Fonds GB 0210 CWRTMSS - Cwrtmawr Manuscripts,

Identity area

Reference code



Cwrtmawr Manuscripts,


  • 1543-1923 (accumulated [1871]-[1926]) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3.181 cubic metres (1,549 volumes, 56 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

John Humphreys Davies (1871-1926) of Cwrtmawr, Llangeitho, Cardiganshire, bibliographer, served as Principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth from 1919 to 1926. Davies's deep interest in Welsh literature and culture manifested in his acquisition of a vast collection of Welsh manuscripts and books from many sources over a long period. He died on 10 August 1926 and was buried at Llangeitho.

Archival history

The largest group within his collection was acquired by J. H. Davies from John Jones (Myrddin Fardd, 1836-1921), of Chwilog, Caernarfonshire, who had assembled a large collection of historical and antiquary material copied from parish registers and libraries such as Peniarth. Davies also acquired substantial material derived from the collections of the following: Daniel Silvan Evans (1818-1903), cleric, editor and lexicographer, whose major work was his unfinished Geiriadur Cymraeg (5 vols, 1887-1896, 1906); the Richards family of Darowen, Montgomeryshire, a Welsh clerical family active in the Welsh church and in cultural movements and which included the Reverend Thomas Richards (1754-1837), his five sons (all ordained), and three daughters, the eldest of whom, Mary (1787-1877), compiled over 20 volumes of transcripts and memoranda; 'Gwilym Cowlyd' (William John Roberts, 1827-1904), poet and printer and nephew of Ieuan Glan Geirionydd (1795-1855), cleric and poet; Peter Bailey Williams (1763-1836), cleric and writer and son of Peter Williams (1723-1796), Methodist and Biblical commentator. J. H. Davies also collected several important smaller groups of material.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

John Humphreys Davies; Cwrtmawr, Llangeitho; Donation; 1925 & 1926

John Humphreys Davies (per T. I. Ellis); Rhyl; Bequest; 1933

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Manuscript collections containing original and transcribed poetry and prose, 1543-[20th century]; religious works, 1611-1914; biographies, chronicles, archaeological and historical notes, works on travel, folklore, recipes, grammars, vocabularies and philological notes, 1673-1900; rent-rolls, parish registers, tithe account books, bidding books, minute books and registers of various societies, 1608-1863; pedigrees and genealogical notes, [17th century]-1871, commonplace books, [18th century]-1904, volumes of press-cuttings; manuscripts in the hand of J. H. Davies, including transcripts of and indexes to Welsh poetry, bibliographical notes, literary and legal extracts, pedigrees, biographical data and notes on place-names, 1891-1923; autograph letters from prominent Welsh literary figures, 1674-1921; autograph manuscripts of John Jones, Gellilyfdy, Dafydd Ellis of Criccieth, Eben Fardd (including diaries, 1836-1859), Peter Williams, D. Silvan Evans, Thomas Richards and Myrddin Fardd.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records donated to the National Library of Wales have been retained..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW as Cwrtmawr MSS 1-1492.

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 noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Hard copies of the catalogues are available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogues are available online.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

J. H. Davies's personal papers and correspondence are also held at NLW; these are currently uncatalogued. A number of manuscripts, once part of J. H. Davies' collection, are now in NLW, J. Lloyd Williams Collection and Papers. Deeds collected by Davies are NLW, Cwrtmawr Deeds.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title derived from domicile of collector and donor, J. H. Davies.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Access points

Place access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

September 2003.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used to compile this description: NLW, Catalogue of the Cwrtmawr Manuscripts; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959);

Accession area