Fonds GB 0210 JTREES - J. T. Rees Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



J. T. Rees Papers,


  • 1878-1949 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.151 cubic metres (67 volumes).

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

John Thomas Rees (1857-1949), musician, was born at Llwynbedw, near Cwmgïedd, Breconshire. He had little education, and began work as a pit-boy in the South Wales coalfield at the age of nine. He learnt music whilst working in the mines, and began to give lessons when he was 17, mastering sol-fa under the tuition of D. W. Lewis (1845-1920) between 1876 and 1879. At the age of 21, Rees entered a cantata for an eisteddfod at Treherbert, Glamorgan, and in 1879 his friends raised funds which enabled him to study under Joseph Parry (1841-1903) at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire. Resources soon ran out, but the good offices of David Jenkins (1848-1915) enabled Rees to teach sol-fa at Pen-y-garn, near Aberystwyth, before moving to Emporium, Kansas, USA, in 1882. Although he retained his transatlantic connection long enough to gain a degree in Music at the University of Toronto in 1889, Rees returned to Pen-y-garn in 1883, acting as tutor to an adult music class, conductor of rural choirs, and later as part-time lecturer at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and part-time music teacher at Tregaron County School. His composition for string quartet, Duw sydd noddfa which, like much of his work, was on a religious theme, won the prize in its category at the Aberdare National Eisteddfod in 1895, and Rees subsequently became known throughout Wales as a composer, conductor and eisteddfod adjudicator. He lived at Bow Street, near Aberystwyth, until his death in 1949.

Archival history

After the death of J. T. Rees in 1949, these manuscripts appear to have remained in the custody of his son, T. Ifor Rees, until they were transferred to the National Library of Wales, where they were designated NLW MSS 16841-50, 19923-76, 20974-6.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Dr T. Ifor Rees, son of J. T. Rees, in 1950 and 1968.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Music manuscripts, 1878-1949, of J. T. Rees, comprising original full scores, draft scores and sets of orchestral parts for the bulk of his considerable output, including anthems, quintets, overtures, cantatas, choral works, songs and hymn-tunes, notably Duw sydd noddfa, Y trwbadwr, Y teulu dedwydd, String quartet, Hillsides of Wales and Christos.

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 in the order in which the papers were donated as NLW MSS 16841-50, 19923-76, and 20974-76.

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.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

Many of the works in this archive have been published.

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds.

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

March 2003.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by David Moore for the ANW project. The following sources were consulted in the compilation of this description: NLW, Handlist of J. T. Rees Music MSS; Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941-1970 (London, 2001);

Accession area