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National Library of Wales
Thomas, D. 'Afan', (composer), music manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 DAFMAS

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: D. 'Afan' Thomas (Composer) Music Manuscripts

Short Title: Thomas, D. 'Afan', (composer), music manuscripts

Creation date(s): 1883-1949

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.199 cubic metres (9 boxes)

Name of creator(s): David John 'Afan' Thomas, (1881-1928)


Administrative/Biographical history: The composer David John 'Afan' Thomas (1881-1928), was born 15th April 1881, in Cwmavon, Glamorgan. He was the son of Evan Thomas, a choir conductor, and his wife, who was a singer and the daughter of David Nicholas, an accomplished musician. He adopted the name 'Afan' around 1899. He studied for a time under Dr Joseph Parry. He studied the organ at Bournemouth and was organist at Bethesda Congregational Chapel, Briton Ferry, 1903-1927. He was a frequent winner of musical composition competitions at the National Eisteddfod, and his works were performed at National Eisteddfod concerts. His sacred vocal works include Eirin Afan 1 & 2. His most ambitious work was his composition for choir and orchestra to words by Sir Henry Newbolt, 'He fell among thieves' performed at Aberafan. Many of his manuscripts were copied by his father, Evan Thomas, and his brother, Gwilym Thomas. He died 13th May 1928 and was buried in Cwmavon. One of his personal friends was Rev. William Evans ('Wil Ifan'), who wrote his biography published in 1944.


Scope and content/abstract: Music manuscripts, etc., of D. Afan Thomas, comprising instrumental music, 1909-1922; vocal music, namely ballads, monologues and cantatas, 1912-1923; songs, [1890s]- 1928; part-songs 1899-1918; anthems, magnificats and chants, 1904-1923; hymns, [1890s-1928] and carols, c.1900]-1927; and letters and papers, consisting of letters to Afan, 1902-1928; letters from Afan, 1903-[1928]; miscellaneous letters, 1883-1949, and miscellaneous papers, 1883-[c.1944], including the manuscript of the biography by Rev. William Evans ('Wil Ifan'), Afan, a Welsh Music Maker [Cardiff 1944].


Language/scripts of material: Welsh, English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following : instrumental music; vocal music; letters and 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 regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed on-line.

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 by Rev. W. Evans, 1950; deposited by Mrs. E. Thomas, Port Talbot, 1953; donated by David O. Williams, Cwmavon, 1963, 1966; and deposited by W. J. Afan Davies, Cwmavon, 1973.



Note: Title compiled from content of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the the ANW project. The following sources were used for the preparation of the description: NLW Schedule of D. Afan Thomas Music Manuscripts; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959). Some of the letters and papers post-date the death of D. Afan Thomas.

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 | Archives
Composers | Wales | Biography
Instrumental music | Wales | 20th century | Scores
Thomas, Afan, | d. 1928 | Archives
Vocal music | Wales | 20th century | Scores

Personal names
Thomas , Afan , d. 1928
Wil Ifan , 1883-1968

Corporate names


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