At a special ceremony on Friday, 22 September, The National Library of Wales will be launching its Welsh Music Archive Programme in the presence of the folk music expert and Library benefactor, Phyllis Kinney.
Rhodri Glyn Thomas, the Library President said:
"When we recently received Meredydd Evans and Phyllis Kinney’s significant archive, we were reminded again of the richness of our musical collections. Our intention is to highlight the importance and significance of these collections, encourage research and facilitate public access to them ".
According to Nia Mai Daniel, the new Programme Manager:
"Here at the National Library is the greatest collection of Welsh music, in books, archives and CDs, from the classical, pop and folk singing, and my privilege over the next three years is to develop the collection and ensure that more and more people not only know about it but also recognize its importance and value. This is a unique collection”
Pedr ap Llwyd, Director of Collections and Public Programmes at the Library, said:
"We are grateful to the Library Trustees for supporting the Library's musical archive, which will allow us an excellent opportunity to catalogue and provide access to archives of international importance to researchers. This investment - from the our private reserves - shows the Library’s commitment in developing its collections”
The National Library of Wales not only preserves the earliest written music from Wales, but also collects the latest compositions and performances by our contemporary musicians. It is a growing resource; material is added regularly to our musical collections. The collection includes works by internationally renowned classical Welsh composers such as Grace Williams, Daniel Jones, Alun Hoddinott and William Mathias.
Phyllis Kinney and her daughter Eluned will be present at the Friday launch and Nia Mai Daniel (Programme Manager of the Welsh Musical Archive) and Maredudd ap Huw (Manuscript Librarian) will give a presentation to the Board on the musical collections here and the plans for the future. During her recent visit to the Library, Cerys Matthews recorded a message enthusiastically supporting the work of the Welsh Musical Archive, and this video will be shown during the celebration. Members of Côr y Gen (National Library of Wales staff choir) will also contribute to the launch by singing a selection of folk songs.
The Library takes pride in the fact that the Merêd and Phyllis archive, which includes their detailed research into traditional music, has come to the Library and is grateful to the family for their generosity in transferring the collection to the Library's care. The Library intends to provide access to this new resource to everyone who wants to find out more about folk music, and to create online access in digital format.
The Merêd and Phyllis archive reflects their extensive knowledge of traditional singing and leads to further study of the Library's collections such as the collections of J Lloyd Williams (one of the founders of the Welsh Folk Song Society) and Maria Jane Williams, a prominent collector of Welsh Folk Songs.
An exhibition of the Merêd and Phyllis collection and other musical archives will be on display over the weekend to coincide with the annual Welsh Folk Song Society conference held in the Drwm on Saturday.
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Notes to Editor:
Welsh Music Archive
Welsh Traditional Music
Cerys Matthews Video
The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales