Dylan Thomas artifacts to be digitised: landmark collaboration between Swansea University and the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

A landmark project to digitise major artifacts and join the transatlantic archives of Dylan Thomas has been announced at a dinner hosted by Swansea University and attended by Secretary Hillary Clinton, Honorary Doctor of Law (Swansea University).

The project will involve the digitisation of numerous literary artifacts of the great writer, making them available around the world.

The ambitious project is a collaboration between Swansea University and the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, which is considered to have one of the most significant collections of Dylan’s writings and artifacts. 

As well as contributions from Secretary Clinton, President and Professor Richard B Davies, Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, attendees at the dinner where the project will be announced will hear readings from:

  • Matthew Rhys, Emmy-nominated, Welsh actor
  • Kate Burton, Emmy- and Tony-nominated Welsh-American actress and daughter of Richard Burton

Marking the announcement, Professor Richard B Davies, President and Vice Chancellor of Swansea University said: “As well as making available to academics a previously unexplored view into the life and creative process of Dylan Thomas, this ambitious project will make the archives in Texas and Swansea available globally, helping inspire a love of literature through the power and passion of his words.”

The project enjoys the support of the Dylan Thomas family and the Dylan Thomas Estate. Swansea University is working very closely with Hannah Ellis, Dylan Thomas’s granddaughter and Creative Director of the Dylan Thomas Estate, who is passionate about introducing the magic of her grandfather’s work to new audiences while ensuring that he has a lasting legacy. The project builds on the work already undertaken by Swansea University to digitise Dylan’s fifth notebook.

The project will form part of broader initiatives including the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest literary prize for young writers; and its educational programme DylanED, which aims to give a creative voice to young people by taking Dylan Thomas and talented young writers into schools and communities.