- 1961-2000 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.315 cubic metres (11 boxes).
Name of creator
The Celtic League was established at the National Eisteddfod of Wales at Rhosllannerchrugog in August 1961, and was known at first as the League of Celtic Nations. It should not be confused with the Celtic Congress, although the two organisations share many common objectives and some common origins.
The League's fundamental objective is to act as an international organisation in promoting the political, cultural, social and economic freedom of Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, Man, Scotland and Wales. To this end it campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental issues, reflecting both the similarities and the differences between the situations in each of the Celtic nations. The League is non-violent and non-sectarian, and aims to achieve its goals by fostering co-operation between Celtic peoples, developing consciousness of a special relationship and solidarity between them, making their national struggles and achievements better known abroad, campaigning for a formal association of Celtic nations to take place once two or more of them have achieved self-government, and advocating the use of the economic, social and cultural resources of each of the Celtic countries for the benefit of all its people. The League sees its role as secondary to that of national organisations, recognising the different character and circumstances of the individual Celtic nations.
Much of the League's activity revolves around its quarterly journal, Carn (originally published as Celtic News from 1962 to 1973), which contains articles in all the Celtic languages and in English, and provides information on the League's policies and decisions and on the Celtic scene in general. There are branches of the League in each of the six Celtic countries, as well as in England, Canada (Cape Breton) and the USA. The rest of the world is covered by the International branch. The League's officers are all volunteers, and its governing body is the General Council, comprising the general executive officers (General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Editor of Carn, Treasurer, Chairperson and Director of Information) and the branch secretaries. An Annual General Meeting is held on a rotational basis in each of the Celtic countries.
From the 1960s until the 1990s, the principal guiding force behind the Celtic League was Alan Heusaff (1921-1999), a founder of the League and also of Carn, which he edited for many years. He was the first General Secretary of the Celtic League, and held that responsibility for twenty-five years, becoming secretary of the International branch in 1986. His successors as General Secretary have included Bernard Moffatt (1986-1988 and 1991-2006), Davyth Fear (1988-1990), Séamas Ó Coileáin (1990-1991) and Rhisiart Tal-e-bot (2006- ).
The papers within the archive were accumulated independently by a number of individuals, all acting as officials of the Celtic League in various capacities at local, national and international levels. Details are given at the appropriate level of description.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Mr Alan Heusaff; Spiddal, co. Galway, Ireland; Donation; September 1999; A1999/158
Mrs Bríd Heusaff; Spiddal, co. Galway, Ireland; Donation; March 2001; A2001/13
Mr Rhisiart Tal-e-bot; Truro; Deposit; October 2002; 0200212534
Rev. Gwynn Bowyer; Carmarthen; Deposit; December 2011
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Records of the Celtic League, including minutes of Annual General Meetings and branch meetings and other administrative and financial documents, correspondence, tracts, press releases, petitions, articles for Carn magazine, notes and press cuttings relating to the aims of the League, its policies, campaigns and administration, and also to general matters concerning Celtic countries and cultures, linguistic minorities, and political movements and ideas, as well as the compilation, publication and distribution of Carn magazine.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged at NLW, following the order in which the papers were presented to the Library. The original arrangement of each group has been retained, reflecting the Celtic League's decentralised structure and the overlapping roles of many of its officials. Further details are given at the appropriate level of description.
Conditions of access and use area
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.
Language of material
- Scottish Gaelic
Script of material
Language and script notes
English, Irish, Breton, German, French, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, Manx, Esperanto, Basque and Spanish.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A hard copy of the catalogue of the 1999 and 2001 Donations is available at NLW.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
The 2002 and 2011 Deposits are currently uncatalogued.
GEAC system control number
Subject access points
Place access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR II; and local subject headings and genre/form thesauri.
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
October 2001 and November 2015.
Compiled by David Moore. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Celtic League Website, February 2002; Ellis, Peter Berresford, The Celtic revolution: a study in anti-imperialism (Talybont, 1985); Synergon-Europa website, February 2002; Celtic League (Cornwall Branch) website (viewed 20/7/2015); papers within the archive.