Cumberland Libraries Local Studies Resources

Illustrations:  The main local studies libraries have collections of illustrations. Kendal Library has a substantial illustrations collection covering Kendal and Westmorland. The Kendal collection includes the Geoffrey Berry Photographic Archive which is characterised by a strong emphasis on landscape and the environment during the 1960s and 1970s, especially regarding the Lake District National Park. Carlisle Library has a collection of over 25,000 images depicting town life, rural scenes and the Lake District. Over 35,000 historic images can be found on our website Cumbria image bank

Maps:  The first edition Ordnance Survey maps for Cumbria were published in the 1850s and 1860s at 6 and 25 inch scales with second and third editions issued up to the Second World War. The main local studies libraries hold maps for their areas. Modern maps at 1:10,000 (6 inch), 1:2,500 (25 inch) and 1:1,250 (50 inch) are also kept. In addition geological, land use and town centre maps are held. Cumbria Local Studies Libraries also hold many early engraved maps of the county going back to the 16th century.  

Oral History:  The Kendal Oral History Group has an extensive archive comprising interviews with over two hundred local people. Copies of their recordings are deposited within Kendal Library along with printed transcripts. 
Whitehaven Record Office and Local Studies Library has a small but growing collection of oral history tapes, partly the result of the Millennium Spirit of Cumbria initiative. 
Ambleside Oral History Group, formed in 1976, have a collection of over 300 taped and transcribed interviews. They are housed in Ambleside Library. 

Microforms:  The Library Service obtains material on microform, where the originals are not available locally, are too fragile for use or are not published in printed form. Major categories of material in microform include the enumerators returns for the whole of the area now called Cumbria for the 1841, 51, 61, 71, 81, 91 and 1901 census, the International Genealogical Index and the Saint Catherine's House Index to the Civil Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales 1837 onwards. For further details on the locations of the above please refer to the next section on Family History.

Useful Links:


Local Studies Links
Do it Online


Page last reviewed: 13/03/2023

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