National Library of Wales

Papurau Aneirin Talfan Davies

Reference code(s): GB 0210 ANEIES

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Papurau Aneirin Talfan Davies

Short title: Davies, Aneirin Talfan, papurau (papers)

Dates of creation: 1911-1980

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.601 cubic metres (21 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Aneirin Talfan Davies (1909-1980)


Administrative and biographical history: Aneirin Talfan Davies, OBE, MA (1909-80), was a writer and broadcaster. He was born in 1909 in Felindre, Henllan, Carmarthenshire, the son of the Rev. William Talfan Davies (1873-1938); his younger brother was Alun Talfan Davies, QC (1913-2000). He attended Gowerton Grammar School, but left aged 14 to become a pharmacist's apprentice. While working in London he became interested in literature and theology. He ran a pharmacy in Swansea from 1938 until 1941, when it was destroyed during an air raid. He began a new career with the BBC, reading and editing the Welsh-language news on radio. After the War he joined BBC Wales in Cardiff, becoming Head of Programmes,1966-1970, until his retirement. He was active in the Church in Wales as a writer and lay preacher and was involved with a number of cultural and literary bodies within Wales. His literary output included radio scripts, free metre poetry, literary criticism, mainly on English literature and theology, and lyrics and libretti with Arwel Hughes (1909-1988). He edited the magazines Heddiw and Barn, and contributed columns to Barn and the Western Mail. With his brother Alun, he co-founded Llyfrau'r Dryw, Llandybie (now Christopher Davies (Publishers) Ltd.). He wrote and edited many books including Eliot, Pwshcin, Poe (Llandybie, 1942), Yr Alltud (London, 1944), Gwyr Llên (London, 1948), Munudau Gyda'r Beirdd (Llandybie, 1954), Crwydro Sir Gâr (Llandybie, 1955), Dylan: Druid of a Broken Body (Denbigh, 1964), Gyda Gwawr a Bore (Llandybie, 1970) and two anthologies of his poetry, Y Ddau Lais (London, 1937) and Diannerch Erchwyn (Swansea: C. Davies, 1975). He married in 1936 and had two sons, Owen and Geraint. He died in 1980.


Scope and content: Papers of Aneirin Talfan Davies, 1911-1980, consisting of diaries, 1956-1980; papers relating to his work with the BBC, including letters and scripts, [1940s]-[1970]; correspondence, drafts and notes reflecting his literary activities, including his lectures, books, articles, libretti and his editorial duties on Barn (there is comparatively little of his poetry present), 1941-[1979]; material such as letters, radio scripts and articles relating to literary figures such as Dylan Thomas, David Jones and T. Rowland Hughes, 1937-1973; correspondence and minutes of meetings, in connection with Llyfrau'r Dryw / Christopher Davies (Publishers) Ltd., Yr Academi Gymreig, The Guild for the Promotion of Welsh Music, the Welsh Arts Council, and a number of bodies within the Anglican Church in Wales, 1971-1977; letters from various prominent Welsh literary figures and successive Archbishops of Wales, 1972-1980; several volumes of press cuttings, 1911-1977; and personal papers, 1963-1974.


Language/script: Welsh, English.

System of arrangement: Original box order has been retained.

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.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue, in Welsh, is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue is available online.
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records deposited at the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by his son Mr Geraint Talfan Davies, Cardiff, 1981.


Related units of description: Further papers relating especially to Llyfrau'r Dryw/Christopher Davies are in his brother's papers: National Library of Wales, Papurau Alun Talfan Davies (Alun Talfan Davies Papers).


Note: Title supplied from content of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used to compile this description: NLW, Rhestr o Bapurau Aneirin Talfan Davies (Schedule of Aneirin Talfan Davies Papers); Davies, Aneirin Talfan, Yr Etifeddiaeth Dda (Llandybie, 1967); Stephens, Meic, Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales (Oxford, 1986).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: September 2003



Authors and publishers | Wales | Diaries

Broadcasters | Wales | Diaries

Broadcasting | Wales

Davies, Alun Talfan, | Sir, | 1913-2000

Davies, Aneirin Talfan | Archives

Davies, Aneirin Talfan | Correspondence

Davies, Aneirin Talfan | Diaries

Llyfrau'r Dryw

Poets, Welsh language

Publishers and publishing | Wales | Llandybie

Personal names

Davies, Aneirin Talfan

Corporate names

Academi Gymreig

BBC Wales

Church in Wales

Llyfrau'r Dryw