Foreword by the Vice Chancellor
In July 2010, the University is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great benefactor Thomas Phillips. Phillips’s support for St David’s College was dramatic and took the form of sixty consignments of rare books and manuscripts that began arriving in Lampeter in 1834 and continued until 1852, six months after Phillips’s own death at the age of ninety-one. More than 22,000 books and manuscripts purchased by Phillips for the College were shipped from London to the river port of Carmarthen from where they were carted the remaining twenty-three miles along rough roads to Lampeter, a journey that was both hazardous and costly.
Later this year, the towns of Lampeter and Carmarthen will again be celebrating when the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, subject to approval from the Privy Council, will create a new university: the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. The new university will capitalise on both institutions’ heritage, expertise and knowledge to develop international excellence in teaching and research, and contribute to the economic, social and cultural prosperity of Wales.
The Phillips Collection now forms part of the Roderic Bowen Library and Archives, opened in October 2008 and named after former University President (1977-1992) and benefactor, Dr. E Roderic Bowen. The Special Collections contained within are undeniably a treasure, not only for the University but also for Wales comprising a unique collection of more than 30,000 volumes printed between 1470 and 1850 (including 69 incunabula) as well as eight medieval and 100 post-medieval manuscripts.
I warmly welcome you to share these treasures, and join in this celebration of our rich cultural heritage.
Dr Medwin Hughes DL DPhil DPS FRSA