Symud i'r prif gynnwys

The growth of the National Library has been phenomenal during the first forty years but the lines of the development could be clearly discerned by the end of the year 1909. The pioneers were then making the final revision of their plans for the permanent building. They made ample provision for printed books but they seriously underestimated the progression of the manuscript accessions of the first half-century. To this criticism they would have replied that they envisaged a separate but adjoin- ing building for the housing of Welsh records. They were unable to secure a Record Office for Wales and the possibility of creating a new state-maintained institution for Wales appears-to some people-to be more remote today than it has ever been during the last forty years. In the meantime, however, the National Library has become the de facto Record Office for Wales and its work in this direction has received specific support from His Majesty's Treasury. At the risk of boring my readers I propose to run through the reports on accessions from 1910 to the present year and note some of the chief landmarks in the growth of the National Library's manuscript collections. The library of Edward Humphrey Owen, F.S.A., of Ty Coch, Caernarvon, was purchased in 1010. Though its chief interest lay in its printed books on history, genealogy, and heraldry, which have throughout the years been much used for purpos- es of reference by the Staff of the Department of Manuscripts and Records, it also contained several historical and genealogical manuscripts relating particularly to Anglesey and Caernarvonshire. Among its Welsh literary manuscripts is Llyfr Gwyn Mechell', a collection made about 1730 by William Bulkeley of Brynddu. Another significant accession of 19 10 was the Flintshire Historical Collection made and presented by Henry Taylor, F.S.A., of Chester, author of Historic Notices of the Borough and County of Flint. It contains original manuscripts and documents as well as notes and transcripts made by Henry Taylor in the course of his researches into the history of the county. A deposit made in the same year by a descendant of an old Flintshire family, M. C. U. Griffith of Deal, Kent, is an early example of a system which by now accounts for the greater proportion of the Library's annual intake of manuscripts and records. As the material deposited remains the property of the depositor, his heirs, and assigns, owners of life interest can safely place their records in the Library under this system. They obtain the advantage of having their records properly housed and adequately catalogued and the material, subject to any conditions which the depositors wish to impose, becomes available to research workers and, indeed, very often becomes for the first time truly available to the depositors themselves. Mr. Griffith deposited a small group of manuscripts including the Black Book of Basingwerk Abbey', an important text of the Welsh version of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae. The latter part of the manu- script was written by Gutun Owain, one of the greatest of our fifteenth century bards and a welcome guest at the abbeys of Basingwerk and Valle Crucis. In 1923 this Griffith of Cae Cyriog collection became the absolute property of the National Library. During the years 1910-12 our collection of deeds and documents began to grow with the purchase of the Welsh portion of the great collection made by James Coleman,