Library and Archives Service – Archives

Welcome to the Archives

The Welsh in Patagonia

The Library and Archives Service will be celebrating 150 years of Y Wladfa, the Welsh Colony in Patagonia, with an exhibition displaying a selection of material from the Archives and Rare Books Collections.

Bangor has the largest collection of material relating to the Welsh colony in Patagonia outside the National Library of Wales. An amalgamation of several acquisitions amassing over 1500 items, the collection comprises manuscripts, letters, photographs, diaries, newspapers, books and plans presenting first hand accounts and photographic evidence of the lives of the pioneers and settlers who strived for linguistic and religious freedom with political autonomy 8000 miles away from their homeland.

Tired of the oppression the Welsh language and culture faced in his home country, Michael D Jones sought to create a ‘New Wales’ across the seas. The Chubut Valley, a sparsely populated region in Patagonia, was chosen for the colony. In 1865 the Mimosa set sail from Liverpool carrying around 153 Welsh men, women and children for Argentina. The reality of life in Patagonia, a barren and inhospitable place, was to prove extremely challenging for the early settlers. The colony endured great poverty and hardships, such as drought and floods, as they struggled to make a living from the land. However, in time the community thrived and remarkably, today, descendants of the original settlers can still be found, speaking Welsh in Patagonia.

The exhibition will be on display from May 18 until December 18 in the Council Chamber Corridor of the Main Arts Building, Bangor University.


June 2015 – short-term changes to the service

Due to necessary maintenance work in the store room, we will not be able to provide users with a full service during June.

All readers wishing to consult manuscript material during June should place a request by Thursday, 28th May 2015.

Researchers will not be able to request manuscripts at all during June.

However, the search room will be open to the public as usual from Monday to Friday between 9.00-1.00 and 2.00-5.00

The rare book service will not be affected – rare books can be requested following the usual procedures during this period


Collections of the Library and Archive Services, Bangor University
Incorporating the Flintshire, Harries Arthurian Collection

Bangor University’s international Arthurian reputation is well-known and has been built over the last fifty years through the work of leading Arthurian scholars Professor P. J. C. Field, and Dr. Raluca Radulescu. Bangor University boasts the only MA in Arthurian Literature in the world and thus attracts students from countries and continents as diverse as Brazil, Japan, the USA, and Europe.

Recently Flintshire County Libraries has kindly donated its Arthurian Collection to Bangor University; where it now is being curated, preserved and managed by the Library and Archives Service. The collection, which is of major interest to scholars and general readers, was originally donated to Flintshire County Libraries in 1952 by E. R. Harries, a former librarian of the county. Flintshire and Clwyd library services, then added further stock. It now contains over 2,000 items of interest to scholars and general readers alike. This collection enhances Bangor’s existing collection, in particular through the addition of further rare books. Scholars who would have previously had to travel to both Mold and Bangor will now find these resources in the same location.

Bangor University is celebrating Arthurian Studies at the University by holding a public lecture and exhibition of rare books focusing on this area of study. Both events mark the donation by Flintshire County Council of the major Arthurian book collection to Bangor University Library and Archives.

The lecture, ‘Arthur: the King that Never Left Us’ takes place in Lecture Room 2 in the Main University building at 5.00 pm on Thursday 16 April. All are welcome to attend the lecture. Complementing the lecture, the exhibition will be on display in the Council Chamber corridor in the University’s Main Building, areas which are open to the public.

The exhibition will be available during opening hours from 13 to 27 April 2015.

A renowned academic specialising in post-medieval Arthurian studies, Dr Roger Simpson, who will deliver the public lecture, has published two books on the Arthurian stories, Camelot Regained, and Radio Camelot. Throughout his career and publications Dr Simpson has highlighted how the Arthurian legend has provided an inspiration for literature and cultural events during the last few centuries.

Dr Simpson’s illustrated lecture will salute the resilience of the Arthurian legend. He explains:

“By colourfully re-adapting itself in poetry, art, music, plays, pageants, novels, and the modern mass media, the legend has maintained its continuous appeal for successive ages.”

Other News

Archives Wales readers ticket coming to Bangor

The Archives and Special Collections Department have received an ARCW Accreditation Support Grant in order to replace its current readers’ registration system with the Archives Wales Readers Ticket system, which is currently used at 5 other record offices in Wales.

From the 1st of January 2015, searchers wishing to consult archival material at the Archives and Special Collections will be required to register for an Archives Wales Reader’s Ticket. To obtain a ticket searchers must bring two documents with them – one to prove their identity and one to prove their address.

Sir Deian Hopkin

Sir Deian Hopkin: Lecture. 6pm Wednesday, 12 November 2014 Main Arts Lecture Theatre. “Memory and History : Remembering the First World War in Wales”

Bulkeley Diaries Stepping into the 21st Century

For some years, images of the Bulkeley diaries have been available on our website. They are an important resource for our remote users, but recently we have gone one step further.

Now, a transcript of the two diaries is also available online along with the option for users to conduct a quick search throughout all the pages by typing a name or keyword into the search box. This will surely assist those historians who have struggled to read the original in the past.

This work was done in conjunction with Llên Natur, Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd, and Anglesey County Council.

Thanks to all individuals who contributed towards the project, in particular, Sue Walton, the transcriber; Ann Hughes and Marjan Baas-Harmsma who edited and formatted the work and Sam Foster who assisted on the technical aspects.

New Collections

The Archives regularly receives new collections and the task of cataloguing this material is an important part of the work of the department. Every now and then, a new catalogue is produced.

Remember to visit the Archives regularly to see what new collections are open to the public.

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