Fonds GB 0210 MARAMS - Mary Williams papers

Identity area

Reference code



Mary Williams papers


  • 1862-1974 (accumulated [1890]-1977) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.751 cubic metres (27 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mary Williams (1883-1977), from Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, was a Professor of French at the University of Durham, having previously taught at University College Swansea, University of Durham, and King's College, London. She studied German and French at University of Wales Aberystwyth, and wrote her thesis on the French sources for Wolfram von Eschenbach's poem Parzival; she had a working knowledge on many languages, including Proven├žal, Italian, Latin and Welsh. From 1961 until 1963, she was the President of the Folklore Society. In 1922, she married Dr George Arbour Stephens. She researched Arthurian topics, corresponding with Jessie Laidlay Weston. She acquired some papers relating to her father, the Rev. John Williams, her mother, Mrs Jane Williams, and her sister, Jennie Williams, later Mrs R. Ruggles-Gates, and Professor Victor Julian Taylor Spiers (d. 1937), King's College, London. She was a keen supporter and benefactor of the National Library of Wales and took part in meetings of the Celtic Congress.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Mary Williams, 1968, 1974 and 1977.
Bequeathed by Mary Williams, 1978.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers, lecture and research notes of and acquired by Mary Williams, relating to Middle French, Middle Welsh and medieval literature and Arthurian studies, 1907-1963; books collected by Mary Williams, 1897-1911; letters to Prof. Victor Spiers, 1898-1916; vouchers and receipts, 1924-1973; newspaper cuttings, 1911-1940; school books 1909-1916; papers relating to University College Swansea, 1921-1975, University of Wales Aberystwyth, 1924-1974, University of Durham, 1948-1952, and National Library of Wales, 1941-1974; correspondence, 1927-1976; and family papers, 1898-1944.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records have been retained.


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged into the following: research notes; school and college notebooks; University papers; NLW; societies, conferences, charities; correspondence; financial; personal and biographical; miscellaneous; and family 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

  • Chinese
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, French, Italian, Welsh, Chinese, German.

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

See also NLW MSS 16218-16224. NLW also holds a large number of printed books donated by Mary Williams.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.


Some of the family papers precede the birth of Mary Williams.

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

April 2003.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of Mary Williams Papers.

Accession area