National Library of Wales

Dannie Abse MSS

Reference code(s): GB 0210 MSDABSE

Held at:

Title: Dannie Abse MSS

Short title: Abse, Dannie, manuscripts

Dates of creation: 1962-1983

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 9 volumes

Name of creator(s): Dannie Abse


Administrative and biographical history: Poet, playwright and novelist Dannie Abse was born in Cardiff of Jewish parents and studied medicine at the University of Wales, Westminster Hospital and King's College, London, from where he qualified as a doctor in 1950. Abse's first and most popular novel was the autobiographical Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve (1954); he has also published seven volumes of verse and five volumes of plays. Most of his poetic work deals with the unusual and unexpected, while the plays are experimental in tone and relate mainly to contemporary themes and ideas.


Scope and content: Papers, 1962-1983, of Dannie Abse, comprising autograph and typescript drafts of poems, plays (including a dramatisation of his poem 'Funland', later titled 'Pythagoras'), essays, and television and radio scripts.


Language/script: English

System of arrangement: Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 21973-21974, 21997-21998, 22425-22429.

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 laws apply.

Finding aids: The descriptions are also available, together with a detailed list of contents, in Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume VIII (Aberystwyth, 1999).
Detailed catalogue


Accruals: No accruals expected.

Immediate source of acquisition: NLW MSS 21973-21974 were purchased at Sotheby's of London (lot 318) on 22nd July 1983; NLW MSS 21997-21998 were purchased at Sotheby's of London (lot 633) on 20th March 1984; NLW MSS 22425-22429 were purchased from R. A. Gekoski of London in 1987.


Related units of description: Proofs, published texts and related ephemera included in the purchase are NLW ex 608. See also the NLW typescript lists Dannie Abse Papers I (1990), II (1992) and III (1996).


Note: Title based on contents.

Archivist's note: Description compiled by Bethan Ifans for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Bethan Ifans. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Volume VIII (Aberystwyth, 1999), Cydymaith i Lenyddiaeth Cymru (Llandysul, 1986).

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

Date(s) of description: February 2005 and September 2009.



Abse, Dannie, b. 1923 | Archives

English literature | Welsh authors | 20th century

English poetry | Welsh authors | 20th century

Personal names

Abse, Dannie

Corporate names