National Library to publish ‘masterpiece’ that will ‘revolutionize the study of our culture’ on author’s 90th birthday
This month will see the publication of what the National Library of Wales calls a “long-awaited magnum opus,” on the author’s 90th birthday.
The work by the National Library and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies will include the most thorough and scholarly study of Welsh Manuscripts ever to be conducted.
The library said that it was “the most important publication on Welsh manuscripts for over a century, and it will revolutionize the study of our culture and literature”.
The author of the work is Dr Daniel Huws, former Keeper of Manuscripts and Records at the Library and chief scholar of Welsh manuscripts.
The publication of A Repertory of Welsh Manuscripts and Scribes, c.800–c.1800 is the culmination of many years of thorough research and is a substantial contribution to international scholarship, the library said.
Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian of The National Library of Wales said: “This is undoubtedly one of the most important, if not the most important, scholarly research to be published by us.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Daniel for his outstanding work and I have been privileged to get to know this dear and unique scholar over the past few years. Our best wishes to him on his special birthday and our thanks to him for a lifetime of service to Wales, our culture and learning.”
To celebrate the publication of the Repertory and to mark Dr Huws’ 90th birthday, an international conference on various aspects relating to Welsh manuscripts will be held at the Library between 20 and 22 June.
The plenary speakers at the c.800–c.1800 Welsh Manuscripts Conference will be Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, Bernard Meehan and Paul Russell, and notable scholars from Wales and beyond will also take part. Over thirty papers will be delivered relating to aspects of manuscripts of Welsh provenance, including their construction, palaeography, scribes, patrons and collectors, textual studies and digital presentation.
Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Director of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies said that the work was a “masterpiece”.
“We celebrate the scholarship of Dr Daniel Huws and are proud of the collaboration that has taken place so as to present this work to the world,” she said.
“I would like to thank all those who have worked with us to publish these extraordinary volumes and we look forward – not only to the launch and conference this year – but also to the new work and research that will come as a result of the Repertory for decades to come.”
The three volumes will include a detailed study of the manuscripts safeguarded by our main libraries, such as the National Library of Wales, Bangor University, and centres such as the British Library and the Bodleian Library, Oxford. It will also look at manuscripts that are kept further afield in places such as the Universities of Harvard and Yale, Stonyhurst College, and Northamptonshire Archives.
On the basis of these manuscripts, the work and motives of the individuals that created them is analysed – from the Middle Ages up to the Industrial Revolution – introducing us to notable individuals in the history of the nation, to some that have been long forgotten and other more interesting characters that deserve further attention.
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