Rowley Davies Collection

Scope and Content

Papers of Rowley Davies, [1870s]-1992, comprising files of photographs, press cuttings, articles and correspondence, [1870s]-1991, including files on the Blitz on Swansea, 1918-1991, the Mumbles train, [1870s]-1985, Swansea suburbs, [1870s]-1990, and articles for the South Wales Evening Post, [1930s]-1984; letters, 1975-1988; books and articles on the history of Swansea, 1875-1992; slides arranged for lectures, [20th century].

Administrative / Biographical History

Rowland Morton (Rowley) Davies (1908-1995) was a local historian and local government worker born in Swansea in 1908. He was a keen gardener and sportsman and wrote on table tennis and local rugby in the South Wales Evening Post. In the 1920s and 1930s he was involved in amateur dramatics. From 1938 he worked in Swansea's ARP Department, witnessing the blitz at first hand. In 1944 he moved to the Borough Engineer's Department and worked on the reconstruction of the town centre. From 1962 he began conducting historical slide shows on behalf of the Planning Department, which developed into his series 'Down Memory Lane of Old Swansea'. He moved to the Land Charges division in 1965 but continued to give the slide shows with increasing regularity. He also collected old photographs to add to those already in the Council's possession, building up a collection that later became the nucleus of Swansea City Archives Office's photographic archive. He also made regular contributions on local history to the South Wales Evening Post and Herald of Wales. In March 1974 the new Swansea City Council appointed Davies as curator of its photographic collection. He expanded his lecture programmes and in the summer gave talks to visitors to Swansea. After he retired in 1977 he continued his slide shows on a voluntary basis until the last years of his life. Rowley Davies died 9 June 1995.


Arranged into the following: files of photographs, press cuttings, articles and correspondence; published books and articles; slides arranged in order for lectures; slides arranged by subject.

Access Information

Series D/D RMD 4 is currently not available for consultation.

Acquisition Information

It is the policy of the West Glamorgan Archive Service to withhold the names of depositors.


Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: West Glamorgan Archive Service, Catalogue of the Papers, etc. of Rowland Morton ('Rowley') Davies (1908-95) 'The Rowley Davies Collection'; Collis, Kim, West Glamorgan Archive Service - A Guide to the Collections (West Glamorgan Archive Service, 1998).

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at West Glamorgan Archive Service. Slides arranged by subject and sound recordings re uncatalogued.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at West Glamorgan Archive Service have been retained.


Accruals are not expected

Geographical Names