D. Rhys Phillips was nurtured in the literary and cultural societies of Resolven and Neath and he was inspired to research local history , to write entertaining articles to the Welsh press and to compete at eisteddfodau . He wrote a number of substantial essays on musical and biographical subjects at National Eisteddfodau in 1931 , 1932 , 1936 , 1938 , 1948 , 1949 and he was active in many Welsh societies, including the Welsh Folksong Soc. , National Eisteddfod Council , the Gorsedd Board ; he was a keen Celtophile and was one of the supporters of the Celtic Congress in 1917 , secretary until 1925 and a prime mover in establishing the Cornish Gorsedd in 1928 . He published several articles on the development of the public library service but his main interest was in library and printing history . He was one of the founders of the Welsh Bibliographical Soc. in 1906 , secretary from 1907 to 1951 . There can be little doubt that his zeal and enthusiasm sustained the society and its journal. His own publications include: Select bibliography of Owain Glyndwr ( 1915 ), The romantic history of the monastic libraries of Wales ( 1912 ), Dr Griffith Roberts, Canon of Milan ( 1917 ), Lady Charlotte Guest and the Mabinogion ( 1921 ), The Celtic countries, their literary and library activities ( 1915 ). It is very easy to draw attention to the faults in Rhys Phillips ’ work but he has an honourable place as one of the pioneers of modern Welsh bibliographical studies .
In 1918 he won a £100 prize at the Neath national eisteddfod for an essay on the history of the Neath valley . This was published in 1925 as A history of the Vale of Neath , the fruits of many years research and collecting documents and traditions of all kinds relating to the life of the community, a facsimile reprint appeared in 1994 .
He m. twice, (1) Mary Hancock , who died April 1926 , and (2) Anne Watts , ‘ Pencerddes Tawe ’, Dec. 1927 . The son of the first marriage died in 1924 , and there was a dau. of the second marriage. Rhys Phillips died at his home Beili Glas , 15 Chaddesley Terrace , Swansea , 22 March 1952 .
Dr Brynley Francis Roberts, Aberystwyth
Published date: 2001