John K. Bollard

Editor  *  Medievalist  *  Translator  *  Lexicographer


To contact me, click here.                                                       For a list of publications, click here.

Native American Biography Project 

 John K. Bollard, Editorial Director 

The Native American Biography Project is a major research project established to produce a four-volume collection of some 2,000 biographies of Native North Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, First Nations, Inuit, and Metis figures of note throughout history.  The Editorial Board is comprised of fifteen of the top experts in the field.  The project is currently undertaking a fund-raising campaign to allow the project to expand to its full capacity.  


from Gomer Press and
John K. Bollard and Anthony Griffiths

  The Mabinogi: Legend and Landscape of Wales (Llandysul: Gomer, 2006) is a new translation of this medieval Welsh masterpiece of myth, mystery, magic, and wonder.  This translation includes sixty stunning photographs of places named in the tales, taken by the renowned Welsh guitarist and prizewinning photographer Anthony Griffiths.  Dr. Bollard is a leading authority on the Four Branches of The Mabinogi and other medieval Welsh tales.



Companion Tales to The Mabinogi (Llandysul: Gomer, 2007) includes translations of four medieval Welsh tales, illustrated by photographs of the places mentioned in them: 

How Culhwch Got Olwen -- the wildly exuberant story of how young Culhwch, with Arthur's help, came to marry Olwen, daughter of Ysbaddaden Chief Giant.  This tale, packed with traditional lore, is rightly renowned as the earliest surviving Arthurian tale.

The Dream of Maxen Wledig, Emperor of Rome -- a tale with its roots in Roman and early British history and its charm stemming from the skill of the traditional Welsh storyteller.

The Story of Lludd and Llefelys -- a brief tale of three mysterious plagues on the Island of Britain, including the origins of the buried dragons later revealed by Myrddin (Merlin, Merlinus Ambrosius).

The Dream of Rhonabwy -- a satirical look at both the historical world of twelfth-century Wales and the colorful gilded and bejeweled world of Arthur and his companions.

The third volume of the Legend and Landscape of Wales series,
Tales of Arthur,
contains three tales of Arthur's knights,
Peredur son of Efrawg,
Owain, or The Lady of the Spring,
The History of Geraint son of Erbin.
It was named the Best Photography/Art Book published in Wales in 2010-2011 by the Welsh Books Council.
For more information about The Mabinogi 
and to order copies of these books, 
click here to go to The Mabinogi web page. 


 Additional research projects and forthcoming books 
by John Bollard

The First Valentines
The Love Poems that Inspired Valentine's Day

The First Valentines will be a coffee-table gift book containing translations of the first hundred years of Valentine's Day poetry alongside photographs of the original texts in various medieval manuscripts.  Valentine's Day began in the fourteenth century when Geoffrey Chaucer and other English and French poets in his circle began to write love poetry  set on February 14, Valentine's Day -- the day the birds choose their mates, as so humorously depicted in Chaucer's Parliament of the Birds.


Writing the Declaration of Independence

 Writing the Declaration of Independence will present photographic copies and transcriptions of documents related to the preparation, publication, and influence of this central document in US history.  Pride of place will be given to various fragments and drafts of the Declaration in the hands of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Richard Henry Lee, along with the various early printed versions and other documents, such as Abigail Adam's famous letter to John Adams abjuring him to "remember the Ladies."  Side-by-side presentation of transcripts of Jefferson's draft copy of the Declaration and the text adopted by the Continental Congress will demonstrate much about the thought processes that went into the document, and will also reveal some surprises about some of the most often repeated phrases in American history.


Awards and Honors

Tales of Arthur
was named the Best Photography/Art Book published in Wales in 2010-2011 by the Welsh Books Council.

From 2002 through 2005 Dr. Bollard was executive editor and managing editor of the African American National Biography, an ongoing research project at Harvard University directed by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham.  In 2004 African American Lives, a collection of over 600 biographies of both famous and lesser known African Americans, was selected as a Booklist Editor's Choice for Best Reference of 2004.


The Pronouncing Dictionary of Proper Names (Omnigraphics, 1998) is an award-winning reference work giving the pronunciations of over 28,000 proper names of people, places, and things from around the world.  On the publication of the first edition in 1993, it was named an Outstanding Reference Source by the American Library Association and Best Reference Book of 1993 by the Library Journal.


Reference Works for Young Readers and Writers




The Scholastic Children's Thesaurus, the Scholastic Student Thesaurus, and the Scholastic Pocket Thesaurus are innovative thesauruses designed to introduce students to the joys and complexities of the the intricate web of the English vocabulary.


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Links of Related Interest 

The National Indian
Education Association

Founded in 1969, the NIEA is the oldest and largest Indian education organization representing American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian educators and students.  

The Mission of the National Indian Education Association is to support traditional Native cultures and values, to enable Native learners to become contributing members of their communities, to promote Native control of educational institutions, and to improve educational opportunities and resources for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians throughout the United States.

For further information, click here for the NIEA website.

A Moment in the Field
Voices from Arthurian Legend
Poems by Margaret Lloyd 


Readers interested in Arthurian Legend and its continuing resonance in our own time should read Margaret Lloyd's A Moment in the Field (Plinth Books, 2006). 

For more information, go to A Moment in the Field.


Anthony Griffiths
Photography and Music

A selection of photographs of the Welsh landscape can be seen on -- and ordered from -- Anthony Griffiths' website.  Anthony is also one of the foremost guitarists in Wales, and samples of his music can be heard on his website.  His CD Ysbryd: The Spirit of the Celtic Guitar can be ordered from that website, or in the US from here.