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National Library of Wales
Williams, R. Bryn, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 RBRYNIAMS

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: R. Bryn Williams Papers

Short Title: Williams, R. Bryn, papers

Creation date(s): 1865-1962

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.036 cubic metres (72 volumes)

Name of creator(s): R. Bryn Williams


Administrative/Biographical history: R. Bryn Williams (1902-1981), poet and historian, was born in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Merionethshire, but from 1909 to 1923 lived in Trelew, Chubut, Argentina. He then returned to Wales, studying at University College of North Wales, Bangor, and the Theological College, Aberystwyth; in 1932 he became a Welsh Presbyterian minister, and from 1952 he worked in the National Library of Wales. He married Eunice Bryn Williams (d. 1991). He wrote extensively on the history of the Patagonian settlement, including his 'Cymry Patagonia' (1942), 'Y Wladfa' (1962) and 'Gwladfa Patagonia, 1865-1965' (1965) and his collections of reminiscences by the settlers ('Atgofion o Batagonia' (1980)) and prose and poetry written by them, published between 1944 and 1976. He wrote fiction for adults and children about Patagonia, in 'Y March Goch' (1954), 'Bandit yr Andes' (1956) and others. His poetry, published in the volumes 'Pentewynion' (1949), 'Patagonia' (1956), and 'O'r Tir Pell' (1972), was also dominated by the settlement. He also wrote plays, travel books, and an autobiography, 'Prydydd y Paith' which appeared posthumously in 1983.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of and acquired by R. Bryn Williams, mainly relating to the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, including a diary of Joseph Seth Jones, one of the first wave of emigrants on the Mimosa to Patagonia, 1865, and correspondence, 1865-1868; correspondence of his brother, Robert Charles Jones, 1867-1877; copy records of the Welsh courts in Y Wladfa, 1872-1881; letters and minute books relating to Vrondeg Baptist Chapel, 1875-1887, Gaiman, 1877-1891, Eglwys Llanddewi, 1891, Eglwys Bryn Gwyn and Cyfarfod Misol Y Wladfa (Calvinistic Methodists), 1881-1955; papers relating to the Centenary Celebrations of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, 1952-1962; letters from the founders of the Welsh colony, 1866, and from others who had experienced life there; letters to R. Bryn Williams from Patagonia and from Wales relating to Patagonia, [c. 1941-1961]; research notes and manuscripts of books and radio plays by R. Bryn Williams, 1942-1962; miscellaneous records relating to Wales and elsewhere collected by Williams, 1865-1962; papers relating to John S. Williams, 1901-1962; papers and press cuttings on the history, culture and industry of Patagonia, 1869-1962; and typescripts of published and unpublished works, lectures, scripts, etc.


Language/scripts of material: English, Welsh, Spanish

System of arrangement: Arranged into NLW MSS 18175-18246. The collection had earlier been numbered R. Bryn Williams MSS 1-76. Of these, MS 56, 'Bathodynnau ynglyn ag Eisteddfod Cenedlaethol Caerlleon, 1866, a Rhuthyn, 1868', has been transferred to NLW Print Room. A list of ships from the USA to Patagonia was assigned the number RBW MS 6 / NLW MS 18180, but the donor could not find it at the time the collection was presented: "Yn ôl llyfryddiaeth Y Wladfa, dylai hwn fod yn cynnwys rhestr o longau o'r Unol Daliethiau, ond methais â rhoi fy llaw arno ar hyn o bryd."

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: The catalogue can be accessed online, or in hard copy at NLW. The collection is described in more detail (in Welsh) in the former schedule, 'Rhestr o lawysgrifau R. Bryn Williams' (1962), which is available in hard copy at NLW.

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 R. Bryn Williams, Llanbadarn Fawr, 1962.


Related material: Further papers of R. Bryn Williams are NLW MSS 19010-37 and 19356-7. See also Papurau Eunice Bryn Williams. Further papers relating to the Welsh settlement in Patagonia include NLW, Edward Jones Williams and Chubut Mercantile Company Papers, Kenneth E. Skinner Research Papers, E. R. Williams (Patagonia) Papers, David Richards Papers, and Kyffin Williams Papers, and University of Wales Bangor, Bryn Williams's Patagonia Papers and Rev. Nefydd Hughes Cadfan Papers.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds. Include papers which pre-date R. Bryn Williams.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Rhestr o lawysgrifau R. Bryn Williams (1962).

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

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2003

Calvinistic Methodists | Patagonia ((Argentina and Chile)
Human settlements | Patagonia (Argentina and Chile)
Jones, Joseph Seth, | 1845-1912 | Correspondence
Jones, Joseph Seth, | 1845-1912 | Diaries
Patagonia (Argentina and Chile) | Emigration and immigration
Patagonia (Argentina and Chile) | History | Sources
Poets | Wales | Archives
Poets, Welsh language | 20th century
Religious institutions | Argentina | Chubut
Wales | Emigration and immigration
Welsh literature | 20th century
Welsh literature | Patagonia (Argentina and Chile)
Welsh | Argentina | Chubut | Research
Welsh | Patagonia (Argentina and Chile)
Williams, R. Bryn | Archives

Personal names
Jones , Joseph Seth , 1845-1912
Williams , R. Bryn

Corporate names
Mimosa (Ship)

Argentina ()
Patagonia (Argentina and Chile)

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