Rare Books Lecture Series: Prof. Edna Longley on Edward Thomas

ET_1916_2This autumn we welcome Professor Emerita Edna Longley from Queen’s University Belfast, to deliver the first of our Rare Books Lectures for 2015/16. Edna has made many visits to Special Collections and Archives over the years, in order to make use of the extensive family archive of war-poet Edward Thomas, and we look forward to hearing some of the results of this research. Her talk is titled: ‘Finding “something to read”: Edward Thomas’s reviews and early twentieth-century print culture’.

The event will be held in Lecture Theatre 0.31, John Percival Building (Humanities), at 5.30pm on Thursday 22 October, sponsored by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Special Collections and Archives, in association with the School of English, Communication and Philosophy. Please contact us at scolar@cardiff.ac.uk to book  a place for the talk.

Edna Longley’s monographs include Louis MacNeice: A Study (Faber, 1989), The Living Stream: Literature and Revisionism in Ireland (Bloodaxe, 1994) and Poetry & Posterity (Bloodaxe, 2000). She has edited Edward Thomas: The Annotated Collected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2008). Her most recent book is Yeats and Modern Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2013). She is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Edward Thomas (1878-1917), was killed at the front in the First World War. His extensive family archive is held in Special Collections and Archives, and a major series on his prose work will be appearing shortly from Oxford University Press.




Guest post: CUROP Research Project – Early Welsh language children’s literature

ChildLitThis guest post comes from Bethan Morgan, undergraduate in the School of Welsh, on her CUROP (Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme) project. Bethan has been working with Dr Siwan Rosser to create a bibliographic database of Welsh-language children’s books published before 1900.

Building on last year’s successful CUROP project to create a database of 19th-century periodicals for children, this project seeks to create a new resource for enhanced research on the history of children’s publishing in Wales. At present, no bibliography exists for pre-1900 publications, and library catalogue descriptions are often incomplete and inconsistent, impeding investigations into this important aspect of cultural history.

The project involved searching the University Library’s extensive Special Collections, as well as information from the on-line catalogue of the National Library of Wales, and amassing (through EndNote) relevant bibliographic material. The books were sorted into different categories within EndNote according to their genres, e.g. poetry, music, stories, textbooks, prayer books, and sermons. The resulting database, incorporating the previous CUROP periodical database, will be published online after the project, to be used in research and teaching here and to advance the study of this topic in general.

Bethan notes: “It was fascinating reading the pre-1900 collection of children’s books, because they are so different in comparison with contemporary children’s books. It was hard to believe at times that I was reading children’s literature, because of the serious / dark themes found in many of them, such as sin, death and disasters. The project is very worthwhile, and of value in developing knowledge of Cardiff University’s collection of children’s literature.”

It will also be an invaluable resource for Siwan Rosser during her 2015-16 Research Leave to produce a monograph on Welsh children’s literature. Furthermore, this database will lead to a joint project with Special Collections and Archives to create an online collection of early children’s books, as part of our programme to digitise library and archives to support research and teaching.

View Bethan’s post in full on Siwan Rosser’s Llenyddiaeth Plant blog.

Call for Papers: The Art of the Book, Cardiff University, December 4-6 2015



In 2014 Cardiff University received a considerable donation of Artists’ Books from Ron King of the Circle Press, one of the most influential practitioners of the Book Arts. In December of this year, the University’s Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) will be hosting a major international conference to celebrate this bequest. Speakers will include Ron King (Circle Press), Sarah Bodman (University of the West of England), and Chris McCabe (Poetry Library).

Proposals are now invited from practitioners and scholars for presentations of 20 minutes on any aspect of the Book Arts. A brief biographical note, along with an abstract of 200-300 words, should be sent NO LATER THAN October 1, 2015, to scolar@cardiff.ac.uk. Practitioners in attendance are encouraged to bring examples of their work for display at the conference.

Exhibition: Wales in the Romantic Imagination

Our latest exhibition is held in collaboration with Romantic Imprints: the 14th International Conference of the British Association for Romantic Studies, Cardiff University, 16-19 July 2015. The exhibition will run until September.

Thomas Pennant (1726-1798)

“… he’s the best traveller I ever read; he observes more things than anyone else does.” – Samuel Johnson on Thomas Pennant

Thomas Pennant was a natural historian, antiquarian and prolific travel writer, principally known for his accounts of travelling on foot and horseback through Wales and Scotland in the late 18th century, exploring remote parts previously unknown to many. His naturally gregarious disposition encouraged local inhabitants to speak freely of their habits, customs and superstitions, all of which he documented in as much detail as the route and its scenery. A great believer in the ability of a picture to tell a thousand words, his works were heavily illustrated with engravings, initially sketched by his servant Moses Griffith, who travelled with him.

Tour in Wales, MDCCLXXIII
Thomas Pennant 1726-1798.

pennant_castle dynas bran


Journey to Snowdon
Thomas Pennant 1726-1798.

Journey from Chester to London
Thomas Pennant 1726-1798.

Tour in Wales. Vol. II
Thomas Pennant 1726-1798.

Tourism and the Wye Valley

The Wye Valley can be considered the birthplace of British tourism, and
British Romanticism, indeed, if one takes a cue from Wordsworth’s seminal poem ‘Tintern Abbey’. William Gilpin’s Observations on the River Wye (1782), the first British illustrated tour guide, is largely responsible for this. Gilpin popularised the concept of taking boat tours down the Wye Valley, to view its romantic sites and picturesque landscape. Viewing the valley from boats gave rise to ‘picturesque tourism’, which focused on an appreciation of scenery rather than just history or architecture.

Gilpin’s book was an instant commercial success, and brought many visitors, including artists, writers and poets to the Wye Valley. Both familiar and unknown, the Wye Valley formed a meeting place of two nations and four counties, an uncanny and unstable border territory shifting with the river’s movements, a place of exile for political radicals, and a subject for many of the period’s most celebrated writers.

Three essays: I. On picturesque: beauty; II. On picturesque; travel; III.
On the art of sketching landscape. Gilpin’s personal copy of the original holograph manuscript, together with nine original drawing in watercolour, tint, pen, ink and pencil by the author. From the archive of Cyril Brett, Professor of English (1921-36) at University College Cardiff.
William Gilpin 1724-1804.



Observations on the River Wye : and several parts of South Wales, &c. relative chiefly to picturesque beauty; made in the summer of the year 1770.
William Gilpin 1724-1804.



Excursion down the Wye from Ross to Monmouth : including historical and descriptive accounts of Wilton and Goodrich castles, also of Court Field, the nursery of King Henry the Fifth; New Wear, and every other object in the voyage.
Charles Heath 1761-1831.

Picturesque views on the river Wye : from its source at Plinlimmon Hill, to its junction with the Severn below Chepstow: with observations on the public buildings, and other works of art, in its vicinity.
Samuel Ireland -1800.

Tour of the River Wye and its vicinity : enriched with two engravings.
George Sael 1760 or 1761-1799



Banks of Wye : a poem. In four books
Robert Bloomfield 1766-1823.

Leigh’s guide to Wales & Monmouthshire : containing observations on the mode of travelling, plans of various tours, sketches of the manners and customs, notices of historical events, a description of every remarkable place, and a minute account of the Wye.
Samuel Leigh

Hints to pedestrians : or, how to enjoy a three weeks’ ramble through North and South Wales and along the banks of the Wye / by a Pedestrian.

Topographical Wales

Special Collections and Archives is home to the substantial personal library of the 19th century antiquarian Enoch Salisbury. A native of Flintshire, he was a businessman, politician and privately, a book-collector with a personal mission to collect every book on the subject of Wales, or in Welsh. His eventual bankruptcy led to the collection of some 13,000 volumes being purchased at auction in 1886 by the first incarnation of Cardiff University: the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire.

Salisbury had a particular interest in Welsh topography and antiquities, and tended to buy two copies of illustrated volumes with plates. One would be placed in the library, and the other would have the plates removed, and inserted into dedicated scrapbooks. He also purchased individual prints, sketches and paintings for inclusion. Salisbury kept a dedicated scrapbook for each Welsh county, featuring hundreds of illustrations of its landscape and architecture.

This image is thought to be the earliest known depiction of Hafod, Aberystwyth, painted by a visitor who captured the building process, recording the phasing of this important house. It is complemented by a copy of Cumberland’s guidebook and plan of the estate, together with an engraving of the completed Hafod.


Hafod, Aberyswyth, Ceredigion
Signed S. Walker
Circa 1784-5
Watercolour on card
142mm by 95mm
Salisbury Cardiganshire Volume

An attempt to describe Hafod: and the neighbouring scenes about the bridge over the Funack, commonly called the Devil’s Bridge, in the county of Cardigan: an ancient seat belonging to Thomas Johnes, Esq. Member for the County of Radnor
George Cumberland 1754-1848

These watercolours show places in the Vale of Clwyd associated with
Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).



Monument erected by Colonel John Myddleton on the banks of the River Ystrad to commemorate the visit of Dr. Samuel Johnson in 1774 to Gwaenynog Hall, near Denbigh
Unknown artist
Circa 1810
Watercolour on paper
228mm by 140mm
Salisbury Denbighshire Volume

Distant view of a house titled as Bach-y-Graig, Tremeirchion, Denbighshire
Unknown artist
Circa 1830
Watercolour on paper
268mm by 203mm
Salisbury Denbighshire Volume

Called Bach-y-Graig, Tremeirchion, Denbighshire
Unknown artist
Circa 1830
Watercolour on paper
235mm by 143mm
Salisbury Denbighshire Volume

Both pencil sketches are by the artist Julia Mann, who visited South Wales during December 1831. On the left, Oxwich Castle, a Tudor courtyard house, was built by the Mansel family during the sixteenth-century. Their tenancy was short-lived, as the house became a romantic ruin during the 18th century, and a popular destination on the picturesque tourist trail. Manorbier Castle, on the right, was part of this circuit, claiming fame as being the birthplace of Gerald of Wales. The castle survived intact until the Civil War when it was slighted, afterwards becoming derelict.



Oxwich Castle, Oxwich Bay, Glamorganshire
Attributed to Julia Mann
Dated December 1831
Pencil on card
245mm by 176mm
Salisbury Glamorganshire Volume

Manorbier Castle, from North Pembrokeshire
Signed Julia Mann
Dated December 1831
Pencil on card
243mm by 176mm
Salisbury Pembrokeshire Volume

Welsh Romantic Medievalism and the Arthur myth

In 1816, the republication of two rival editions of Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, out of print since 1634, reawakened interest in Arthur and the medieval romances. Wales was inextricably linked with the Arthur myth; the earliest references to King Arthur come from Wales and its medieval literature, such as the Annales Cambriae, the Black Book of Carmarthen, the Book of Taliesin, and of course, the Mabinogion, in the Red Book of Hergest. The Arthur myth created a touchstone of Celtic nationalism in Cornwall and Wales which resonates to this day.

The London printer, Williams Stansby (1572-1638) produced this edition of Malory’s work based on the earlier editions by Wynken de Worde and William Caxton. Stansby’s text appeared in 1634, just before the outbreak of the English Civil War. It remained the only available edition for nearly two hundred years until the revival of interest in Arthurian literature in the 19th century.

Most ancient and famous history of the renowned prince Arthur King of Britaine : Wherein is declared his life and death, with all his glorious battailes against the Saxons, Saracens and pagans […] also, all the noble acts, and heroicke deeds of his valiant knights of the Round Table.
Sir Thomas Malory, active 15th century.



This three volume edition of Malory, edited by the antiquary, Joseph Haslewood, is one of two new editions that appeared in 1816, both based on Stansby’s edition of Caxton. The appearance of these editions heralded the revival of interest in the Arthurian story.

Mort d’Arthur : the most ancient and famous history of the renowned Prince Arthur and the knights of the Round Table / by Sir Thos. Malory.
Sir Thomas Malory, active 15th century.

In Thomas Heywood’s 1641 edition of Merlin’s Prophecies, the sage is depicted as a hermit sitting under a tree rather than the powerful sorcerer of modern iconography. However he is still surrounded by images from his mythic history such as the two dragons whose epic fight provided Wales with its flag and with an enduring symbol of national identity.

The life of Merlin, sirnamed Ambrosius: his prophesies, and predictions interpreted, and their truth made good by our English annalls: being a chronographicall history of all the kings, and memorable passages of this kingdome, from Brute to the reigne of our royall soveraigne King Charles.
Thomas Heywood approximately 1574-1641



This later edition of Merlin’s Prophecies from 1812 was printed at Carmarthen. By then the city was firmly associated with the figure of Merlin, and the place name was interpreted as ‘Caer Myrddin’ or Merlin’s town.

The life of Merlin, surnamed Ambrosius: his prophecies and predictions interpreted, and their truth made good by our English annals: being a chronographical history of all the kings and memorable passages of this kingdom, from Brute to the reign of King Charles.
Thomas Heywood approximately 1574-1641

Arthur’s Stone, Cefn Bryn, the Gower, is the site of a Neolithic burial tomb. According to legend, Arthur threw this large stone and it landed in this spot. The tradition reflects the reputation of Arthur as a giant and a folk hero, rather than a courtly medieval king.

Illustration of Arthur’s Stone (Maen Ceti).
Glamorgan scrapbook, Salisbury archive

This Welsh translation of Merlin’s prophecies derives ultimately from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Latin work, Historia regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain). Merlin is taken before King Vortigirn (Brenin Gwrtheyrn) to explain the mystery of the falling tower.

Dwy gan o brophwydoliaethau Myrddin : a gymmerwyd allan o “Lyfr y daroganau”. Hefyd, hanes, o’r modd y daeth Myrddin i fod yn adnabyddus i’r brenin Gwrtheyrn, mab-y’nghyfraith Hengyst.

Special editions

Special Collections and Archives holds a number of notable editions related to Romantic Studies. These include:

• A green leather folio edition of Felicia Hemans’ Welsh Melodies:

Selection of Welsh melodies : with symphonies and accompaniments / by John Parry; and characteristic words by Mrs. Hemans.
John Parry Bardd Alaw, 1776-1851; Felicia Hemans 1793-1835



• A signed copy of Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime, inscribed to Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons from 1728-1761:

Philosophical enquiry into the origin of our ideas of the sublime and beautiful.
Edmund Burke 1729-1797

• A first edition of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa:

Clarissa; or, the history of a young lady. Comprehending the most important concerns of private life. And particularly shewing the distresses that may attend the misconduct both of parents and children, in relation to marriage.
Samuel Richardson



• Examples of gothic novels from the Minerva Press:

Ellen, countess ospecial_ellenf Castle Howel : a novel.
Bennett, Mrs. (Anna Maria), -1808

The Stranger : or, Llewellyn family ; a Cambrian tale.
A. Robert Evans

Secret avengers ; or the rock of Glotzden: romance in four volumes / by Anne of
Julia Ann Hatton 1764-1838

Gwelygordd; or, The child of sin. A tale of Welsh origin.
Charles Lucas 1769-1854

Iolo Morganwg (1747-1826)

Edward Williams (1747-1826) remains better known by his bardic name, Iolo Morganwg, whose romantic image of Wales and its past greatly influenced Wales’ national identity. A prolific poet, radical and polymath, his interests ranged from druidism, folklore, antiquities, architecture, agriculture, geology, language and dialect. Following his death it was discovered that many of his collected manuscripts, which featured evidence of druidic practices in Wales, and observations on mystical and metaphysical philosophy, were in fact his own forgeries. The Salisbury Library in Special Collections and Archives holds a number of books formerly owned by Iolo Morganwg, annotated in his own hand.

The Historie of Cambria, now called Wales
David Powell 1552?-1598
Inscribed by Iolo Morganwg to his daughter: “Ann Matthews Williams, Her Book’. The copy is heavily annotated throughout in various contemporary and later hands, including Iolo Morganwg’s.



Awdyl ar dymhorau y vlwyzyn.
Richard Powell 1769-1795

Cywydd y Drindod.
David Richards Dafydd Ionawr, 1751-1827



Halsing, neu gan newydd ar ddydd Natalic.
John Williams 1728-1806

Cyflafan y beirdd : awdl.
Robert Williams Robert ap Gwilym Ddu, 1766-1850

iolo_mss insert

Research resources for the First World War era

Special Collections and Archives has launched its new Resource Guide for the First World War era.


While the library’s circulating book collections relating to the First World War cover about 10 shelves, in Special Collections and Archives we have another 10 shelf metres of contemporaneous reference sources: printed, ephemeral, and archival material produced in the period 1914-1920.


So far this is an untapped resource by students, and most academic staff, and we’re keen to promote this material for both undergraduate and postgraduate work. We estimate we have over 3,000 items in the Library’s collections from the period 1914-1920; we have selected around 700 for the guide which are focused on the War itself.

The 1914-1920 material outlined by the Resource Guide includes –

  • Eye witness accounts from the front line,
  • War poets and literary writings, especially the huge Edward Thomas archive,
  • Wide ranging political debates raging during the war,
  • Much League of Nations material, from early in the war to well after 1920,
  • Pro-war and Conscientious objectors’ perspectives,
  • Extensive press cuttings collections throughout the war years, giving a week by week, blow by blow account from the war’s start to its end
  • Pictorial and illustration sources from a wide range of printed material,
  • Many sources showing what life was like on the ‘home front’ during the war period.


Hopefully, from these original and contemporaneous sources, students will get an enhanced perspective on the War, getting a flavour from contemporary sources of how people thought, felt, and reacted in that difficult time.

Special Collections and Archives staff received extensive help from a volunteer, an American librarian in Cardiff, to produce the eventual guide, and we are grateful to Katherine Wilkins for her assistance.

The Resource Guide features on the Imperial War Museum’s guide to events, exhibitions, projects and activities. Find out more at www.1914.org.

Patagonia: Y Wladfa @ 150 (1865-2015) Arddangosfa / Exhibition

Yn 2015 bydd Patagonia a Chymru yn dathlu 150 o flynyddoedd ers sefydlu’r Wladfa.  Sefydlwyd y Wladfa yn 1865, pan hwyliodd dros 150  bobl o wahanol rannau o Gymru ar y llong  ‘Mimosa’, ac ymsefydlu yn Nyffryn Camwy, Patagonia, yn Ne’r Ariannin. Mae’r gymuned Gymraeg yn parhau yno heddiw, yn ogystal â’r cysylltiadau sy’n bodoli o hyd rhwng Cymru a Phatagonia.

In 2015 Wales and Patagonia will be celebrating 150 years since the foundation of the Wladfa (colony). The Wladfa was established in 1865, when over 150 people from different parts of Wales sailed on the ship ‘Mimosa’, and settled in the Camwy Valley, Patagonia, in southern Argentina. The Welsh speaking community continues there today, as well as the contacts which exist still between Wales and Patagonia.


1/ Cefndir i’r Mudo / Migration Background 

Ceisiodd y Cymry sefydlu cymunedau tramor sawl gwaith, am sawl rheswm – economaidd, crefyddol, ieithyddol –  ond roedd pob un yn fethiant dros amser.

The Welsh attempted to establish communities overseas on several occasions, for several reasons – economic, religious, or linguistic – but each failed over time.

William Vaughan Sir.   The golden fleece  ...  transported from Cambrioll Colchos, out of the southermost part of the iland, commonly called the Newfoundland. London : Printed for Francis Williams, 1626.

William Vaughan Sir. The golden fleece … transported from Cambrioll Colchos, out of the southermost part of the iland, commonly called the Newfoundland. London : Printed for Francis Williams, 1626.

Methodd cymuned William Vaughan, ‘Cambriol’, yn Newfoundland, rhywbryd ar ôl 1630.

William Vaughan and his colony ‘Cambriol’, in Newfoundland, failed sometime after 1630.


2/ Teithio ac Ymsefydlu, 19 ganrif / Travel and Settlement, 19th century

Mae hanes y fordaith ar y llong Mimosa wedi arwain at nifer o gyhoeddiadau ar y pwnc, a’r caledi a wynebodd y Cymry, a ffyniant y gymuned wedyn, eto wedi ysgogi nifer i ysgrifennu am y digwyddiadau yno. Cychwynodd popetMDJonesh gan erthygl Michael D. Jones yn 1848.

The history of the sea journey on the ship Mimosa led to many publications on the topic, and the hardships faced by the Welsh, and the success of the community afterwards, again inspired many to write about events there.  Everything started with an article by Michael D. Jones in 1848.






3/  Y Wladfa, 20 ganrif (cynnar) / 20th century (early)

O ddiwedd y 19 ganrif roedd llywodraeth yr Ariannin yn elyniaethus tuag at y gymuned Gymraeg, a dirywiodd gweithgareddau’n araf, ac nid oedd mudwyr newydd o Gymru ar ôl 1913.

From the end of the 19th century the Argentine government had an unfriendly attitude towards the Welsh community, and activities declined slowly, while the last migration from Wales came in 1913.



4/ Y Wladfa, 20 ganrif (adfywiad) / 20th century (revival)

Sbardunodd canmlwyddiant sefydlu’r Wladfa, yn 1965, nifer o unigolion i ail-afael yn y cysylltiad rhwng Cymru a Phatagonia, a thyfodd amrywiaeth o gysylltiadau newydd, yn cynnwys cefnogaeth i’r gymuned Gymraeg oddi wrth Gynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn 1999.

The centenary of the founding of the Wladfa, in 1965, spurred a number of individuals to re-start connections between Wales and Patagonia, and a variety of new connections developed, including support for the Welsh community there from the National Assembly for Wales in 1999.



5/ Patagonia, Llen Teithio / Travel Writing

Ers y 1960au mae ffrwd gyson o lyfrau teithio am Batagonia wedi llifo o’r gweisg, pob un yn nodi’r gymuned Cymraeg yno, efallai’r mwyaf enwog (ond nid y mwyaf cywir) oedd y llyfr gan Bruce Chatwin.

Since the 1960s a stream of travel books about Patagonia has flowed from publishers, each one covering the Welsh community there, possibly the most well known (but not the most accurate) was the book by Bruce Chatwin.




6/ Y Wladfa, 21 ganrif / 21st century

Prifysgol Caerdydd a’r Wladfa / Cardiff University and the Wladfa

Iaith, diwylliant, hanes, cyhoeddiadau, cysylltiadau â Chymru, etc.

Language, culture, history, publications, contacts with Wales, etc.



Full list of sources featured in the exhibition:

1/ Cefndir i’r Mudo / Migration Background 

Hanes mor-daith y Brig Albion, Aberteifi, (Llywelyn Davies, Llywydd) gydâ Mûdolion (Emigrants,) &c. o Gaernarfon i Ogledd America : ynghyd â rhai ymddiddanion ar y daith, ac ychydig gasgliad o hanes am y wlad. Caernarfon : argraphwyd gan Peter Evans, 1820.

R Gorst;  David Lloyd.   Desgrifiad o diriogaeth Wisconsin …  yn mharthau gorllewinol Unol Daleithiau America. British Temperance Emigration Society; Cymdeithas Ymfudol Gymedrol Frytanaidd.; Welsh Emigratory Society of Britain.  Bangor … Bethesda, 1845.

Samuel Roberts.  Pregethau a darlithiau. Utica, E.N. : argraffwyd gan T.J. Griffiths, 1865.

2/ Teithio ac Ymsefydlu, 19 ganrif / Travel and Settlement, 19th century

Abraham Matthews. Hanes y Wladfa Gymreig yn Patagonia. Aberdar : Mills ac Evans, pr.|1894

D. Davies. Attodiad i’r Cymro : sef Llawlyfr y Wladfa Gymreig, Patagonia. Caergybi. O.P. Griffith,1882.

Hugh Hughes (Cadvan Gwynedd). Llawlyfr y wladychfa Gymreig yn cynwys sylwadau ar yr angenrheidrwydd a’r posiblrwydd o’i sefydlu, hanes Patagonia, yn egluro ei haddasrwydd i’r sefydliad…yn ngayda darlunlen o Patagonia.  Llynlleifiad: L. Jones & Co., 1862.

Patagonia, yn egluro ei haddasrwydd i’r sefydliad…yn ngayda darlunlen o Patagonia. Llynlleifiad : L. Jones & Co., 1862.

Susan Wilkinson. Mimosa’s voyages : official logs, crew lists and masters. Talybont, Ceredigion : Y Lolfa,2007.

Lewis Jones.  Cymru newydd : hanes y Wladva Gymreig ; tiriogaeth Chubut, yn y weriniaeth Arianin, De Amerig. Caernarvon : Cwmni’r Wasg Genedlaethol Gymreig, 1898.

Joseph Seth Jones; Elvey MacDonald.  Dyddiadur Mimosa : El diario del Mimosa. Aberystwyth : Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru; Llanrwst: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2002.

D.S. Davies.  Adroddiad am sefyllfa y Wladfa Gymreig, allan o “Baner America”. Bala : H. Evans, pr.|1875?

Lewis Jones. Ymfudiaeth y Cymry.  Bangor : Hughes, pr.,1885.

Jonathan Ceredig Davies. Adventures in the land of giants. Lampeter, Welsh Press Company, 1892.

Y Cenhadwr Americanaidd : Remsen, N.Y. : argraffwyd gan J.R. Everett, 1840-1901. [1844 erthygl gan M.D. Jones, ‘Gwladychfa Gymreig’].


3/ Y Wladfa, 20 ganrif (cynnar) / 20th century (early)

R. Williams. Cymry Patagonia. Aberystwyth : Gwasg Aberystwyth,1942.

Jonathan Ceredig Davies. Adventures in the land of giants.Lampeter : Welsh Press Company, 1892.

Eluned Morgan. Dringo’r Andes. Y Fenni : Owen, 1904.

Eluned Morgan.  Ar dir a môr. Y Fenni : Gwasg Minerv, 1913.

Eluned Morgan.  Gwymon y Mor. Y Fenni, Owen, 1909.

R. Williams . Rhyddiaith y Wladfa. Dinbych : Gwasg Gee, 1949.

R.B. Williams.  Eluned Morgan. J.D.Lewis, 1948.

Evans, L.   Adlais y  Gamwy…detholiad … o’r Wladfa Gymreig.  Caernarfon, 1924.

Morgan, E.  Plant yr Haul.  Evans a Williams.  1915.


4/ Y Wladfa, 20 ganrif (adfywiad) / 20th century (revival)

R. Williams. Gwladfa Patagonia : the Welsh colony in Patagonia, 1865-1965. Caerdydd : Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 1965.

Gareth Alban Davies,  Kyffin Williams.  Tan tro nesaf : darlun o wladfa Gymreig Patagonia. 1918-2006. Llandysul : Gwasg Gome, 1976.

Geraint Dyfnallt Owen.  Crisis in Chubut : a chapter in the history of the Welsh colony in Patagonia.Swansea : C. Davies,1977.

Glyn Williams. The desert and the dream : a study of Welsh colonization in Chubut, 1865-1915. Cardiff : University of Wales Pres, 1975.

Ioan Roberts. Rhyfel ni : profiadau Cymreig o ddwy ochr Rhyfel y Falklands/Malvinas 1982.

Llanrwst : Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2003.

Catrin Williams.  Er Serchog Gof … Gwasg Gee,  1997.


5/ Patagonia: Llen Teithio / Travel Writing

Ioan Roberts.  Rhyfel ni : profiadau Cymreig o ddwy ochr Rhyfel y Falklands/Malvinas 1982.  Llanrwst:  Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2003.

Jon Gower.  Gwalia Patagonia.  Llandysul: Gomer, 2015.

Cathrin Williams.  Y Wladfa yn dy boced : [llyfr taith i’r Wladfa]. Caernarfon : Gwasg y Bwthyn, 2007, 3ydd arg.

Bruce Chatwin, Paul Theroux.  Patagonia revisited ( illustrated by Kyffin Williams).  London : Jonathan Cape,1992.

Bruce Chatwin.  In Patagonia.  London : Vintage, 1998 [2005 New edition]

R. Williams . Crwydro Patagonia. Llandybie : Llyfrau’r Dryw, 1960.


6/ Y Wladfa, 21 ganrif / 21st century

Prifysgol Caerdydd a’r Wladfa  /   Cardiff University and the Wladfa

Elvey MacDonald.  Cymdeithas Cymru-Ariannin : 1939-2014. Penrhyn-coch, Aberystwyth: Cymdeithas Cymru-Ariannin, 2014.

Edi Dorian Jones. Capillas galesas en Chubut. Chubut Argentina : Edición del Autor, 2000.

Galeses y Tehuelches : historia de un encuentro en Patagonia = The Welsh and Tehuelches : a meeting of peoples in Patagonia = Y Cymre a’r Tehuelches : cenhedloedd yn cwrdd ym Mhatagonia.  Chubut (Argentina). Secretaria de Cultura. Chubut : Provincia del Chubut;2007.

Una Frontera Lejana, la colonizacion galesa del Chubut…1865 – 1935. Fundacion Antorchas, 2003.

Other periodical sources

Y Ddraig goch : cylchgrawn misol at wasanaeth y Wladfa Gymreig. Bala : argraffedig gan H. Evans|1876-1877

Ein Breiniad. Patagonia : s.n.|1878-1883

Y Drafod : El mentor. Gaiman, Chubut : Diario El Cordillerano S.R.L.|1891-

Y Gwyliedydd : newyddiadur wythnosol annibynnol. Trelew : s.n.|1929-1938

Government reports on the Wladfa for 1867, 1871, 1872, 1876, 1897, 1900, 1902

Guest post: The ‘netzwerk’ of Benjamin Morse

This guest post comes from Fiona McLellan, who spent two months volunteering with us this Spring. Fluent in German, Fiona catalogued the German-language correspondence contained in the archive of Benjamin Morse. Over 120 letters are now accessible to researchers for the first time, with the online catalogue providing highly detailed summaries of both content and context.

Benjamin Morse

Benjamin Morse

“Held at SCOLAR is the archive of Benjamin Morse (1899-1977). Professor Morse was the lecturer in education, then Italian at University College, Cardiff, where he was employed from the 1930s through to his retirement in 1966. After his graduation from the University of Aberystwyth in 1923, he spent a number of years in Europe, living in both Osnabrück and Trieste. Some of the connections he made while on his travels lasted for decades, and this is attested by his great hoard of letters written in Welsh, English, German and Italian.

Having contacted Alison Harvey concerning volunteering opportunities, I was pleased to be offered the chance to catalogue the letters Morse received in German. This I have now done, with the result that their authors, dates and summaries can be accessed online via ArchiveSearch, alongside Alessandra Toschi’s earlier work on Morse’s Italian papers.

Although among some 126 catalogued items, only one was written by Morse himself, a partial view of his life and character can be made out from the remarks of his friends and professional contacts in their letters to him. ‘Very Honoured Morse’, or ‘Herr Prof. Dr. Morse’, or ‘Jeeb’ was an exemplary networker. In his lifetime, networking was a word for communications engineers; it had yet to have its social meaning consecrated by LinkedIn; but with his numerous dispatches from his summer holidays, on top of his seasonal messages during the  Christmas and Easter vacations, Morse may have single-handedly kept the Italian postcard industry in the black.

However, Morse did not confine himself to postcards. Several of the letters he received from Germany in the late 1940s are partly taken up with thanks for the care packages Morse had sent to the family of Rilke and to fellow academics. To my mind, it is a sure indication of the difficult conditions of life in post-war Germany that  Morse’s gift of three packs of Ovaltine to Professor Mertner of the University of Münster could be met with such apparently sincere gratitude.

It was Rainier Maria Rilke, the poet of mysticism and of feeling, of roses, Apollo and art who occupied the greater part of Morse’s literary attention. The subject of Rilke dominates the German correspondence: scholarly books begin to criss-cross the North Sea within a couple of years of the end of the war, translations are disputed, new publications recommended or traduced. Rilke knew Trieste, having spent a year not far from there in the castle of an aristocratic patroness of his.  I do not know if this was Morse’s reason for choosing Trieste as a destination when, some ten or more years later in the 1920s, he left Britain. Certainly, his interest in Rilke was enduring. In the 1950s, Morse seemed to have viewed the fin de siècle poet as a potential refuge and a comfort: the one letter in the German correspondence to come from Morse’s own hand is addressed to Ilse Blumenthal-Weiss, a concentration camp survivor. His letter quotes in full one of Rilke’s lesser-known poems ‘Heute will ich dir zu Liebe Rosen fühlen.‘ (‘Today, for your sake, I wish to feel roses.’)

But Morse’s papers touch on many subjects, and have allowed me a glimpse into the day-to-day preoccupations of Morse’s far-flung circle: a student from Osnabrück wonders if he has a future as a published German translator of T. S. Eliot; a plagiarism scandal is hushed up at Münster; a retired book seller complains that his children don’t love him any more since he doesn’t have any money. Not only the words, but also the material and physical details of the letters were informative. Those sent in the 1940s were written on sub-toilet-tissue quality paper almost as transparent as a window.

postmark (2)Of additional interest were the social histories contained in the Freistempel or postmarks: the example given here cautions pen-and-paper enthusiasts that ‘the telephone saves time and money’.

My time spent working with Morse’s papers was highly enjoyable and profitable to me. I’d like to thank the staff at SCOLAR for their friendliness, and Alison in particular for managing the project, and for tolerating with such good grace the regular presence of a squatter in her office.”

Report on Cambrian CRECS, 17 Feb 2015

Alison Harvey:

A report on the latest Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth Century Seminar (CRECS) hosted in Special Collections and Archives. Focusing on the position of Wales within Romantic Studies, it drew heavily on our extensive Welsh special collections.

The next seminar, titled ‘How to Keep Your (Georgian) Man)’ will held in Special Collections and Archives on 17 March 2015 – all are welcome!

Originally posted on CRECS//:

by Jamie Castell and Alison Harvey

cambrian crecsCambrian CRECS: Nation, Region, Place in the Long 18th Century was the second event hosted by the Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth Century Seminar, and as Six Nations fever gripped the country, we sought to consider the position of Wales within Romantic Studies. After a hugely successful launch event with Fight Club, the CRECS organisers were keen to maintain the momentum of the series. How better than to showcase the literature and history of Wales and the amazing resources available in our very own library at Cardiff University’s Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR)? We were tightly packed once more into a venue with standing room only: several members of academic staff were forced to balance themselves between bottles of wine and bowls of pretzels! So, the atmosphere was appropriately warm as four speakers offered four fresh perspectives on constructions of Welsh identity, landscape and art in the…

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Circle Press Artists’ Books by Ron King: an exhibition

posterRon King was born in Brazil in 1932. He entered the Chelsea School of Art in London in 1951. He launched his Circle Press in 1967 with his work, ‘The Prologue’ from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. An innovative artist, he was also an innovative entrepreneur, and made many trips to North America where there was a ready market for his artist books. After many international exhibitions, and working with over one hundred artists and writers in the intervening years, and producing well over one hundred pieces of work, Ron King retired from publishing in 2009. He kindly donated his personal collection of artists’ books to Cardiff University in 2014.

Ron King & Roy Fisher, Anansi Company. Circle Press, 1992.

Ron King & Roy Fisher, Anansi Company. Circle Press, 1992.


Ron King, Alphabeta concertina. Circle Press, 1983. (Two editions of 1,000 copies)

Ron King, Alphabeta concertina. Circle Press, 1983. (Two editions of 1,000 copies)

“The idea for my first book came from a visit to the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum. There, for the first time, I viewed the French beaux livres, Matisse’s ‘Jazz’, Miro’s ‘A Tout Epreuve’, and Derain’s illustrations for a book by Rabelais”.

— Book, Art, Object 2, Codex Foundation, 2013. (p. 77). Eds. D. Jury and P. Koch.

Ron King, The Song of Solomon (King James Bible text). Circle Press, 1968.

Ron King, The Song of Solomon (King James Bible text). Circle Press, 1968.

“In New York on a trip in the early seventies I bought a pop-up version of ‘Pinocchio’, published by Random House, ostensibly for my children. It was to set me off in an entirely new direction as far as the concept of the book was concerned”.

— Book, Art, Object 2, Codex Foundation, 2013. (p. 79). Eds. D. Jury and P. Koch.

Ron King & Roy Fisher, Left-handed Punch. Circle Press, 1986.

Ron King & Roy Fisher, Left-handed Punch. Circle Press, 1986.

“The [Circle] Press has been highly productive for over forty years and has had a profound effect, directly and indirectly, on other artists working with books, for it has provided a continuity and a context against which such activity can be measured”.

Circle Press website.

Ron King and Roy Fisher, Bluebeard’s castle (based on Bartok’s opera). Circle Press, 1972.

Ron King and Roy Fisher, Bluebeard’s castle (based on Bartok’s opera). Circle Press, 1972.

“Ron King is a maker. He is not just an artist – though that is his primary identity – he is a craftsman capable of turning his hand to the ready solution of practical problems … It is in this quality of inspired fabrication that his real genius resides”.

— Andrew Lambirth, Introduction, p. 13, Cooking the Books: Ron King and the Circle Press. Yale Centre for British Art, 2002.

Ron King, Hick, Hack, Hock (Scissors, paper, stone). Circle Press, 1996/97.

Ron King, Hick, Hack, Hock (Scissors, paper, stone). Circle Press, 1996/97.

“An artist’s book is a book produced under the direction of an artist. The word ‘artist’ is used broadly: the artist may be a visual artist or a text-based conceptual artist; he or she may normally work with other media or they may be an artist solely on the basis of their work as a ‘book artist’. An artist’s book may be produced by a fine press but also as easily by the artist or by an associated studio, gallery or collective”.

— British Library, ‘Fine Presses, Artists’ Books, and Book Arts’.

Ron King, Hollow log (log books). 1996.

Ron King, Hollow log (log books). 1996.

Cardiff is the only UK university to receive a donation of nearly all of the Circle Press works – Ron King’s other main collection is at Yale University in the USA, in the Yale Centre for British Arts. Cardiff University is also a leading UK centre for research in illustration studies for 19th century printing, and it is home to one of the largest arts and crafts Private Press book collections in the UK.

Ron King, Turn over darling. Circle Press, 1990.

Ron King, Turn over darling. Circle Press, 1990.

To order copies of Circle Press books please visit their website for further contact, availability, and ordering information.

Some methods used in image or illustration production in artists’ books –

  • Screen printing: pressing ink through a mesh, using stencils to block off unprinted areas.
  • Embossing: to shape an object which is pressed into paper to create raised areas.
  • Linocut: cutting into lino to create raised ‘relief’ images, which are either inked and pressed onto paper, or embossed into paper.
  • Engraving: the incision of a design or image into metal, using tools or acid. Ink is pushed into the incisions, and the surface of the metal is cleaned before pressing it onto paper.
  • Aquatint: applying a fine dust of particles to an indented metal plate prior to engraving, which gives texture to the metal and creates tonal effects in the final print.


Items displayed in the exhibition include:

  • Ron King, The Song of Solomon (King James Bible text). Circle Press, 1968.
  • Ron King, The prologue – prints edition. Circle Press, 1978. (King, Crozier, Fisher, Please, Power).
  • Ron King & Richard Price, Gift horse. Circle Press, 1999.
  • Ron King, Echo book. Circle Press, 1994.
  • Ron King, Turn over darling. Circle Press, 1990.
  • Ron King & Roy Fisher, Left-handed Punch. Circle Press, 1986.
  • Ron King & Roy Fisher, Anansi Company. Circle Press, 1992.
  • Ron King and Roy Fisher, Bluebeard’s castle (based on Bartok’s opera). Circle Press, 1972.
  • Ron King, Hick, Hack, Hock (Scissors, paper, stone). Circle Press, 1996/97.
  • Ron King, Hollow log (log books). 1996.
  • Ron King, Alphabeta concertina. Circle Press, 1983. (Two editions of 1,000 copies)
  • Ron King, White alphabet. Circle Press, 1984. (150 signed copies).
  • Norman Ackroyd and Jeremy Hooker, Itchen water, Circle Press, 1982.
  • Ron King and George Szirtes, The burning of the books. Circle Press, 2008.
  • Willow Legge, An African folktale. Circle Press, 1979. (With blind and intaglio screen prints).

Special Collections and Archives wish to thank the Art and Design undergraduates from Cardiff Metropolitan University who helped create the Circle Press artist book exhibition, for their work in selecting, prioritising, and organising the works which were displayed; namely – Miriam Davies, Adam Wright, Daisy Burrell, Emma Harry, Sarah Thomas, Jemma Schiebe, Molly Lewis, Maya Holthuis, Naomi Morgan, Ruby Fox, and Beth Morris. Beth has written an excellent account of the experience on her blog.

Cardiff Rare Books Lecture Series – Professor David McKitterick.

On Thursday evening, February 12th, the SCOLAR Reading Room was full, with an audience keen to hear our guest lecture from Cambridge University  Professor, David McKitterick, whose talk, “What shall we do with all these old books”, explored themes from his new book – ‘Old Books, New Technologies: the Representation, Conservation, and Transformation of Books since 1700’.

Professor David McKitterick

Professor David McKitterick

Ranging from the poor state of royal libraries in the 17th century, to the massive output of books in the 19th century, the lecture explored our present relationship with historical book collections today, especially concerning the ongoing digitisation of many older printed works. In a wide ranging talk, raising many questions from the audience afterwards, a key theme was the large amount of information we can still only obtain from the various historical printed book collections which survive today, and the many threats which these face, in public, academic and related libraries.

Before giving his lecture Professor McKitterick had a chance to browse through SCOLAR’s stacks, especially the Cardiff Rare Books Collection, saved from being dispersed by its purchase by Cardiff University in 2010. Having been one of the University supporters in its successful attempt to save the collection, he was extremely pleased that such a rich historical collection had been preserved for current and future researchers, as he noted:

“Each of those mobile stacks that you opened seemed to open up new possibilities, and all kinds of unknown discoveries”.