed a reputation as the largest publisher of Welsh music in the world. The company have acquired music manuscripts from many leading Welsh composers.


Scope and content/abstract: Manuscripts, mainly [19 cent., second ½]-1933, of the work of Welsh composers, mostly autograph, comprising holographs, copies and drafts of scores and sets of orchestral parts and also lyrics, including works by John Thomas (Pencerdd Gwalia), Dr Joseph Parry, David Jenkins, W. T. David and others. The collection also includes part of a Mass and a Te Deum by Giovanni Bononcini, 1747.


Language/scripts of material: English, Welsh, Latin

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 9298-9299, 19761-19896. Grouped by composer.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. A superseded catalogue is also available in hard copy at NLW. This is more detailed than the current catalogue in some respects, and includes descriptions of former Snell MSS 67, 74-76, 83, 86-89, 92-94 and 122, which are no longer part of the collection.


Accruals: Accruals are possible.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased (with NLW MSS 9281-9297) from Messrs Snell & Sons, Swansea, October 1934 (NLW MSS 9298-9299); purchased from Snell and Sons, Swansea (per Deloitte, Plender, Griffiths & Co. as Public Receiver), May 1967 (NLW MSS 19761-19896).


Related material: See also NLW, Snell & Sons Records (being a further group of records donated to the National Library of Wales in June 1993) and NLW, Dr Joseph Parry Manuscripts, including further manuscripts purchased from Snell & Sons.

Publication note: Most of the works in the archive have been published, but publication rarely extended to the full score; the practice was for performers to hire the full score and orchestral parts (or 'band parts') from the publisher.


Note: Title based on contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by David Moore for the ANW project. The following sources were consulted in the compilation of this description: NLW, Handlist of Snell Manuscripts; Snell & Sons website, March 2003.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2003

Composers | Wales
David, W. T. | (William Thomas), | 1864-1927 | Manuscripts
Jenkins, D. | (David), | 1848-1915 | Manuscripts
Music publishers | Wales | Swansea
Music | Manuscripts | Wales
Parry, Joseph, | 1841-1903 | Manuscripts
Thomas, John, | 1826-1913 | Manuscripts

Personal names
David , W. T. , 1864-1927
Jenkins , D. (David) , 1848-1915
Parry , Joseph , 1841-1903
Thomas , John , 1826-1913

Corporate names
Snell & Sons

Swansea (Wales)

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