Edward Thomas collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Collection includes (1) 464 original letters and copies of 563 other letters written by Edward Thomas between 1896-1917; holograph letters E.T. to Helen Noble (whom he married in 1899), 1897-1917; photocopies of 59 letters to Robert and Elinor Frost (1913-17) and 6 letters to Edward Thomas from Robert Frost (1915-16); letters and copy letters from Helen Noble (1896-98) and from Helen Thomas (1899-1917) to ET; 239 letters to Gordon and Emily Bottomley. (2) Some 1,900 book reviews by E.T. from 1900-15 which are contained in seven scrapbooks. (3) Reviews of E.T.'s books in various publications together with a scrapbook of cuttings of reviews. (4) Essays, articles and poems by E.T. published in magazines and newspapers, and in his collections of essays. (5) Holograph, typescript and photocopies of E.T.'s poems, together with exercise books where he wrote prose, and a file of musical settings of poems by E.T. (6) 246 articles of biography and criticism of Edward Thomas. (7) An almost complete set of Edward Thomas's published books. (8) A selection of books and maps from the Thomas family library. (9) Photographs of Edward and Helen Thomas, their children, family and friends. (10) Material for the 'All roads lead to France' exibition at the Imperial War Museum, 1987. (11) Tape recordings of Helen Thomas being interviewed about her husband. (12) Memorabilia, including a silver tobacco box, with initials 'P.E.T.', his watch and other personal articles.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Edward Thomas Collection was started in 1940 when Gordon Bottomley, the poet and dramatist, presented the autograph manuscript of 'Wales' and 238 letters which Thomas had written to him between 1902 and 1917. In 1948 Dr R. George Thomas, agreed to edit the letters for publication. His contact with the poet's family led to much of the material that remained in the family's possession coming to Cardiff. In addition, a large collection of photocopies, transcripts and notes from libraries in this country and north America has been assembled in Cardiff making it the largest accumulation of material relating to Edward Thomas and his family.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation.


Compiled by Elizabeth Pengilly with Peter Keelan.

Other Finding Aids

A Handlist of the Collection.


Further accruals are expected.