Welsh Periodicals


Llyfryddiaeth Cylchgronau Cymreig (A Bibliography of Welsh Periodicals 1735 - 1850)

Llyfryddiaeth Cylchgronau Cymreig (A Bibliography of Welsh Periodicals 1851 - 1900)



Llyfryddiaeth Cylchgronau Cymreig (A Bibliography of Welsh Periodicals 1735 - 1850)

The "bible" on this subject is by Dr Huw Walters, called Llyfryddiaeth Cylchgronau Cymreig (A Bibliography of Welsh Periodicals 1735 - 1850) NLW, 1993 . This contains detailed descriptions of the 195 titles which were published within that period, including lists of editors, publishers, printers, place of publication, place of printing etc.

In 1987 the conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals was held at the NLW and the opportunity was taken to stage an exhibition on the Welsh Periodical Press 1735-1900. A 47 page booklet was produced to describe the exhibition . Both books are still available for purchase from the NLW.

Huw Walters has provided this introductory commentary below  about the main book and his ongoing work on extending the period covered to 1900;

"Welsh periodicals  contain a  wealth of information on all aspects of nineteenth century life.

In fact, the Welsh denominational monthlies were the main sources for both local and national news before the tax on advertisements and the stamp duty on newspaper copies were abolished in 1853 and 1855.

The majority of the periodicals listed in the #Bibliography# were denominational and had a tremendous influence on Welsh religious and political life. #Y Diwygiwr# published by David Rees at Llanelli was regarded as one of the most radical and influential publications of the century.

They are also particularly useful to family historians as they published obituary notices, biographies etc. The most important are the following:

Seren Gomer (Baptist)

Y Bedyddiwr (Baptist)

Greal y Bedyddwyr (Baptist)

Y Diwygiwr (Congregationalist)

Y Dysgedydd (Congregationalist)

Cronicl y Cymdeithasau Crefyddol (Congregationalist)

Y Drysorfa Gynnulleidfaol (Congregationalist)

Y Drysorfa (Methodist)

Goleuad Cymru (Methodist)

There are many others of course, which are listed in the Bibliography;

Take #Lleuad yr Oes# and #Yr Efangylydd# for example. Both published by the Rees family of Tonn, Llanymddyfri and edited by that strange eccentric David Owen (Brutus), -who later became editor of #Yr Haul# the monthly organ of the Established Church in Wales. Both #Lleuad yr Oes# and #Yr Efangylydd# contain a wealth of information on the north Carmarthenshire area around Llangadog, Llandeilo Fawr and Llanymddyfri.

#Y Diwygiwr# as can be expected is partcularly strong on the Llanelli area, and when it was edited by Watkin Hezekiah Williams (the hymnist Watcyn Wyn) in the late 1890s and early 1900s it published a great deal of material on the Brynaman and Aman Valley areas.

#Y Bedyddiwr# served the mining areas of Gwent - the Rhymni Valley, Caerffili areas, - and provides a wealth of information on these districts.

The Welsh-American periodicals, of which there were very many likewise published obituary notices and biographies. The main ones are:

Y Cyfaill o'r Hen Wlad yn America (Methodist)

Y Beread (Baptist)

Y Seren Orllewinol (Baptist)

Y Cenhadwr Americanaidd (Congregationalist)

The second volume on which I am currently working (1851-1900) lists many hundreds of other titles published in Wales and abroad. But I've had to deal with several problems with regard to local magazines such as parish, church and chapel publications, as so many of these have not survived.I know that the next volume of the work will be incomplete, but it will be the first ever listing of this kind of material."

Huw Walters May 2000     

Llyfryddiaeth Cylchgronau Cymreig (A Bibliography of Welsh Periodicals 1851 - 1900)


This volume brings to completion the massive work undertaken by Dr Huw Walters of preparing a bibliography of all periodicals, Welsh and English, published in Wales and elsewhere from the middle of the eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth, of which the first volume, A Bibliography of Welsh Periodicals 1735-1850, was published in 1993. Users of that remarkable work of reference will recall how meticulously the 154 items therein are described, their editors, publishers, printers and places of publication set out, with many other details of great interest and importance to historians and literary scholars. An outstanding feature of the volume was the provision of indexes of editors and authors, printers, and places of publication. These invaluable features have been retained in the present volume but with the addition of a comprehensive chronological list of all the publications.

As the present reviewer can testify, fifty years ago very few students of Welsh culture regarded Welsh periodical literature as a prime source for their studies. You could pick them up in Ralph's bookshop in Swansea for 5p or even less. Since then, historians have come to value them as essential sources, and Huw Walters's volume will be widely welcomed, though as Dr Walters points out, it is wise to be prudent as to their limitations. Students of religious developments can luxuriate in the riches of the magazines owned by the various denominations, large and small, and students of literature in the more secular, critical magazines, such as Y Traethodydd (1845) and Yr Adolygydd (1838). Political affairs did not become a major concern with the mainly religious magazines until fairly late on in the century, when the political system itself had become more democratic, with many more new periodicals specifically concerned with shaping public opinion. In fact, the periodical press reflected and catered for all the diverse interests of an increasingly literate population, and interest groups and movements, both nationally and locally, all had their share in the amazing efflorescence of publishing which characterised the last decades of the century. The 577 titles in this volume are testimony enough to the vast growth of a reading public and the ever widening interests of the people of Wales and of Welsh people in England and the wider world.

The National Library is to be congratulated on the publication of this splendid volume, and all students of Welsh culture will be grateful to Dr Walters for providing this key and guide to the treasures of the periodical literature of Wales.

Ieuan Gwynedd Jones