The Mappa Mundi & Chained Library Exhibition is currently closed for its annual clean. This week a team of staff and volunteers have been hard at work caring for our treasured collection.

Rosemary Firman, Hereford Cathedral Librarian says, "The Hereford Mappa Mundi and Chained Library are closed for the first three weeks of January each year to enable essential cleaning and conservation work to be carried out. A small team of staff and volunteers have just finished cleaning the 1,500 books in the Chained Library using low-suction museum vacuum cleaners. Every book is taken down, checked, gently cleaned and returned to the shelves which have been home to many of them for over 400 years."

Staff and volunteers cleaning the Chained Library at Hereford Cathedral

Alongside the cleaning this year, preparations are also being made for the Yinka Shonibare exhibition Creatures of the Mappa Mundi, which opens on Thursday 24 January. This very exciting exhibition of quilt artworks has been commissioned by Meadow Arts and is supported by Herefordshire’s a Great Place (A Herefordshire Cultural Partnership cultural development project delivered by Rural Media. Great Place is co-funded by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery, with support from Historic England.) For more information on this exhibition click here.

The Mappa Mundi & Chained Library will resume normal opening hours on Monday 21 January. To find out more about about this treasure in the meantime please visit