The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth is to purchase a collection of original and iconic cartoons by illustrator Mal Humphreys (Mumph).
A visually recognisable collection, it illustrates almost every important political event in Wales since the 1990s. The library plans to purchase Mumph’s complete archive of over 3200 cartoons, along with their copyright.
Humphreys (Mumph) is known as one of Wales’ most talented cartoonists. Since 1991, he has regularly contributed cartoons to The Independent and The Western Mail as well as The Welsh Mirror, Daily Post, Golwg, Y Fanner, Y Cymro and Lol.
He has also produced works for television programmes on BBC1, BBC Wales, ITV and S4C.
This extensive archive was created at a crucial time in the history of Wales, during the period of devolution. Mumph also illustrated many cartoons relating to significant British and world events. The original versions belonging to his Cwm Offit series will also form a part of the collection, which Mumph created for the South Wales Echo.
The library will use its new Collections Fund to assist in purchasing the Mumph archive. The fund was created as a means to enable the library to purchase significant items when they come on the market.
The library constantly develops its collections through crucial purchases, which ensure that the organisation remains relevant to national life and continues to gather information and items for future generations. It aims to raise £25,000 to obtain the Mumph archive.
Pedr ap Llwyd, the library’s chief executive and librarian, said:
“The library is full of treasures. Some are in the form of ancient manuscripts, rare books, unique maps, thrilling artwork, exquisite film and sound and photographs that are of age-old records of Wales.
“And now we welcome a very different form of treasures to the library and absolutely unique treasures that we have to preserve for those who follow us. Alongside the library’s acknowledged treasures, Mumph’s cartoons will add value to our wealth of collections.”
Lona Mason, the library’s head of graphic, screen and sound, added:
“The National Library is the natural home for Mumph’s cartoons and we’re looking forward to preserve and share them so people can explore and enjoy the collection.”
Mr Humphreys said:
“It is the greatest honour to be recognised by my own country through The National Library of Wales. My life’s work to be kept until the end of man’s time on earth.”