Dictionary of Welsh Biography

About The Dictionary of Welsh Biography:


The Dictionary of Welsh Biography was originally published by the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion in two English-language volumes and three Welsh-language ones covering the whole history of Wales up to 1970. This electronic version was first launched by the National Library of Wales in 2007, and it includes all the articles from the print volumes and also articles about a number of people who died since 1970. The DWB is now published online only, and it is a fully bilingual resource.

Following the retirement of Dr Brynley F. Roberts in 2013 after over twenty-five years service as Editor of the DWB, a partnership was formed between the National Library and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies to maintain and develop the DWB on behalf of the Cymmrodorion from 2014 onwards. The Editor is Professor Dafydd Johnston, Director of CAWCS, and Dr Marion Löffler of CAWCS is Assistant Editor. We intend to revise many of the old articles and to commission new articles in order to achieve balanced coverage of the period since 1970.

The editors are glad to receive new information about people in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, and also suggestions for new inclusions. You can get in touch by contacting the Enquiries Service.

Dictionary of Welsh Biography Advisory Board (PDF 28KB)


The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is the result of an investment by the National Library of Wales in text conversion and encoding using pioneering XML technologies. The full text of the five printed volumes, together with new articles, has been combined here in one bilingual electronic database. The printed texts were converted to text files by TechBooks, Inc. Maryland, USA and Delhi, India, and extensively encoded by Morfudd Nia Jones, the Encoding Editor, and Library staff according to the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) standard.

Initially the Dictionary of Welsh Biography was held in a single TEI file containing the text from the original volumes. As part of this upgrade, the TEI was split into article XML files and is now displayed using the cocoon framework (http://cocoon.apache.org/). The search functionality has been achieved through the use of another Apache project, Lucene (http://lucene.apache.org/) and both are hosted on an Apache Tomcat server (http://tomcat.apache.org/).

These advances will enable users to undertake quick, easy and precise searches, transforming a scholarly publication into an online resource.

Editorial note:

The project was established with the kind permission of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, publishers of the original volumes, and its original aim was to present the work in electronic form. As a result, errors found in the text have not been altered but have been recorded in the encoding to enable their future correction. Exceptions to this rule are changes to a few misspelt names in order to facilitate efficient searching. The prefaces, appendices, editorial sections and lists of contributors, included in the printed volumes, will be added in due course.

Copyright Statement:

© 2007 All rights reserved.

© The National Library of Wales, 2007 The National Library of Wales owns the copyright to this electronic version, including its encoding, its electronic structure, its visual and its virtual presentation.

© Copyright of the articles is owned by their named Contributors (or their heirs). The National Library of Wales has made every effort to discover the names and addresses of every copyright owner to ask their kind permission to publish these electronic versions of their intellectual property. These efforts are continuing; but despite all our endeavours, some copyright owners remain unknown to us. Given the importance of securing the permission of every copyright owner, the National Library would be grateful for any information leading to information about the remaining unknown copyright owners.

© The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion of London, 1953-2001. The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion of London owns the copyright of the printed versions, and the front and back pages. The National Library of Wales acknowledges the Honourable Society's generosity in giving its kind permission to publish this work in electronic form.