An exciting new exhibition of maps from the National Library of Wales opened at the Riverside Gallery, Haverfordwest on Saturday.

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 library to newly commissioned artworks, funded by Welsh Government’s Anti-racist Wales Action Plan.

Highlights 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, a 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.

Created by Ellie King, the library’s assistant map curator, 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.

A newly qualified librarian, Ellie has been mentored by the exhibitions team as part of the library’s commitment to providing learning and development opportunities for staff.

“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,” said Ellie.

“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, the library’s head of marketing and audiences, 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 Samuel and Violet and Ellie on October 19 at 5pm.


Image credit:  The Riverside – Pembrokeshire County Council