Fonds GB 0210 EMYREYS - Emyr Humphreys Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Emyr Humphreys Papers


  • 1882-2019 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3.103 cubic metres (107 large boxes).

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Emyr Humphreys (1919-), one of Wales' most significant writers and cultural activists, was born in Prestatyn and brought up in Trelawnyd, both Flintshire. He was educated at UCW, Aberystwyth, where he studied history, learnt Welsh, and where he became a Welsh nationalist. He had registered as a conscientious objector in 1939, and was sent to work in Pembrokeshire during the Second World War. Later in 1944 he was sent as a war relief worker to the Middle East and then to Italy until 1946, where he was an officer with the Save the Children Fund. He married in 1946, the daughter of a Congregational minister. He became a teacher, and taught at Wimbledon Technical College until 1951, and then at Pwllheli Grammar School. He worked for the BBC as Drama Producer from 1955 until 1965, when he became a lecturer in drama at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. In 1972, he left to become a full-time writer. He has won numerous prizes, including the Somerset Maugham Award in 1952 for his novel Hear and Forgive, and The Hawthornden Prize in 1958 for A Toy Epic, and has published articles in Planet and the Welsh Internationalist. He has published over twenty novels, including The Little Kingdom (1946), The Voice of a Stranger (1949), A Toy Epic (1958), The Anchor Tree (1980), A Change of Heart (1951), Hear and Forgive (1952), A Man's Estate (1955), The Italian Wife (1957), Outside the House of Baal (1965), National Winner (1971), Flesh and Blood (1974), The Best of Friends (1978), Salt of the Earth (1985), An Absolute Hero (1986), Open Secrets (1988), Bonds of Attachment (1991), The Gift (1973), Jones (1984), Unconditional Surrender (1996), The Gift of a Daughter (1998), Ghosts and Strangers (2001), Old People are a Problem (2003), and The Shop; a collection of short stories, Natives (1968), and four volumes of verse, Ancestor Worship (1970), Landscapes (1976), The Kingdom of Brân (1979), Pwyll a Rhiannon (1980). His book Emyr Humphreys: Conversation and Reflections (2004), bring his uncollected writings together.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Emyr Humphreys; Purchase; 1994.
Sion Humphreys (son), Caernarfon; Donation; February 2022; 99126211902419.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of Emyr Humphreys, 1882-2019, arranged in two groups.
The first group consists of papers of Emyr Humphreys, 1908-1993, comprising mainly correspondence, 1930-1993, including personal correspondence, 1939-1993, correspondence between parties other than Emyr Humphreys, 1930-1993, and correspondence relating directly to his work, 1942-1994, and his interests, such as the arts and politics, including papers relating to Plaid Cymru and Gymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, 1956-1992; volumes, published and unpublished, [1946]x1991; short stories, in manuscript and typescript form, together with some poems and scripts and unidentified prose, 1937x1981; articles, reviews, adjudications and lectures, c. 1949x1993; radio and television scripts, including scripts containing references to Emyr Humphreys, with contributions by him and reviews of his work, 1946xc. 1993; poems, 1936xc. 1993; together with miscellaneous items, which include a file of official publications, circulars, memoranda and related papers (c. 1945-1946) relating to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration in Italy, and Welsh and English newspaper cuttings, 1908-1990.
Additional papers, 1882-2019, were received in February 2022, comprising correspondence, 1929-2019; papers relating to novels and prose works by Emyr Humphreys and others, 1931-2017; papers relating to collections of poetry by Emyr Humphreys, 1902-2019, published and unpublished; notebooks and papers, [?1938x?1948]-2014, relating to collections of short stories by Emyr Humphreys, published and unpublished; scripts for stage and television and related papers, 1882-2010; administrative papers, 1943-2009; articles, lectures, and essays by Emyr Humphreys and others, 1938-2019; published items, 1917-2019, collected by and relating to the works of Emyr Humphreys, including cuttings and magazines; notebooks and papers, 1906-1966, of the Rev. Griffith Jones, Llanwnda; and other miscellaneous items and papers kept and collected by Emyr Humphreys, 1922-2013.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records have been retained, with the exception of some duplicate material which has been removed.


System of arrangement

Arranged into two groups as per source of acquisition: Pryniad 1994 Purchase, and Rhodd 2022 Donation.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Disgwylir i ddarllenwyr sydd am ddefnyddio papurau modern yn Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru gydymffurfio â Deddf Warchod Data 2018 a Rheoliadau Diogelu Data Cyffredinol 2018 yng nghyd-destun unrhyw brosesu ganddynt o ddata personol a gasglwyd o gofnodion modern sydd ar gadw yn y Llyfrgell. Nodir y manylion yn yr wybodaeth a roddir wrth wneud cais am Docyn Darllen. / Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

Mainly Welsh and English, with some Italian, German, French, and Latin.

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.

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Further materials relating to Emyr Humphreys are held in NLW National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, including television programmes scripted by Emyr Humphreys UM 000248 /01, VM 000186/02, VM 000077/03, UM 000722/01, UM 001058/01-UM 001059/01, SM 001423/05, VM 000263/ 04, SM 000240/05, SM 001118/06, UM 002061/02, SM 001089/07, VM 000533/08, SM 003488/08, SM 003489/01, SM 005485/02, SM 003776/07, SM 003777/01, UM 003370/01, UM 002606/01, UM 003397/01, UM 002624/01, UM 003401/01, UM 003433/01, UM 003437/01, UM 003438/01, SM 006561/08, SM 006562/01, VM 002953/01, AM 000883/03, AM 000896/03, AM 000913/03, AM 000930/03, AM 002227/03, 1983-1995; radio programmes containing Emyr Humphreys's work, RM 002595/13, RM 002604/02, RM 002621/04, RM 002621/12, 1994; and radio and television programmes containing discussions on Emyr Humphreys's work or interviews with the author, RM 000357/04, RM 000548/07, RM 001237/12, RM 001257/15, UM 000617/07, UM 001172/02, SM 000145/03, SM 002203/03, SM 005262/09, UM 003338/01, 1983-1991; in addition the Library holds a manuscript copy of 'Y Gosb', see NLW MSS 22259DE and a colour picture of Emyr Humphreys, promotion photographs for the launch of S4C and a volume of maps of Yugoslavia were transferred to the Department of Pictures and Maps.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.


Some records acquired by Emyr Humphreys pre-date his birth.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


Alma system control number


Access points

Place access points

Name 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. Revised March 2024.


  • English
  • Welsh



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of Emyr Humphreys Papers; Stevens Meic (ed.), Cydymaith i Lenyddiaeth Cymru (1997).

Archivist's note

Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project, February 2003. Revised by Lucie Hobson, March 2024.

Accession area