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THE WELSH MSS. IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM COLLECTIONS* By H. Idris BELL, C.B., O.B.E., D.LITT., F.B.A. VISITING the National Library of Wales last February, I was interested to see the preparations then being made for the exhibition of books and manuscripts arranged in honour of the sexcentenary of Dafydd ap Gwilym. The idea suggested itself to me that the British Museum, which has so many Welsh manuscripts, should also pay its homage to the memory of our illustrious poet and I was happy to obtain the sanction of the Trustees for my proposal. It struck me that, while we were about it, we should be well advised, so far as the limited space available and the short period of time allowed for preparation would permit, to extend the range of the selection, and so make it, in some degree, illustrative of the collection as a whole and of the general course of Welsh poetic history. It was, unfortunately, impossible to give more than a very partial representation of this history. The centre of the exhibi- tion was, of course, Dafydd himself, both from manuscript and from printed sources. The earlier poetry and the regulations of the bardic schools were illustrated from a small number of manuscripts, facsimiles, and editions but poetry after Dafydd was perforce very inadequately represented, chief stress being laid on the literary group which centred round the Morris brothers in the eighteenth century. Despite its obvious shortcomings, the exhibition was appreciated by not a few Welsh visitors and I hope it may have conveyed to some who were not Welsh the idea that Wales may possess poets worthy of attention, even if they are unknown to ninety-nine out of a hundred Englishmen. Our indefatigable Address delivered at a meeting of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion on 24th February, 1936. Chairman, W. Llewelyn Davies, M.A., Librarian, National Library of Wales.