Library and Archives Service – Archives


Current Exhibition - The Welsh in Patagonia

The Library and Archives Service is 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 18th May until 18th December 2015 in the Council Chamber Corridor of the Main Arts Building, Bangor University.

A Fond Farewell to Some of Our Volunteers

The Archives and Special Collections would like to extend a big thank you to all our volunteers this year who were presented with certificates recently for their hard work. They have all been involved in a variety of tasks, from creating box lists and cataloguing to inputting statistical data onto spreadsheets and creating acid free packaging for manuscripts.

We hope that you enjoyed your time at the department and we wish you all the best in the future.

Sheldon, Emily and Viveka : the postgraduates who have been volunteering at the Archives and Special Collections this year.

The 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.”

Creuddyn School Visit to the Archives 2014

A pleasant morning was spent in the company of sixth form pupils from Ysgol y Creuddyn studying history.

They are currently studying the history of the Penrhyn Strike, 1900-1903, with their teacher Janice Owen and were keen to look at primary sources relevant to that historical event.





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.


Arddangosfa R S Thomas - R S Thomas Exhibition

Exhibition to mark the centenary of the birth of R S Thomas

Council chamber corridor 11th April - 20th December 2013



Conservation grant awarded to Archives

The Archives and Special Collections have been awarded £12,000 by the National Manuscript Conservation Trust to conserve some of the fragile Jamaica Papers in our care which form part of the Penrhyn Collection.

It is hoped that these valuable documents will be available for consultation by researchers in the Archives in July 2013.

A century on the hill

01-07-11: To celebrate the centenary of the official opening of the University buildings in 1911, the Archives and Special Collections have a new exhibition.

Located in the Vice-Chancellor’s corridor and open to everyone, we have chosen documents that depict the events that led to the erection of the new college on the hill - the Royal visits, the architectss competition, and the controversial decision to use slate from Pembrokeshire to roof the building.

The exhibition will be open from the 2nd of July 2011


Bible display

02-06-11: A selection of the Bibles held by the Library and Archives Service is currently on display in the VC's corridor. All are welcome to visit.

Also, still to come this Summer is an exhibition on the building of the University. This will contain original plans by the Architect, Henry Hare and documentation regarding the rejection of local materials in favour of Ruabon limestone and Preseli slate for the building.

Back to its former glory

The Archives at Bangor University recently received a very generous donation towards the restoration of a document. The donation was made by T.P.T Williams, a local historian and former member of Information Services. The document in question is the manuscript version of Dodsley's History of the Island of Anglesey which was published in 1775 (Bangor Ms 7366). The boards of this bound volume had become detached and the restoration work involved their reattachment, whilst ensuring that the original make-up and features of the document were retained. Some of the pages were also restored to their former glory - this involved the removal of sticky tape, amongst other processes. Further information about the document can be obtained from an article in the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club Transactions, 2006 by T.P.T. Williams, "The "Dodsley" History of Anglesey re-visited" If you would like to make a donation towards the conservation of a document housed in the University Archives, please contact the Archivist on (01248) 382966 or



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