Dom Illtud Evans Papers

Scope and Content

The archive contains Dom Illtud Evans' manuscript notes on various subjects; published versions of his articles and broadcasts, along with some in manuscript and typescript form; correspondence, and a small group of personal papers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dom Illtud Evans OP was born John Alban Evans in Chelsea, London, on 16 July 1913, the son of David Spencer Evans, postmaster. He was educated at Towyn Grammar School in Wales and as a result grew up bilingual. In 1931 he entered St. David's College, Lampeter as Bates English Prizeman, and excelled academically. He left Lampeter in 1934, prior to graduation. On leaving full time education, he embarked on a career as a journalist.

Evans converted to Catholicism, and in 1937 he joined the Order of Preachers. He was ordained a priest in 1943, taking the name Illtud, and subsequently based himself in Cambridge. In 1951 he became editor of Blackfriars, the monthly review of the English Dominican Province, and was the main force behind the launch of New Blackfriars in 1964. From 1955-58 he was Prior of London, but he spent most of the 1950s as a broadcaster and author. His contributions are to be found in Time and Tide; The Tablet (often under the pseudonym Aldate); The Times; The Times Literary Supplement; Saturday Review and The Observer.

The 1960s saw Evans leave for America, where he was to spend most of his final years. He became Associate Editor of Faith Now, and worked regularly for other journals, whilst simultaneously undertaking teaching and lecturing work. Much of his time during his early priestly life had been dedicated to assisting those in borstal and prison, but he also studied prison conditions and issues of penal reform. This became his main preoccupation whilst in America, where he wrote extensively on the subject, including a major article on "Punishment" for Vol. XI of The Catholic Encyclopaedia, (Washington DC: 1969). Evans also visited many US penal institutions to prepare a report for the William J Kirby Foundation of Washington DC on the operation of parole. He spoke to various associations on crime and custodial care, and addressed the Annual Convention of the American Correctional Association in 1961. He also visited many US maximum-security prisons such as San Quentin, California, and was appointed as a delegate to the 1961 UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders.

Evans died in Greece on 22 July 1972. He is buried at the Catholic Cemetery, Heraklion.

Access Information

The Data Protection Act 1998 applies to a small number of items which contain personal information. Access to these items may therefore be restricted.

The papers may be consulted through application to Peter Hopkins, Curator, Roderic Bowen Library and Archives, Trinity Saint David, Ceredigion, SA48 7ED. Tel 01570 424716, email:

The material is mainly in English although articles in Welsh can be found under reference GB 1953 DIE/2/2/24.


Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to Ian Hislop OP and Bede Bailey OP, 'Illtud Evans: An Appreciation', New Blackfriars, vol. 53 (1972); Simon Francis Gaine OP, Obituary Notices of the English Dominicans from 1952 to 1996, (Oxford: Blackfriars Publications, 2000).

Other Finding Aids

List available at the University of Wales, Lampeter.