Cymraeg icon Cymraeg
John Bill, The Abridgement of Camden’s Britannia, 1626-2

Wales to the World: celebrating maps in a brand new exhibition

Cymru i’r Byd: dathlu mapiau mewn arddangosfa newydd

On Saturday 23 September, an exciting new exhibition of maps from the National Library of Wales will open at the Riverside Gallery, Haverfordwest.

The Wales to the World exhibition will display a selection of maps from the more than 1.5 million objects cared for in the National Map Collection in Aberystwyth. The exhibition ranges from the oldest map in the National Library of Wales to newly commissioned artworks, funded by Welsh Government’s Anti-racist Wales Action Plan.

Highlights of the exhibition include Cambriae Typus by Humphrey Llwyd - the earliest printed map specifically of Wales, a Cold War map of Pembroke Dock secretly drawn by the Soviet Union, 17th century playing cards on a map theme, and a German propaganda map quoting David Lloyd George. Brand-new artworks inspired by the map collection will also be on display for the first time in this exhibition, alongside the items that inspired them.

The new exhibition covers the development of Wales on the map, maps as tools of learning and play, and the power of maps to persuade and mislead us. The exhibition was created by Ellie King, Assistant Map Curator at the National Library of Wales. Ellie is a newly qualified librarian and has been mentored by the exhibitions team as part of the National Library’s commitment to providing learning and development opportunities for staff.

Ellie King said:

“Curating this exhibition has been a voyage of discovery, and it has been a privilege to delve into the history of some of the National Library of Wales’ cartographic treasures. I hope they will help to showcase the extraordinary breadth of the map collection. I am particularly pleased to be able to include the artistic responses to the collection by Mfikela Jean Samuel and Jasmine Violet, which highlight the enduring power of the maps held here in the National Library, as well as the need to consider them from new perspectives.”

Rhodri ap Dyfrig, Head of Marketing and Audiences at the National Library of Wales, said:

"We are proud to be partnering once again with the Riverside Gallery to share our collections with a wider audience, and also to be providing opportunities for curatorial staff development. The maps themselves offer a fascinating and valuable insight into how Wales saw itself and how it was seen by others in the world at different periods through history."

To coincide with this exhibition a programme of events and education workshops will take place at the Riverside Gallery, starting with a conversation session between the artists Mfikela Jean Samuel and Jasmine Violet and Ellie King on 19 October at 5:00pm. Full details will be available on the Riverside Gallery website and Facebook page soon.

Showing alongside the Wales to the World exhibition is the permanent exhibition Pembrokeshire: Past and Present, focusing on the history, culture and landscape of Pembrokeshire, which will display a selection of new items this season.

Both exhibitions will run until Saturday 24 February 2024.

Notes to editors

About the Riverside Gallery, Haverfordwest

The Riverside is a flagship cultural centre in the heart of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Opened in December 2018, it features a 21st century library, visitor information, coffee shop and a national government indemnity gallery space, which showcases collections from The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. This high quality facility is unusual and pioneering and is already playing a central part in regenerating the town and wider area of Pembrokeshire.

For more information visit:

  • The Riverside website
  • Pembrokeshire Libraries Facebook page, or
  • call Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside on 01437 775244

About the National Library of Wales

The National Library of Wales is one of the great libraries of the world. Located in Aberystwyth, it is the home of the story of Wales.

Opened in 1907, the Library is the centre of research into the culture and heritage of Wales and the Celtic nations.
The purpose of the Library is to make our culture and heritage accessible for everyone to learn, research and enjoy.
We are a legal deposit library, which means we are entitled to a copy of every print publication in Britain and Ireland, but our collections also include the following

  • 7,000,000 feet of film
  • 250,000 hours of video
  • 6,000,000 books and newspapers
  • 40,000 manuscripts
  • 1,500,000 maps
  • 150,000 hours of sound
  • 950,000 photographs
  • 60,000 works of art
  • 1,900 cubic meters of archives

You can search the collections online and can find further information along with a list of resources on our website.


For more details and images, please contact: Rhodri ap Dyfrig, Head of Marketing and Audiences, National Library of Wales: / 07855362206