Fonds GB 0210 JANMOR - Jan Morris Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Jan Morris Papers


  • 1908-2010 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.499 cubic metres (8 large boxes; 30 small boxes).

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Jan Morris, formerly James Morris, travel writer, historian and novelist, was born in Somerset in 1926 of Welsh and English parents. She spent ten years on the editorial staffs of The Times and The Guardian, and her books about places evolved from her travel experiences as a wartime soldier and as a foreign correspondent. Her published books, articles and essays include a historical trilogy about the British Empire, books concerning Wales, major studies of several cities around the world, books of collected travel essays, biographical works about Abraham Lincoln and Admiral Fisher, a novel, and several volumes of memoirs.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Jan Morris, Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd, July 2002, January 2003 and April 2010; 0200300841.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Notes, drafts of published and unpublished works, letters, talks, reviews, booklets, leaflets, periodicals, press cuttings and other material relating to Jan Morris's writing career and the places she visited in the course of her research, together with personal letters and records.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All papers donated to NLW have been retained.


Accruals are possible.

System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW in four series: Notebooks and other research materials; Drafts of works; Printed material; and Personal 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

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Swedish
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, German, Italian, French, Welsh and Swedish.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the list covering the 2002 and 2003 Donations is available at NLW.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

Several of Jan Morris's published works were based on materials in the archive, including: Coast to coast (1956); Sultan in Oman (1957); The market of Seleukia (1957); Coronation Everest (1958); South African winter (1958); The Hashemite kings (1959); Venice (1960); Spain (1964); The presence of Spain (1964); Heaven's command: an imperial progress (1973); Pax Britannica: the climax of empire (London, 1968); Farewell the Trumpets: an imperial retreat (London, 1974); Conundrum (1974); Oxford (Oxford, 1978); The Venetian empire: a sea voyage (London, 1980); Stones of empire: buildings of the Raj (1983); The matter of Wales: epic views of a small country (1984); Last letters from Hav (1985); Sydney (1992); O Canada! (1992); and Trieste and the meaning of nowhere (2001).

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

March 2003 and March 2015.


  • English



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: e-mails from Jan Morris, September 2003 and April 2010; papers within the archive.

Archivist's note

Compiled by Rhiannon Michaelson-Yeates, with additions by David Moore.

Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: Jan Morris Papers.