Fonds GB 0210 EMYREYS - Emyr Humphreys Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Emyr Humphreys Papers,


  • 1908-1993 (dates of accumulation [1930]x1993) / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.26 cubic metres (79 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 BrĂ¢n (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

Purchased from Emyr Humphreys in 1994.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of Emyr Humphreys, 1908-1993, comprising mainly correspondence, 1939-1993, 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.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records have been retained.


Accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged into the following: correspondence; volumes (published and unpublished), with the exception of short stories and poetry; short stories; articles, reviews, adjucations and lectures; poems; and miscellaneous.

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, German.

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

Further material 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 supplied from contents of fonds. Records acquired by Emyr Humphreys pre-date his birth.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


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


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. 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).

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: Emyr Humphreys Papers.