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National Library of Wales
Welsh Arts Council, manuscripts

Reference code(s): GB 0210 WELARTSMSS

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Welsh Arts Council Manuscripts

Short Title: Welsh Arts Council, manuscripts

Creation date(s): 1918-1970

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 40 volumes

Name of creator(s): Welsh Arts Council/Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru


Administrative/Biographical history: The Welsh Arts Council (WAC) was established by Royal Charter in 1946. In 1994, the Council merged with the three Welsh regional arts associations to create the Arts Council of Wales (ACW). At the same time the Arts Council of Great Britain separated its responsibilities for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. It was set up by Royal Charter, with four main objectives, to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts; to increase the accessibility of the arts to the public; to advise and co-operate with other public bodies; and to work through the medium of Welsh and English. Since 1999 the Arts Council of Wales has been an Assembly Sponsored Public Body (ASPB) and receives its money to fund the arts in Wales from the Welsh Assembly. ACW is therefore responsible to the Assembly for the way the money is spent. ACW underwent further restructuring in 1997 when five new divisions were created: Access Development Division, Artform Development Division, Lottery Division, Planning and Public Affairs Division and Finance and Resources Division; and again in [2002] when recommendations made in an action plan were implemented and a new structure was imposed.


Scope and content/abstract: A Collection of Anglo-Welsh Manuscripts purchased and collected by the Literature Committee of the Welsh Arts Council under its new programme for the preservation in Wales of the manuscripts of Anglo-Welsh authors. The manuscripts include poems and prose works by Idris Davies, 1930-1951; autobiographical and other works by Jack Jones, 1953-1970; draft of 'The Island of Apples' by Glyn Jones published in 1965; drafts of short novels by Gwyn Thomas, 1940s; drafts and proofs of poems by Raymond Garlick, 1964-9; works by Bryn Griffiths, 1960s; papers, and letters written to Pennar Davies, relating to Cymdeithas Cymru Newydd, conceived in 1939; drafts of stories in Rhys Davies's collection 'The Chosen One', published in 1967; cyclostyled copy of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, 1954; drafts of poems by Vernon Watkins, published in 1968; works by John Stuart Williams, 1967-1968, Herbert Williams, 1966-8, and John Tripp, 1966-71; letters, 1950-1960, written to Raymond Garlick as editor of the magazine 'Dock Leaves'; works by Ron Berry, 1960, Sally Roberts, 1969, John Ormond, 1969, and Harri Webb (poems collected in 'The Green Desert'), 1969; proofs of the anthology 'The Lilting House', 1969; letters, 1941-4, written by Alun Lewis to Brenda Chamberlain; draft of Brenda Chamberlain's novel 'The Water-Castle', written in 1953; drafts of works by Geraint Goodwin, 1936-9; letters from authors, 1918-60; drafts of works by Oliver Onions, 1952, Berta Ruck, 1967-70, and Tom Earley, 1966 and 1970; together with letters, 1967-71, from various authors, including Brenda Chamberlain, to the Welsh Arts Council.


Language/scripts of material: English.

System of arrangement: Arranged according to works by individual authors into NLW MSS 20770-20809.

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.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history: The manuscripts (formerly WAC MSS 1-71) were brought together (as gifts and purchases) by the Welsh Arts Council in the years 1968-1970.

Immediate source of acquisition: Originally deposited at NLW by the Welsh Arts Council at various dates between June 1968 and August 1971. They were converted to a donation in 1971.


Related material: Welsh Arts Council MS 24, comprising eight numbers of 'Swansea Grammar School Magazine', 1928-31, containing work by Dylan Thomas, has been transferred to the printed books collection at NLW; Welsh Arts Council MS 25, comprising a xerox copy of 'A conversation about Christmas' by Dylan Thomas, published in 'Picture Post', 27 Dec. 1947, and in 'A Prospect of the Sea', 1955, is now NLW Facs 119; Welsh Arts Council MS 29, 'Poetry Wales' correspondence file, 1963-67, has been transferred to the Poetry Wales archive at NLW; and Welsh Arts Council MS 63, two photographs of Dylan Thomas's dressed up corpse in the New York mortuary, has been transferred to NLW's photographic collection. The archives of various departments of the Welsh Arts Council are also held at NLW (Welsh Arts Council Archives).


Archivist's note: Compiled by Alwyn J. Roberts for the ANW project. The following sources were used for the compilation of this description: NLW, Welsh Arts Council Manuscripts; Arts Council of Wales website, consulted 11 October 2007.

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

Date(s) of descriptions: October 2007

English literature | Welsh authors | 20th century

Personal names
Chamberlain , Brenda
Davies , Rhys , 1901-1978
Garlick , Raymond
Jones , Glyn , 1905-1995
Jones , Jack , 1884-1970
Lewis , Alun , 1915-1944
Ormond , John , 1923-
Ruck , Berta , 1878-1978
Thomas , Dylan , 1914-1953
Thomas , Gwyn , 1913-1981
Tripp , John , 1927-
Watkins , Vernon Phillips , 1906-1967
Webb , Harri , 1920-

Corporate names
Welsh Arts Council


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