The origins of this database can be traced back to the work of Elizabeth J. Louis Jones and Henry Lewis in their Index to the Poetry of the Manuscripts, published by University Wales Press in 1928. The work was subsequently expanded with funding from the Board of Celtic Studies, who sponsored the production of the Index to the Strict Meter Poetry of the Manuscripts, in 12 volume sets, to research institutions in 1978.
The work resumed in 1987, under the sponsorship of the British Academy, and in partnership with the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and The National Library. The field was extended to include every Welsh poem found in a manuscript written before 1830, in strict and free meter, whether it was attributed to an author or not. Search fields and print sources were added, and the data was converted into an electronic format.
In 1991 the project came under the auspices of the National Library of Wales. Some work was carried out on the manuscripts to confirm that their contents were recorded in the database. The work of expanding the Index ended in 1995, and the adapting and correcting of data ended in 2000, but the work is still far from complete.
In March 2021 it was neccessary to end the usual access to the Index website due to many security issues with the website. Until a long term solution to this problem is found, we will be making the data available here for you to download and conduct your own search.
The data is available in the following formats:
To search the database, enter your search term into the light green search box and press ENTER. This will search every column of the database. Entries that match your search term will be highlighted in orange. To see only matching entries, use any of the drop down filter menus in row 3 to select 'Filter by Colour' and select the orange fill. Remember to clear this filter before your next search.
The following are also accessible: