About the Cornish Studies Library

The Cornish Studies Library (CSL) specialises in helping those who are researching Cornwall or Cornish people. The wide ranging collections cover all subjects, from mining to modern art, from poetry to prehistory, and family history to farming. No membership is required and our service is free.

Please note, the Cornish Studies Library will close permanently from 10 September 2018 and will reopen as Kresen Kernow in December 2018. You can read more about the Kresen Kernow project here or please contact us for more information. Until that date, published opening hours will apply.

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You can access:

  • Over 30,000 printed and published books and pamphlets about Cornwall, by Cornish writers, or writers based in Cornwall.
  • Several thousand journals, magazines, newsletters and annual reports of organisations based in or having an interest in Cornwall.
  • Over 30 local newspapers, spanning around 200 years, on microfilm.
  • Over 160,000 photographs and postcards covering Cornwall from the mid-nineteenth century.
  • An extensive collection of family history resources including the Cornish census returns, transcriptions of some Cornish parish registers and local trade directories.
  • A large collection of maps including Ordnance Survey maps dating back to the nineteenth century, geological maps, admiralty charts and town centre plans.
  • Collections of sound recordings by Cornish artists, as well as film and video about Cornish subjects. 
  • Oral history recordings in association with the Cornish Audio Visual Archive (CAVA).

You can search our online catalogues for more details of our books and photographs and see our collections pages for more information about some of our holdings.