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Bill Jones

Professor Bill Jones

Emeritus Professor in Modern Welsh History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


Research activities

  • Nineteenth and early twentieth century Welsh emigration and Welsh communities outside Wales
  • Wales and the British Empire
    Industrial, social and cultural history of modern Wales
  • Australian and American immigration history

Research projects

  • The 'Welsh Church': Religion, Society and the Welsh in Melbourne c1840-2001
  • Welsh Copper Smelters in Chile in the nineteenth century, 'World of Copper' Network (Leverhulme funded)

Research centre

Impact and Engagement

Course Director of the Cardiff University Programme, Wales Fulbright Summer Institute

Frequent presenter and contributor to radio and television historical documentaries in Welsh and English (see below). Frequent guest lecturer / speaker, in Welsh and English, to lay history societies, libraries, museums, national and local organisations, adult education classes etc. (see Biography: Recent Presentations ).

Radio and Television

I have been contributing regularly to local and national television and radio programmes on a range of subjects since 1980. The following lists the more substantial activities only and excludes contributions to news programmes:

Television: Presenter, writer, and researcher for several television historical documentaries: 2002: Haearn a Dur (Iron and Steel), 4 programmes (HTV / S4C); 1994: Tanchwa'r Albion (on the 1894 Albion Colliery disaster); 1993: Draw, Draw Ymhell i Wlad Oedd Well? (on Welsh emigrants in Scranton, Pennsylvania); 1991: Mynd Rownd y Twist (on chewing tobacco in mining culture); 1989: Dod i Nabod yr Emlyn (on the history of the Emlyn Colliery).

Also contributed / acted as historical adviser to, among others: 2013: Cofio Senghennydd; 2013: Royal Wreck of Gold / Y Trysor Coll, Foxtel Australia / S4C; 2012: Cowboi Penfro, S4C; 2012: The Story of Wales, BBC Wales; 2012: Drama in the Bay, BBC 2; 2011: The One Show. BBC; 2011: Gleision Colliery, ITV Wales News and documentary; 2011: Perthyn, S4C. Two separate programmes in this family history series; 2009: Ferret on Welsh History, ITV Wales; 2006: Hanes y Molly Maguires, TV Ireland / S4C; 2006: Chwarae'r Cymoedd, HTV / S4C; 2006: Tanchwa Senghennydd, S4C; 2006: O`r Henwlad i Ohio, S4C; 2005: Canu'r Cymoedd, HTV / S4C; 2005: Rhyfel y Cymry, HTV / S4C; 2005: Fishlock's Sea Stories, HTV; 2004: The Star Spangled Banner, HTV; 2004; 1995: The Once and Future Valleys, HTV Wales; 1994: Glowyr (Miners), BBC Wales.

Radio (Selected; excludes most contributions to news programmes): 2013-14: Historical consultant for second 6 part series Histories of Wales (BBC Wales / The Open University in Wales); Introductory sequence presenter for each programme; 2013, Senghennydd, BBC Radio Cymru, 2012: Historical consultant for 6 part series Histories of Wales (BBC Wales / The Open University in Wales); presenter and writer of Programme 1 Moving In and Moving Out; introducer of remaining 5 programmes in the series. Also historical adviser and introducer for second series to be broadcast 2014; 2012: B L Coombes's These Poor Hands, BBC Radio Wales, 2012: Titanic, BBC Radio Cymru; 2011: Gleision Colliery, BBC Radio Wales; 2011: Rhaglen Dei Tomos, BBC Radio Cymru; 2011: Wedi Saith, S4C; 2011: Rhaglen Nia, BBC Radio Cymru; 2011: Programme on the UK Census, BBC Radio Cymru; 2011: Making History, BBC Radio 4; 2010: Beti a'i Phobl, BBC Radio Cymru; 2011: Rhaglen Dei Tomos, BBC Radio Cymru; 2009: Making History, BBC Radio 4; 2008: Rhaglen Hywel a Nia, BBC Radio Cymru; 2007: Mass Observation, Wales Observed, BBC Radio Wales; 2006: Y Cymry yn yr Unol Daleithiau, BBC Radio Cymru; 1999-2000: Adviser and contributor to BBC Radio Wales's multi-part series, The Millennium History of Wales, programmes 10-12, based on my chapter in The People of Wales [see Publications].

My research has also featured in interviews on radio and television on Australian Broadcasting Corporation, New South Wales, ABC South Australia, ABC Western Australia; in Trelew and Esquel Patagonia; and in Pennsylvania.

Historical adviser / consultant to official bodies, projects and media organisations including:

2010 -- : The Dragon and the Eagle / Y Ddraig a'r Eryr. Historical consultant for television producer / director Colin Thomas on a project that will to produce Wales's first 'vook' (video book); 2010: CADW, character study projects; 2007-09: Western Australia State Government, 'History of the Welsh in Western Australia' project; 2006, 2009-10: Two travelling exhibitions on the Welsh in America shown at Ellis Island, New York, and numerous other venues in USA organised by National Assembly for Wales; 2006: Welsh National Opera; 2005: BBC Migration Web Project; 2005: Pearson Educational Publishers.


Research projects

The 'Welsh Church': Religion, Society and the Welsh in Melbourne c1840-2003

The Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church, Melbourne, Australia, was established in 1853 and will be celebrating its 160th anniversary in 2013. The Welsh church in Melbourne possesses one of the very best archives of a Welsh migrant community in the world, and contains records of local Welsh societies as well as religious organisations. I am writing a full-length history of the first 150 years of the church's history. Research for this book will in time feed into my planned major study of nineteenth-century Welsh transnational cultural and religious identities.

Funding: Welsh Church, LaTrobe Street, Melbourne Australia. £18000
Duration: 2011-2014

Welsh Copper Smelters in Chile in the nineteenth century, 'World of Copper' Network (Leverhulme funded)

Attended network meetings / delivered papers in Burra Burra, South Australia Sept. 2012 and Santiago, Chile, April 2013. Forthcoming article, 'Labour Migration and Cross-Cultural Encounters' (in Spanish) in Revista de Historia Social y de las Mentalidades. Currently preparing a second article on research findings of this project.

Duration: 2012-2014

Research groups

Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies

The Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies was established in 2001 in order to promote the study of the culture, language, literature and history of the Welsh in the Americas, and in the United States, Canada and Patagonia in particular.

By organising seminars, lectures, conferences, through publications and by encouraging scholarly collaboration and discussion, it aims to provide a focal point for an international network of scholars who have an interest in this rapidly growing field of study.

The Centre organises an annual conference (in which most papers are delivered in Welsh with simultaneous translation facilities into English) and an annual lecture (in English).

Based in the School of Welsh in collaboration with the School of History and Archaeology, the Centre's Co-Directors are Prof E. Wyn James (WELSH) and Prof Bill Jones (SHARE)


Part one undergraduate modules

Part two undergraduate modules

Year two

Year three


MA in History / MA in Welsh History

I also contribute to the Masters module CYD043 Cymru ac America [Wales and America] in the School of Welsh and am currently supervising 6 PhD (1 jointly with WELSH) and 3 MPhil students. Supervision for postgraduate research students is available in English and Welsh


Education and qualifications

  • BA Hons in History 1978, University College Cardiff (University of Wales). Upper Second Class Honours.
  • PhD 1988 University College Cardiff (University of Wales) (thesis entitled 'Wales in America: Scranton and the Welsh c1860-1920')

Career overview

  • 1982-1990 Research Assistant, Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum (National Museum of Wales), Cardiff
  • 1990-1993 Assistant Keeper, Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum (National Museum of Wales), Cardiff
  • 1993-1994 Assistant Staff Tutor, The Open University in Wales
  • 1994 – present Member of staff in the Cardiff School of History and Archaeology (Lecturer 1994, Senior Lecturer 2001, Reader 2007, Chair 2012)

Honours and awards

  • 2013: Panel of Judges, BAFTA Cymru Gwyn Alf Williams Award.
  • 2011: Panel of Judges, Cambrian Archaeological Association Blodwen Jarman Prize.
  • 2009: Distinguished Visiting Scholar, History Department, West Virginia University.
  • 2003-4: AHRC Research Leave Scheme Award. Value is £14,000.
  • 1999: Honorary Senior Fellow, History Department, University of Melbourne.
  • 1996-97: Visiting Research Fellow, Deakin University, Australia.
  • 1981: Visiting Research Scholar, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Professional memberships

  • Association of History Teachers in Wales: Universities Representative on executive committee, 1995-2001; member editorial board Welsh Historian, 1996-99.
  • British Australian Studies Association: committee member, 1996-2002, President, 2002-04; Vice President, 2004-06; Committee Member, 2006–2009; editorial board, 2010-11
  • Coleg Cymraeg Network Panel: member, 2006 – .
  • Glamorgan History Society: council member 2009-11, 2013 - .
  • Group for Canadian Studies in Wales: committee member, 2006-10; President, 2010–11.
  • Llafur: The Welsh People's History Society: committee member, 1985-96; Treasurer, 1989-96; editorial board, 2012 -.
  • MOROL [Institute of Welsh Maritime Historical Studies], council member 2009 - .
  • National Museum Wales: Convenor, Academic Consultative Committee, 'Making History' new gallery development, St Fagans National History Museum, National Museums Wales, 2011-13; Planning Focus Group, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, 2002.
  • National Planning Committee for 2015 150th Anniversary celebrations of the founding of Welsh colony in Patagonia: committee member and member of Publications sub-committee, 2010 - .
  • National Welsh American Foundation: trustee, 2012 - .
  • Open University in Wales: Course Team member, A182 Small Country, Big History Welsh History foundation course, funded by National Assembly Wales, 2007-09.
  • University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies, History and Law Committee: member, 2000-02; Secretary, 2002-05.
  • Welsh History Review: editorial board, 2010 - .