The Riverside Library

The National Library is delivering exhibitions of some of its collections in a gallery in Haverfodwest as part of an exciting new partnership between the Library and Pembrokeshire County Council. The gallery is part of The Riverside Library development that also includes a café, an advice hub, a public library and a tourist information centre. We will deliver a programme of thematic six month exhibitions, and a permanent exhibition on the history, culture and legends of Pembrokeshire at the gallery.

The thematic Treasures exhibition that includes many of the Library's most iconic items can be seen at the gallery from 25.05.19 – 12.10.19.

The National Library will also deliver a programme of events and a series of education workshops in The Riverside Library to accompany the exhibitions.


Visit this stunning exhibition free of charge as part of your visit to The Riverside, the innovative new cultural centre in the heart of Haverfordwest town centre.

It includes many of the most iconic items in The National Library of Wales collections, and provides visitors with an opportunity to view items that have shaped the story of Wales in their own unique way, and gain a better understanding of the history and heritage of the Welsh nation.

As part of the exhibition four priceless and unique star items will be shown for around six weeks each, namely:

  • The Black Book of Carmarthen - the earliest Welsh manuscript (13C);
  • Yny Lhyvyr Hwnn - the only copy in existence of the first book published in Welsh (1546);
  • The Laws of Hywel Dda – illuminated Latin manuscript of native Welsh Law (13C);
  • The Book of Taliesin – a manuscript that includes poetry from the 6C, and the earliest recorded use of the words Cymro (Kymro) and Cymry (Kymry) (14C).

The exhibition also includes tens of showstopper items that could easily be main items on their own in any exhibiion on the history and culture of Wales, including the following items from the Library's diverse collections:

Sound: Important items from the Library’s sound collections: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau 1899 (Madge Breese), a recording of Evan Roberts o 1905, recording of Maes B by the Welsh rock band Y Blew.

Film: Icons from the Library’s collections: a film from 1904 by the film pioneer William Haggar, the famous Jerry the Tyke cartoon from the 1920s, The Life and Times of David Lloyd George.

Art: important and diverse works of art: Dolbadarn Castle by JMW Turner, Castell Coch by Ibbetson, Cara Wallia Derelicta by David Jones, work by Claudia Williams, Valerie Ganz, Christopher Williams, Kyffin, Iwan Bala and Augustus John.

Photographs: Iconic photos: Margam Castle, the oldest photograph of a scene in Wales and an important image in the history of photography, photographs by John Thomas, Philip Jones Griffiths, Geoff Charles, and a theatrical Angus McBean photo.

Maps: Important maps: Cambriae Typus by Humphrey Llwyd, a John Ogilby map, a map of Llareggub drawn by Dylan Thomas.

Archives: the ode to Yr Arwr by Hedd Wyn, Edward Thomas war diary, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau in the hand of James James and Evan James, a draft of Hon by TH Parry-Williams.

Books: The 1588 William Morgan Bible, Y Drych Cristionogawl, both from the Tudor period.