Fonds GB 0210 ABEROSA - University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, Old Students' Association Records,

Identity area

Reference code



University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, Old Students' Association Records,


  • 1872-1998 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.544 cubic metres (19 boxes).

Context area

Name of creator

Administrative history

The Association was founded on 2 March 1892 at a gathering of former students in Aberystwyth to mark St David's Day. The first President was T. E. Ellis MP, who had played a leading part some twelve years earlier in forming what was called the Aberystwyth College Club at Oxford, an organisation which has some claim to be the precursor of Cymdeithas Dafydd ap Gwilym at that university. Throughout its history the Association has provided for its members the means of maintaining friendships established during their student days and of supporting the College to which they feel a strong attachment. These twin aims are reflected in the OSA's activities, be they social gatherings, fund raising efforts or, when necessary, joining in robust defence of the College. An account of the Association's history appeared in the centenary edition of the Annual in 1992, entitled 'Fair may your future be: the story of the Aberystwyth Old Students' Association, 1892-1992'. Off-prints of this article are held in the Archive, and copies may be obtained from the Secretary. Membership of the Association has risen sharply in recent years. In 1922 there were 329 life members; in 1939 there were 570; by 1960 the figure had grown to 898, and now there are over 7,000. There are nine branches in various parts of Wales and England, one in Northern Ireland and four overseas. A Reunion is held every Easter in Aberystwyth, the hundredth of which took place in 1999. A travel club organises holidays for members in many parts of the world. Public Lectures are organised on a regular basis - the Llandaff Lectures at Howell's School in Cardiff and the Llandovery Lectures at Llandovery College. Substantial sums have been raised to support the work of the College, the most recent effort being the Association's Centenary Appeal, which raised a total of £87,800 to finance the purchase of a state-of-the-art language laboratory.

Archival history

The Association's archive consists in the main of its publications (notably the Annual), the minutes of the General Committee, financial records, papers associated with various appeals and the working papers of its officers, especially the Secretary and the Treasurer. The files of some, but not all, Secretaries and Treasurers have survived, some in an exemplary state. Considerable pains have been taken to preserve a complete run of the Annual, and with a few exceptions the series is unbroken from 1908 onwards. The Annual provides a complete record of all the officers of the Association, and a snapshot of its work in the form of minutes of AGMs and reports from the branches. Excellent records were kept by the officers of the New College Buildings Appeal (1933 - 1964), and are a monument to their prolonged labours. The minutes of the General Committee have been fairly well preserved, although sadly there are gaps between 1892 and 1907, and again between 1932 and 1939. The former is particularly unfortunate, as the minute book was presented to the Association in 1948 by Professor Campbell James and was placed in the archive. It was examined there by Dr E L Ellis during his work on the centenary history of the College, but today there is no trace of it. Until recently the collection was scattered. Some important early material was held in the College's Archive Room; some more recent material was stored in a room at Marine Terrace, at the Computer Unit and, in the case of financial matters, at the Treasurer's house. In recent times material began to accumulate in the OSA office in Laura Place. Finally, the National Library has a small but important collection, the jewels being the minute book of the Aberystwyth College Club at Oxford, the first minute book of the London Society of Old Aberystwythians, and the OSA minute book for the years 1907 - 1932. Material about the branches, both active and inactive, appears in the collection, although the holdings are small and somewhat random. The branches themselves have material, notably minute books and branch constitutions, which arguably should be preserved in the Archive, and attempts will be made to obtain them. The Archive also contains material donated by individual members, and in this way some valuable items have been preserved. We are particularly indebted to two former officers of the Association, the late Arthur Pinsent and the late Ifor Ceredig Jones. Arthur Pinsent, a former President, was one of the officers of the Association's New College Buildings Appeal, which ran from 1933 until 1964. In 1973 Mr. Pinsent deposited the voluminous records and correspondence of the Appeal Committee, giving us an insight into their long and patient labour. Some of the meticulous records kept by I C Jones, a former President, Vice- President, Treasurer and Secretary, came to us through the hands of his son, Daniel Gruffydd Jones, the present Registrar. Donations from members will continue to enhance the collection, but now that the Archive has been catalogued the emphasis should be on filling gaps rather than needlessly duplicating existing holdings.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Officials of the UCW, Aberystwyth Old Students' Association; Deposit; December 1998 and December 2002. The 2002, 2008, 2009 and 2012 Deposits (5 boxes, per Mr A. H. Clark), remain unlisted

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection comprises accounts, including annual accounts, 1925-1954, a letter, 1997, relating to investments, treasurer's correspondence, 1945-1997, memorandum on OSA finances, 1950, bank statements, 1959-1969, building society pass books, 1988-1989, reunion records, 1991-1997; fund-raising records, including material relating to the use of the Assembly Rooms, 1922-1970, New College Buildings Appeal brochures, 1933?-1964, New College Buildings Appeal, 1933-1964; New College Buildings Appeal correspondence, 1930-1973, New College Buildings Appeal donations, 1934-1962, New College Buildings Appeal 'memoranda and manuscripts', 1964-1966, 1993 Centenary Appeal sub-committee, 1991-1992, 1993 Centenary Appeal appeal committee, 1992-1995, 1993 Centenary Appeal administration, 1993-1994; Memorabilia, including papers relating to the centenary tie, 1989, 'dramatics', 1928-1952, drama programmes, 1888-1948, eisteddfodau programmes, 1924-1944, entertainment programmes, 1926-1935, St. David's Day celebrations, 1928-1933, media: press cuttings, 1899-1992, memorial services and memorial funds, 1923-1988, tree planting ceremony, March 1997, music concerts, 1920-1952, photographs, 1894-1992, other pictorial material, 1910-1959, student's diary for 1935-1936, speeches and toasts, 1908, college yell, 1924-1928, gymnastic cap for 1923-1926; organisation, including acquisitions, 1998, accommodation of OSA archives, 1998 and undated, Aberystwyth branch, 1934-1994, Bangor branch, 1966, Cardiff branch, 1966-1990, Hong Kong branch, undated, London branch of Old Aberystwythians, 1898-1981, Malaysia branch, 1988-1989, Midland branch, 1937-1969, Swansea and West Wales branch, 1967-1992, Aberystwyth business club, 1993, Cambridge Society of Old Aberystwythians, 1923-1929, Manchester branch, 1938, Aberystwyth College Club, Oxford, 1880-1883, general committee, 1907-1997, OSA development committee, 1992-1997, housing association sub-committee, 1968, revised constitution, 1998, earlier versions of the constitution, 1913-1994, secretary's correspondence, 1928-1982, OSA Centenary, 1992-1993, correspondence relating to the funding of the association, 1892, press reports concerning the founding of the association, 1892, annual general meetings, 1935-1975, Llandaff lectures, life membership, 1920s-1996, presidents of the OSA, 1951-1972, list of vice-presidents of the OSA, 1892-1998, secretaries, 1892-1998, treasurers, 1892-1998, flyers and leaflets, c. 1992, attendance at re-unions, 1936-1994, correspondence relating to re-unions, 1964-1982, re-union programmes, 1907-1997, travel club activities, 1994-1998, guidelines, 1994-1998; relations between the OSA and other bodies, including the University College of South Wales, 1909, the Guild of Graduates of the University of Wales, 1969, list of subscribers to the building fund of the National Library of Wales, 1924, OSA publications - series, 1908-1998, OSA publications - occasional, 1920-1992, OSA publications - articles, 1931, college publications - series, 1892-1992, college publications - occasional, 1932-1996, University of Wales Press, 1947-1961, other publications - series, 1944-1986, other publications - occasional, 1874-1988; links between the OSA and the UCW, inclding, ceremonial - anniversaries, 1922-1973, official openings, 1973-1998, consultation relating to the charter and statutes, 1968-1969, Court and Council, 1934-1977, new buildings committee, 1936, college and students joint committee, 1936-1939, Union House committee, 1938-1939, Principal, 1907-195?, account books of various societies, 1920-1936, activities of various societies, 1923-1959, heads of departments at UCW, 1988-1992; unclassified papers, 1901-1905 and undated. Additional records (1 box), [c. 1913]-2002, of the Aberystwyth Old Students' Association, including correspondence, tributes, photographs, membership lists, programmes and other miscellaneous papers, were deposited by Mr A. H. Clark, Aberystwyth, in December 2002, March 2008 and 2009 and in May 2012 (these remain unlisted).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All records have been retained..


Accruals are likely.

System of arrangement

Arranged in the following classes: finance, fund-raising, memorabilia, organisation, other bodies, publications, OSA-UCW links, unclassified. Within each class the material has been arranged in exactly the same order as is listed in 'Scope and content'.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their Readers' Tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

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

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


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


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

August 2006.


  • English



Archivist's note

Compiled by J. Graham Jones for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Catalogue of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Old Students' Association archive;

Accession area