The National Library of Wales purchases publications issued in other countries in addition to being a legal deposit library (with the right to receive free of charge a copy of every printed work issued to the public in the UK and Ireland).
It has a large collection of books, journals and newspapers, built up over a century, and containing items relating to many ethnic groups, including works in various languages published in Britain and elsewhere.
The Library also collects other materials in many varied formats, including:
Most of this material relates to Wales but it does include examples of the activities of Welsh people in other countries and in relation to other cultures.
In 2007 the Library marked the bicentenary of the end of the Atlantic Slave Trade with an exhibition entitled, ‘Traed mewn cyffion / Feet in chains’, which was created in partnership with National Museum Wales and Bangor University. In this exhibition we displayed the Diary of Thomas Clarkson, which includes details of his journey through Wales in support of abolition (NLW 14984A). Our collections also contain books by Thomas Clarkson and some letters. The Welsh poet and antiquary Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams, 1747–1826) was another who campaigned against the slave trade. His books and papers are also in the Library.
The Library contains materials relating to the Caribbean and to Caribbean history. Some of these were documented by the CASBAH project, which has produced a pilot website for research resources relating to Caribbean Studies and the history of Black and Asian peoples in the UK.
The CASBAH website (archived website) contains a brief description of relevant printed sources at The National Library of Wales. (Please note that the catalogue has now changed to the full catalogue.) There is also information on certain archive sources in Appendix 2.
The Library possesses a number of works in and about Indian languages. A regular reader and researcher, Bijon Sinha, has kindly helped us to identify some of the strengths of our collection. There are works on:
This collection is not catalogued, but we will endeavour to answer enquiries.
We have an important collection of around 4,500 volumes donated to the Library by the eminent Sinologist David Hawkes, formerly Professor of Chinese at Oxford. It includes works in Chinese, Japanese and English relating to:
The Library has a card catalogue of the entire collection. This has been copied and scanned and can be viewed as PDF documents below.
The David Hawkes Collection card catalogue (pdf)
You will find many things of interest by browsing in the online catalogue using search terms relating to ethnic minorities. We would like to add to this page, so please contact us to draw our attention to anything you find in our catalogue which you think is of interest to ethnic minorities.