The National Library of Wales is home to many archives and manuscripts of Welsh composers. This page contains information on how to find out more about them through the main sources, which are:
The names of the composers are listed below, in alphabetical order, with direct links to catalog descriptions of their papers. It is a selective list only - the collection grows every year. To access archives that have not yet been cataloged online, please contact us by email
You can also browse and search NLW Archives and Manuscripts and make requests to view items in the Library.
A selection of composers' manuscripts has been digitized for the Tŷ Cerdd 'Discover Welsh Music' website.
Each composer has their own page where you can explore their manuscripts, learn about their lives and listen to their works. The composers include:
For more information about the musicians visit The Welsh Biography Online
The site contains brief biographies presenting individuals (including musicians) who made an important contribution to national life in Wales or more widely.
The names of the composers are listed below, in alphabetical order, with direct links to catalogue descriptions of their papers at the National Library of Wales. Where a catalogue is not yet online, it is noted that the Catalogue is forthcoming.
BURTCH, Mervyn (Catalogue is forthcoming.)
DAVIES, Eiluned (1913-99). (Catalogue is forthcoming.)
HARRIES, David (1933-2002) (Catalogue is forthcoming.).
HUGHES, Richard Samuel (pt. William John Parry Manuscripts)
JAMES, Terry (1933-2016) (Catalogue is forthcoming.)
JONES, David Rees (‘Pencerdd Cynlais’; 1885-1978) (Catalogue is forthcoming.).
LEWIS, David (Llanrhystyd) - (Lewis, Llanrhystyd Manuscripts)
LEWIS, John (‘Eos Glyn Wyre’) - (Lewis, Llanrhystyd Manuscripts)
PARRY, Dr Joseph
Many manuscripts by Joseph Parry have been digitised (e.g. An orchestral overture, [1874x1880] NLW MS 9284E) Search the main NLW catalogue for ‘Joseph Parry’ then choose ‘ available online’ .
PARROTT, Ian (Catalogue is forthcoming.)
The archives of music organizations and music publishers contain the manuscripts of many composers.
UW Aberystwyth Department of Music Archives 1883-1986
Manuscripts of individual composers
W Hubert Davies
Arthur Charles Edwards
John R Heath
David de LLoyd
Nils H Peterson
R Maldwyn Price
Karl Aage Rasmussen
Jonathan Paul Stephens
Griff Williams and Madam Griff Williams
James Thomas Wiliams
Archif Tŷ Cerdd
Musical manuscripts and miscellaneous papers, 1893- , received at the closing of the Welsh Music Information Center in Cardiff, and more recently, containing a large number of music scores. The composers represented in the archive include:
Grace Williams (Catalogue is forthcoming.)
Daniel Jones (Catalogue is forthcoming.)
Snell & Sons Collection of Music Manuscripts 1930s-1960s
The music publishing company of Snell & Sons, Swansea, Glamorgan, was established by D. J. Snell in 1900. The firm has always taken great interest in purchasing the publishing rights of Welsh compositions, and has long enjoyed a reputation as the largest publisher of Welsh music in the world. The Company have acquired music manuscripts from many leading Welsh composers, including the manuscripts of W. T. David, David Jenkins, Joseph Parry, John Thomas and Daniel Protheroe).
Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Eisteddfod of Wales. Compositions and adjudications
The National Eisteddfod archive contains a number of pieces, under a pseudonym, which have been sent to the National Eisteddfod's composition competitions over the years. Look in the Music section within the papers of each individual Eisteddfod.
E.g. here is the music section for the Llanrwst Eisteddfod, 1951
E.g. Here are the musical compositions for the Cardiff Eisteddfod, 2008
Hughes a’i Fab Papers
Hughes a'i Fab, Cyhoeddwyr (Publishers) was established by Richard Hughes (1794-1871) in 1820 as a printers and publishing company, specialising in religious, scholastic and music publications. In 1982, Hughes a'i Fab, Cyhoeddwyr was bought by S4C in order for them to publish Welsh language books based on new television programmes
Two boxes of songs in the series ref: D5
“Manuscripts of songs, [1896x1966] Manuscripts of songs submitted for consideration, 1932-1966; manuscripts for hire, [1900-1940] and accumulated manuscripts. 3 files.”