Fonds GB 0210 DVAMAS - D. Vaughan Thomas Music Manuscripts and papers,

Identity area

Reference code



D. Vaughan Thomas Music Manuscripts and papers,


  • 1841-1986 (accumulated 1885-1986) / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.409 cubic metres (15 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

David Vaughan Thomas (1873-1934), musician and composer, was born at Ystalyfera, Glamorgan. He attended Llandovery College and Exeter College, Oxford, where he gained a Musical Doctorate. He taught at Harrow School, Middlesex, before returning to Wales to devote himself to music. In 1927 he became overseas examiner for Trinity College, London, and travelled extensively in the Commonwealth. His chief works are 'Llyn y fan', 'A Song for St Cecilia's Day' and 'The Bard'; he wrote a large number of anthems and songs, in English and Welsh, arrangements of folk songs and hymns, and instrumental works, many of which remain unpublished. In 1906, he married Morfydd Lewis, and had three sons, including Wynford Vaughan-Thomas (1908-1987), author and broadcaster. He died in 1934.

Archival history

The archive contains some material added by members of the family after his death. The main group of papers were held by the family in "the tin box brought from 40 Glanmor Park Road" until 1951, when its contents were sorted into parcels by Mr A. S. Vaughan Thomas and listed.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by the family of D. Vaughan Thomas, Swansea, 1935, and Mr A. S. Vaughan Thomas, Barnet, 1970, 1983

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Music manuscripts and papers of David Vaughan Thomas, 1841-1986, including personal papers of D. Vaughan Thomas, 1885-1932; correspondence, 1906-1945; musical compositions, 'Llyn y Fan', songs and hymns, [c. 1906]-[c. 1933]; published compositions, 1906-1933; lecture notes, [c. 1910]-1930; press cuttings, 1910-1938; and miscellaneous family papers, 1841-1986, including papers of Vaughan Thomas's grandfather and programme of a centenary concert, 1973.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

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


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

The arrangement follows, as far as possible, the bundles identified in the 1951 listing. Additional material is arranged by accession, then chronologically.

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

The permission of the depositor is required before reproduction of the major works is allowed.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Welsh, English; music in conventional notation and Tonic Sol-fa..

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

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

Further papers are NLW MS 21223E, a full score of the cantata 'Llyn y Fan' and NLW MS 21224E, an interlude for trumpet, harp and strings, and a group of thirty hymn tunes composed in 1932. Many of his adjudications can be found in the National Eisteddfod archive. He is also represented in the Welsh Music Information Centre Archive held at the Library.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title compiled from content of fonds. Correspondence and other papers relating to D. Vaughan Thomas post-dating his death were added by his family. Some records collected by D. Vaughan Thomas pre-date his birth.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Access points

Place access points

Genre 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

April 2003.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: National Library of Wales, Catalogue of D. Vaughan Thomas Music Manuscripts; The Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959).

Accession area