Kyffin Williams Online at the National Library of Wales
: Presenting and interpreting art in a digital context

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis presents the research undertaken to develop a prototype digital resource to display a fine art collection at the National Library of Wales. The thesis first presents art historical investigations into the work of Kyffin Williams: the work of Kyffin Williams and his relationship with the National Library of Wales; the artist’s position within the canon of Welsh art history; and how ideas around space, place and landscape can contribute towards a fresh understanding of the artist’s work. This art historical inquiry is then used to develop a digital resource, called Kyffin Williams Online, to display the digitised Sir Kyffin Williams Bequest Collection of the National Library of Wales.

The thesis addresses the incongruity of a large art collection being held in a library rather than museum or gallery and the restrictions of using reproductions of works of art. These restrictions are acknowledged and used to provide ways in which digitised works of art can be used for research for their own sake, rather than only as facsimiles or reproductions. This has been achieved by using the focus on space, place and landscape in the art historical investigation has been used to develop a geo-spatial presentation of content which is relevant to the art collections of the National Library. The thesis closes by using the resultant digital resource to show examples of how these methods can be used to further art historical investigation, and how the knowledge, expertise and methods used can be transferred to the National Library in its work with digitised collections.
Date of Award06 Jan 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SponsorsKnowledge Economy Skills Scholarships
SupervisorRobert Meyrick (Supervisor) & Lorna M. Hughes (Supervisor)


  • landscape painting
  • 20th century Welsh art
  • library art collections
  • National libraries
  • Kyffin Williams
  • digital humanities

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