- 1943-1994 / (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.45 cubic metres (50 boxes); 8 large boxes (March 2008); 7 large boxes (April 2014).
Name of creator
Dannie Abse was born in 1923 in Cardiff, Glamorgan. He studied at the Welsh National School of Medicine, and at King's College and Westminster Hospital in London, qualifying as a doctor in 1943. He entered clinical practice, and was a specialist at the Central Medical Establishment chest clinic, 1954-1989. He is a prolific writer and poet. He is deeply interested by 1930s politics and the Spanish Civil War, which formed the background to his schooldays. His poetry is influenced by his Jewish heritage, Welsh nationality, and his life as a family man and a London suburban dweller. He has published seven volumes of poetry and seven plays. He was Senior Fellow of the Humanities at Princeton University (1973-1974), and president of the Poetry Society (1978-1992). He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1983, Fellow of the Welsh Academy of Letters in 1992 (President since 1995), Honorary Fellow at the University of Wales College of Medicine (1999), and awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Wales (1989) and the University of Glamorgan (1997). He was given a Cholmondeley Award (1985). Abse is married to the art historian Joan Mercer, and together they edited, Voices in the Gallery: Poems and Pictures (1986) and The Music Lover's Literary Companion (1988). They live in Glamorgan.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Purchased from R. A. Gekoski, Leamington Spa, 1988-1995.
Two additional groups were purchased from Dannie Abse, March 2008 and April 2014.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Literary, editorial and personal correspondence, draft and unpublished poetry, short stories and other works, and miscellaneous papers, 1955-1995; unpublished short stories and articles, articles and essays, reviews, lectures, plays, broadcasts, ghost-writing, miscellaneous prose, and editorials.
An additional consignment of papers, 2004-7, of Dannie Abse. This group remains uncatalogued.
A further tranch of papers, being letters, loose manuscripts, workbooks and miscellaneous papers, 2008-2013. This group remains uncatalogued.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: All records purchased by the National Library of Wales have been retained..
Accruals are possible.
System of arrangement
Arranged into two groups by date of purchase, and within each group, by record type and 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
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 supplied from contents of fonds.
Virtua system control number
Place access points
Name access points
- Abse, Dannie -- Archives. (Subject)
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 ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Stephens, Meic, Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales, (Oxford, 1986).; Dannie Abse webpage (www.contemporarywriters.com), viewed 14 January 2003;