Fonds GB 0210 DAVINS - David Jenkins (composer) Manuscripts,

Identity area

Reference code



David Jenkins (composer) Manuscripts,


  • 1796-1935 (mainly 1896-1912) (accumulated 1877-1935) / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.058 cubic metres (3 boxes, 1 envelope)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Prof. David Jenkins (1848-1915) was born on 30th December 1848 at Trecastle, Brecknockshire. Although apprenticed to the tailoring trade, he was attracted to the Tonic Solfa choral movement. In 1874, he enrolled at Aberystwyth College and studied under the renowned composer Joseph Parry, the first Professor of Music there. Jenkins received his Mus. Bac. from Cambridge in 1878. In 1893, he was appointed lecturer in the newly-formed Music Department of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and was appointed Professor in 1910, a post he held until his death. He was a prominent figure in the musical life of Wales, judging at the National Eisteddfod and provincial eisteddfodau, and conducting at cymanfaoedd (hymn-singing festivals). He was also a prolific composer; his best-known choral works are Arch y Cyfamod, Job, Yr Ystorm and The Psalm of Life, which was written for the Cardiff Triennial Festival in 1895, and was first premiered by two thousand singers at the Crystal Palace, London, on July 1896. He was also an editor of Y Cerddor. He died in Castell Brychan, Aberystwyth, on 10th December, 1915. After his death, his musical works remained popular and there were subsequent editions and translations.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated to the National Library of Wales by his niece, Miss N. D. Jenkins, Aberystwyth, 1944.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Manuscript oratorios, operas, orchestral pieces, choruses, melodies and other musical compositions (including the four Welsh Airs arranged for choir and full orchestra premiered at the Crystal Palace, 1896); an autographed notebook containing solfa versions of Welsh melodies arranged for male voices, 1915; correspondence, 1934-1935, relating to the proposed publication of a memorial volume to Jenkins by nine of his contemporaries ('Er Cof am yr Athro David Jenkins Gan Naw o'i Gyfoedion'); music exercise books, 1877-1881, and a volume containing blacksmith's accounts, Trecastell, and particulars of payments to preachers, 1796-1810.

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 as found.

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

Welsh, English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from content of fonds. The archive includes papers accumulated by David Jenkins which pre-date him.

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

February 2003


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: National Library of Wales, Schedule of Professor David Jenkins Manuscripts; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); David Jenkins website (, viewed 26 February 2003. The date of the first performance of 'The Psalm of Life' is given in the Schedule as 1895, and in the Dictionary as 1896.

Accession area