Dictionary of Welsh Biography
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography (DWB) (also The Dictionary of Welsh Biography Down to 1940 and The Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941 to 1970) is a dictionary of biographies of Welsh men and women who have made a unique contribution to Welsh life over seventeen centuries. It was first published in 1959.
Origins of the dictionary
Robert Thomas Jenkins was assistant editor, then joint editor, of Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig and its English-language counterpart, the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, writing over 600 entries. His joint editor was John Edward Lloyd, but the Dictionary was not published until 1959, twelve years after his death. It is properly known as The Dictionary of Welsh Biography Down to 1940, and its supplementary volume as The Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941 to 1970 (2001). Originally published by the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, recent editions have been published by the University of Wales Press.
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography Down to 1940 contains about 4,900 entries within its 1157 pages on the careers and accomplishments of notable Welsh men and women who had distinguished themselves, providing a representative portrait of Welsh society and history up to the 20th century. However, it did not include anyone who was still living in 1940; its supplementary volume, The Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941 to 1970 did, containing an additional 600 entries within its 318 pages. Those biographies already published in the Dictionary of National Biography were not included in DWB.
Welsh Biography Online
The Welsh Biography Online resource has about 4,325 biographies online including princes, members of the gentry, poets and writers, government officials, ministers, artisans, sportsmen, workers, soldiers, industrialists and farmers.
Welsh Biography Online is a bilingual resource with every entry in Welsh and English. Welsh Biography Online combines the two volumes, The Dictionary of Welsh Biography Down to 1940 and The Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941–1970 with the three Welsh language volumes, Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig hyd 1940, Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig, 1941–1950 and Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig, 1951–1970, all originally published by the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion of London between 1953 and 2001.
The idea of transcribing The Dictionary of Welsh Biography into digital form came because of the constant enquiries the staff of the National Library of Wales receive from users and the constant use made of the Dictionary in the Library. The National Library of Wales also has a long and close association with The Dictionary of Welsh Biography. Several National Librarians have served as editors and many members of staff have undertaken editorial and research work for the publication. The National Library of Wales then decided to make the online resource a live data-base.
- Welsh Biography Online on Culture Net Cymru
- 'Historical who's who goes online' BBC News 24 August 2004
- Jenkins on Welsh Biography Online
- The Dictionary of Welsh Biography Down to 1940 Published under the auspices of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, London (1959) Editors: John Edward Lloyd & R. T. Jenkins
- DWB on the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion Publications website
- People from Dyfed in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography
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