A unique collection of books

The fine arts, Gregynog Press books, Welsh history, literature, culture and language

The books on open access in the west corridor and in the Thomas Jones Library and Dora Herbert Jones Library are the most visible part of a substantial collection of books and archive material held at Gregynog. Many of the books once belonged to the Davies sisters, although most of the general non-fiction collection has been acquired since the 1960s when the University of Wales took over the hall. The policy behind the development of the library over the years has been firstly, to complement the activities which take place at Gregynog; secondly, to offer insights into its history and its special significance to music, art and fine printing; and thirdly, to reflect its nature as an institution at the heart of Welsh cultural life.

In addition, a considerable number of documents and other items relating to the history of the house have been collected over the years and these are now listed and stored securely. This includes a full set of Gregynog Press and Gwasg Gregynog publications which can be consulted on application.

However it should be noted that most surviving archive material relating to Gregynog, including items such as the Visitors’ Book kept here in the 1920s and 1930s, is now in the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Gregynog Library books are not available for external loan, but we welcome Visiting Readers. By becoming a Gregynog Member you can apply for a Visiting Reader’s ticket which will entitle you to visit Gregynog on most occasions when the house is open, to research, study or just browse in the library.

Books on open access for browsing and private reading are arranged as follows:

1. The Library Corridor

The books on open access in the library corridor are general non-fiction books and literature. Subjects include philosophy, religion, history and literature. There is a large collection of books on the fine arts, including Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, also printing, binding and the book arts. Journals include ‘The Studio’ magazine dating back to the early 20th century, also ‘The Burlington Magazine’ and other art related journals.

Gregynog’s collection of material relating to Irish language and literature is shelved here, and at the far end of the corridor is a separate collection of material relating to Arthurian myth and legend as it spread from its Celtic roots to German, France and beyond.

2. The Thomas Jones Library

The Thomas Jones library houses a collection of reference books, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, atlases etc., including some useful horticultural reference books. A section of the Fine Art Collection is also housed in this room, which is in regular use for meetings and seminars.

3. The Music Library

This is a collection of books shelved in the corridor next to the Music Room. It includes an early edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music, and a large collection of biographies of musicians and composers.

4. The Dora Herbert-Jones Library

This is what is known as the ‘small’ library at the far end of the library corridor, where the Librarian’s desk and computer are also located. All the books and journals in this library relate to Wales and the Celtic countries, either in Welsh or other Celtic languages, or about Wales and the Celtic countries, their history, literature and culture.

The Library