The Library has the largest collection of contemporary Welsh portraits in any public establishment. The collection consists of approximately 15,000 items in various media and more than 50,000 negatives and photographs. 

Prominent people in public life, religion, literature and education are represented.

  • There is a representative collection of famous Welsh people including imaginative portraits of the early Welsh princes of Wales such as Owain Glyn Dŵr
  • Amongst the distinctive pictures there are portraits of Hŵfa Môn by Christopher Williams
  • There is a large amount of pictures of David Lloyd George
  • Dr Richard Price by Benjamin West
  • Portraits of Bryn Terfel and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams by David Griffiths

There is a small but significant collection of portraits or self-portraits by modern Welsh artists, such as Keith Andrew, Gwen and Augustus John, David Jones, Charles Tunnicliffe and Kyffin Williams.

Other portrait artists that have a Welsh connection include Hugh Hughes, Thomas Rathmell, Wiliam Roos and Christopher Williams.


The Library has a number of bust portraits, such as:

  • Sir T H Parry-Williams by R L Gappe
  • Sir Clough Williams-Ellis by Jonah Jones
  • David Lloyd George by Michael Rizzello
  • Gerallt Lloyd Owen and Ann Catrin Evans by John Meirion Morris

Printed ephemera and other materials

Along with drawings, the drawings collection also includes every kind of printed ephemera. The main body of material is a substantial number of historical and contemporary posters, but there are also tickets, greetings cards, scrapbooks, bookmarks, printing blocks and much more.