- 1883-1949 / (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.199 cubic metres (9 boxes).
Name of creator
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.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Donated by Rev. W. Evans, 1950
Content and structure area
Scope and content
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]- and carols, [c. 1900]-1927; and letters and papers, consisting of letters to Afan, 1902-1928; letters from Afan, 1903-; 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].
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 into the following: instrumental music; vocal music; letters and papers.
Conditions of access and use area
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.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title compiled from content of fonds.
Virtua system control number
Place access points
Genre access points
Description control area
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
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;