Fonds GB 0210 MAXSER - Maxwell Fraser Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



Maxwell Fraser Papers,


  • 1912-1980 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.62 cubic metres (67 boxes, 3 volumes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Dorothy May Fraser (1902-1980), adopted the pen-name Maxwell Fraser, and later became Mrs Edgar Phillips. She was a prolific author of popular travel books. She was born in London. Her father was one of the Frasers of Dumballock and Newtown, Inverness-shire and her mother was born in Philadelphia of old Puritan stock. In 1951, Maxwell Fraser married Edgar Phillips of Pontllan-fraith, Monmouthshire, better known as the poet 'Trefin', who was later to become Archdruid of Wales. She wrote several books of Welsh interest, including Wales (1952), West of Offa's Dyke (1958), Welsh Border Country (1972) and edited the anthology In Praise of Wales (1950). Her research on Augusta Waddington Hall (Lady Llanover) and related materials were printed in the the National Library of Wales Journal, 1960-1970, and in the Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1963-1964.

Archival history

Another part of the same bequest, the 'Trefin Archdderwydd Cymru Bequest', has been described in the list "Papurau Trefin Archdderwydd Cymru" which appeared in 1994.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Bequeathed to NLW by Maxwell Fraser upon her death in 1980.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

General letters, 1912-1980, to Maxwell Fraser, many relating to her research work and publications; correspondence between Maxwell Fraser and named friends, 1950-1980; materials on Lord and Lady Llanover and the Hall family, comprising correspondence, 1954-1980, and research materials assembled by Maxwell Fraser, 1806-1933, on the Llanover family; research papers assembled by Maxwell Fraser relating to her various books, 1935-1978; research notes, 1952-1977, concerning the preparation of Maxwell Fraser's articles and scripts; correspondence and papers, 1929-1968, relating to Maxwell Fraser's publicity work for the Great Western Railway Company (including Holiday Haunts, 1929-1962); notebooks bearing Maxwell Fraser's research notes; groups of press cuttings, 1924-1980; papers, 1947-1980, concerning Maxwell Fraser's links with numerous associations and societies, including the Cambrian Archaeological Association, the International Arthurian Society, the Kilvert Society, Offa's Dyke Association, P.E.N., Sherlock Holmes Society of London and other societies; papers, 1912-1980, deriving from Maxwell Fraser's hobbies and interests; papers, 1953-1968, concerning Maxwell Fraser's attempts to learn Welsh; miscellaneous papers, 1901-1980, relating to Slough; diaries kept by Maxwell Fraser, 1930-1980, of varying detail, including a journal, 1930, of a tour of Poland; theatre programmes; letters and papers relating to the testator's parents, 1900-1966, and her uncle, Lovat Fraser (1871-1926), the prominent journalist and author of India under Curzon and after (1911); and other personal papers relating to Maxwell Fraser; financial papers, 1911-1980; miscellaneous printed materials; and miscellaneous papers relating to research and writing by other individuals.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records bequeathed to the National Library of Wales have been retained..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged into the following : general correspondence, 1912-1954; general correspondence, 1955-1980; correspondence with friends; Llanofer correspondence; notes and background material relating to Llanover; books-background material; articles and scripts-background material; Great Western Railway Company; notebooks; press cuttings; societies; hobbies and interests; learning Welsh; Slough; personalia; financial papers; parents; Lovat Fraser; miscellaneous printed material; other people's work.

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

English, Welsh.

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

The papers of Maxwell Fraser's husband Edgar Phillips ('Trefin') are also held at the NLW. A large group of visual items was placed in the custody of the Department of Pictures and Maps.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from creator's name.

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

February 2003


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW Schedule of The Maxwell Fraser Bequest; Stephens, Meic, Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales (Oxford, 1986).

Accession area