Fonds GB 0210 WELFOLK - Welsh Folk-Song Society Records,

Identity area

Reference code



Welsh Folk-Song Society Records,


  • 1908-1993 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.086 cubic metres (3 boxes); 1 box (5 vols), August 2006)

Context area

Name of creator

Administrative history

The Welsh Folk-Song Society (Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru) was formed between 1906 and 1908, at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. It was part of the national movement like the foundation of the University College of Wales and the National Library of Wales. Its aims were set out in the first issue of its journal, in 1909: to collect and to preserve Welsh folk-songs, ballads and tunes. Not much had been documented before the twentieth century. The Welsh Folk-Song Society grew between 1908 and 1930, with enthusiastic contributions by individuals including Mary Davies (1855-1930). The Society's support then dwindled, although it continued to publish its journal, until it established links with the Welsh Folk Museum from 1963 onwards; the Journal sequence came to an end in 1972. The Welsh Folk-Song Society's activities include the recommendation of selections of songs for use at the National Eisteddfod, and annual weekend meetings at Gregynog Hall, Merionethshire. The Society has also supported the re-publication of old folk song collections, and in 1978, it restarted its journal, now under the title 'Canu Gwerin: cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru / Folk song: Journal of the Welsh Folk-Song Society'. In 1985, it published D. Roy Saers' history of the society: 'Cymdeithas Alawon Gwerin Cymru / The Welsh folk-song Society: 1908-1983'. W. S. Gwynn Williams (1896-1978), was the Secretary of the Society from 1933-1957, and editor of the Journal, 1946-1975. W. Emrys Cleaver (1905-1985) also served as Secretary of the Society.

Archival history

Some of the records remained in the possession of W. S. Gwynn Williams until his death, and others in the posession of W. Emrys Cleaver.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited by the Society per Mrs Beti Gwynn Williams, Llangollen, the widow of W. S. Gwynn Williams, in 1981

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Records of the Welsh Folk-Song Society, 1908-1993, including minutes, 1908-1957; correspondence, 1915-1975; reports, 1931-1957; financial papers, 1928-1953; publication material relating to the Journal, 1909-1954; executive committee and annual general meeting minutes, 1958-1993; and folk song material, including words and music collected by W. Emrys Cleaver, with related correspondence and notes, 1959-1964, and composed and arranged songs with related correspondence and notes, [1960s]. The correspondents include many prominent composers and musicians.

A further five volumes belonging to the Welsh Folk-Song Society were received. These remain uncatalogued.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

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


Accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged by deposit and into the following: minutes; correspondence files; reports; financial papers; publications; and folk songs/ miscellaneous.

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


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the schedule is available at the National Library of Wales in Minor Lists and Summaries, 1982, pp. 62-63; 1983, pp. 52-53; 1984, pp. 59-60; 1986, p. 83, and 1989, p. 95. The catalogues can be accessed online.

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


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 and Martin Locock for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Minor Lists and Summaries, 1982; 1983; 1984; 1986; 1989; Traditional Song Forum website (, viewed 20 June 2003; Folkwales website (, viewed 20 June 2003.

Accession area