Fonds GB 0210 GLYNJO - Glyn Jones Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Glyn Jones Papers,


  • 1814-1995 with gaps (accumulated [1925]-1995) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.389 cubic metres (43 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Morgan Glyndwr Jones was a poet, novelist and writer of short stories. He was also the author of prose works, a radio broadcaster, translator of Welsh literature, librettist, and contributed a number of articles and reviews to various books and journals.

Glyn Jones was born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1905, the second son of William Henry Jones, a Post Office clerk, and Margaret Williams, who was a teacher in Merthyr prior to her marriage and during World War I. The language of the home was Welsh, although both Glyn and his elder brother David Tydfilyn were educated through the medium of English. Nevertheless, Glyn Jones was evidently proud of his Welsh roots and eventually fluent in the language. He attended the Castle Grammar School in Merthyr and St Paul's College, Cheltenham, where he completed a teachers' training course. In 1935 he married Phyllis Doreen Jones.

Glyn Jones held teaching posts in Cardiff, Bridgend and Caerphilly, the first being Wood Street School, located in a slum area of Cardiff, which had a profound effect on him. In 1942, he was registered as a conscientious objector on humanitarian and Christian grounds and, in accordance with the policy of the Cardiff Education Authority who refused to employ conscientious objectors, he was dismissed from his teaching post. In 1944, he took up a post at Twyn School in Caerphilly, and later, in 1952, moved to Glantaf County School in Cardiff, where he retired as Head of the English Department in 1965.

Glyn Jones became interested in English romantic poetry whilst at grammar school and during subsequent years admired and was influenced by poets such as D. H. Lawrence, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dylan Thomas. His first poems appeared in The Dublin Magazine in 1931 under the pseudonym M. G. J. Gower, and his first collection of poetry was published in 1939. A collection of short stories, The blue bed was published in 1937 to critical acclaim, and the first of his three novels, The valley, the city, the village, appeared in 1956.

During the 1930s he met a number of Anglo-Welsh writers including Idris Davies, Caradoc Evans, Gwyn Jones, Jack Jones, Keidrych Rhys and Dylan Thomas. A memoir of literary life in Wales during this period was published in 1982 entitled Setting Out. In 1968 one of his best known works, The dragon has two tongues : essays on Anglo-Welsh writers and writing, was published, and the book was awarded a Welsh Arts Council prize in 1969. He also co-wrote, with John Rowlands, a volume of essays profiling Welsh writers in both English and Welsh published in 1980.

Glyn Jones began broadcasting on radio in 1946 and introduced various programmes, reviewed books and translated works for radio over a number of years. In addition he wrote the libretto for The beach of Falesá, with music by Alun Hoddinott, which was performed by Welsh National Opera in 1974.

Glyn Jones was the first Chairman of Yr Academi Gymreig (English Language Section) and later its President, and he became the first honorary member of the Academi in 1985. Several awards were bestowed upon him during his lifetime. He was honoured by the Welsh Arts Council in 1971 for his contribution to the literature of Wales, and made an honorary member of the Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain (Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain), 1988. He also received an honorary degree of D.Litt. from the University of Wales, 1974, and an Honorary Fellowship of Trinity College, Carmarthen, 1993. He died in 1995.

Archival history

The residual papers of Glyn Jones were acquired by his literary executor, Dr Meic Stephens, after his death in 1995.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Correspondence was purchased from Glyn Jones, Cardiff, in April 1993. Additional papers were purchased from, and donated by, Dr Meic Stephens, Cardiff, in January and June 1997, February 1999. Further papers were purchased from Mr Colin Huggett, Tregarth, Gwynedd, in June 1997, May and August 1998.; B1993/12, B1997/1, B1997/29, B1997/30, B1998/19, B1998/26, A1999/10.

A12/3 (23 letters from R. A. Caton); B1998/5.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds comprises the literary and personal papers of Glyn Jones, 1814-1995 (with gaps), including manuscript and typescript drafts of poetry and prose works by him, related correspondence and press cuttings, radio scripts, talks and readings and adjudications. Also included are notes and articles pertaining to Glyn Jones, general correspondence and notebooks; various papers relating to members of his family; and works by other writers.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Duplicate photocopies, printed material and radio scripts; minutes of Yr Academi Gymreig (English Language Section), together with copies of newsletters; agenda and minutes of the Welsh Arts Council, Drama and Poetry Sub-committee, and printed material; and miscellaneous newspapers, have been destroyed. Authority to destroy unwanted papers is given in Departmental Appraisal Form SEB/2003-04/12..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW into three groups: literary papers, personal papers and accumulated papers.

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

Queries regarding Glyn Jones copyright should be directed to Dr Meic Stephens, 10 Heol Don, Whitchurch, Cardiff (information from the Watch file (Writers, Artists and Their Copyright Holders),, March 2010).

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English with some items in Welsh.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of this list is available at NLW.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Further papers received by NLW before 1993, mostly drafts of literary works by Glyn Jones, are in the NLW MSS series (NLW MSS 20705-20718 and 20744; previously also known as Glyn Jones MSS 1-15). Three portraits of Glyn Jones by John Elwyn (accession number: 0200004222) and John Roberts (accession numbers: PG4907 and PG6826) are also held at NLW. See also file level descriptions.

Further papers of Glyn Jones are held at Trinity College, Carmarthen, including diaries, 1919-1990 (with gaps); letters to, and drafts of works by, Raymond Garlick; notebooks; correspondence, including letters regarding Dylan Thomas; papers concerning 'Welsh heirs'; and a typescript and notes relating to 'The valley, the city, the village'. Correspondence between Glyn Jones and members of staff of the BBC, 1948-1962, are kept at the BBC Written Archives Centre, Reading.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Titles supplied from contents of fonds.


A group of over 4000 letters, 1931-1991, to Glyn Jones, purchased in 1993 and 1997 and mainly relating to his literary career, were originally separated but were incorporated in the Glyn Jones Papers, March 2010 (series A12).

Alternative identifier(s)

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GEAC system control number


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Rules and/or conventions used

This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

July 2003 and March 2010.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Siân Bowyer.

Archivist's note

The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: L. Norris, Glyn Jones (Cardiff, 1997); J. Vinson ed., Contemporary poets, 2nd ed. (London, 1975); M. Stephens ed., The new companion to the literature of Wales (Cardiff, 1998); Location register of twentieth-century English literary manuscripts and letters (London, 1988); M. Stephens ed., The collected poems of Glyn Jones (Cardiff, 1996); G. Jones, The dragon has two tongues (London, 1968); D. Tudor Bevan, 'Glyn Jones: the background to his writing', 1989 (University of Wales thesis 1990/150); and documents contained within the Glyn Jones archive.

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: Glyn Jones Papers.