William Llewelyn Davies

Sir William Llewelyn Davies (born William Davies; 11 October 1887 – 11 November 1952) was a Welsh librarian who was chief librarian of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth from 1930 until his death.[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Davies was born at Plas Gwyn Schoolhouse near Pwllheli, in Caernarfonshire, north Wales. He was educated in Porthmadog and was a pupil-teacher in Penrhyndeudraeth before studying at the University College of Wales (later to become Aberystwyth University), taking honours in Welsh.[1]


After graduating, Davies taught in various locations in Wales and at the University College, Cardiff (later to become Cardiff University). He was a member of the Royal Garrison Artillery during the First World War and then an officer in the Army Education Service. In 1919, he was appointed first assistant librarian at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, under John Ballinger; he succeeded Ballinger on his retirement in 1930 and continued as chief librarian until his death.

During his time as chief librarian, he worked to collect and preserve many Welsh manuscripts and materials located in private hands or other collections, and he acquired approximately 3.3 million documents (the Library had only about 200,000 documents when he was appointed chief librarian). His work for the Library and Wales were noted with the award of a knighthood in 1944 and an honorary doctorate by the University of Wales in 1951. He served as High Sheriff of Merionethshire in 1951.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

He added the surname "Llewelyn" after marrying Gwen Llewellyn in 1914. He died in Aberystwyth, aged 65.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Obituary: Sir W. Llewelyn Davies". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 12 November 1952. p. 8.
  2. ^ Tibbott, Gildas (2007). "Davies, Sir William (Llewelyn) (1887–1952), librarian". Welsh Biography Online. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 24 March 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
Academic offices
Preceded by
John Ballinger
Librarian of the National Library of Wales
Succeeded by
Thomas Parry