The Riverside: Information


An exhibition of some of Wales’ most unique and historic items is now showing at The Riverside (25th May-12th October)

Treasures features arguably the most important and influential book in the history of the Welsh language, William Morgan’s Bible of 1588, the first complete translation of the text into Welsh.

Another national treasure on display is the original score and words of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the Welsh National Anthem, composed in 1856 by father and son Evan and James James.

Among the visual material is a piece by contemporary artist Claudia Williams, in addition to iconic images depicting Welsh culture by legendary figures from the field of photography: John Thomas, Geoff Charles and Philip Jones Griffiths.

Visitors to Treasures will also get a glimpse of an original Turner painting, Dolbadarn Castle, which provides insight into how this notable landscape artist was inspired by his many visits to Wales during the 1790s.

Treasures gives the public a rare opportunity to delve deeper into the minds of some of Wales’ greatest writers and poets, with archival material on display including a map drawing of the fictional village Llareggub, the setting to the play Under Milk Wood, in the hand of Dylan Thomas himself.

An original copy of Hedd Wyn’s winning ode Yr Arwr, at what became known as the ‘Eisteddfod of the Black Chair’ is also among The National Library’s Treasures at The Riverside.

In addition, four icons will be displayed one-by-one during the course of the exhibition, including three significant manuscripts: The Black Book of Carmarthen, the earliest Welsh language manuscript, The Laws of Hywel Dda, an illuminated Latin version of native Welsh law, and The Book of Taliesin, which includes the oldest Welsh verse.

There are around 40,000 manuscripts in The National Library of Wales, and together they form the most comprehensive collection of Welsh manuscripts in the world.

The Peniarth collection, which includes the three manuscripts to be shown at The Riverside, is the most important of the Library’s manuscript collections. This internationally acclaimed collection is included on the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register.

The fourth icon to be displayed is Yny Lhyvyr Hwnn. It forms a part of The National Library’s exquisite rare books collection and is the first book ever to be printed in Welsh. Yny Lhyvyr Hwnn was written by John Price and printed in London in 1546. Only one copy of the volume has survived.

For up-to-date information on which icon is currently on display, please visit our Now Showing at the Gallery page.

The National Library of Wales will also deliver a programme of exciting events and education activities to accompany this exhibition.

For more information, including details of how to book your free tickets, please visit our What’s On page.

ID: 5251, revised 24/07/2019