Cornish National Library

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The Cornish National Library, National Library of Cornwall, or Cornish National Archive,[1] is a proposed facility for the exhibition, research and storage of Cornwall's documentary and manuscript archives, currently held at Cornwall Record Office, the Cornish Studies Centre and various other collections, libraries and institutions both within Cornwall and outside.


It is proposed by Cornwall Council's Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee that a new building costing between £8-12 million is constructed. The new facility has been named as one of ten cultural projects adopted by Cornwall Council's cabinet, others include a National Theatre of Cornwall, and an expansion to the Tate St Ives art gallery.[2]

A Cornish national archive and library facility also forms part of Cornwall council's Heritage Strategy for 2011-14.[3]

The Cross Group Working Party Review of Cornwall Libraries in March 2011 stated its aim to repatriate many culturally important manuscripts to Cornwall, for instance, medieval Cornish language plays like Bewnans Ke currently held by the National Library of Wales, or the Ordinalia held by the Bodleian Library. The possibility of getting the Prophecy of Merlin from the Vatican Archives has also been mooted.[4] It is agreed that the library of Joseph Hambley Rowe, currently held by Redruth Library, will go to a National Library of Cornwall when one is set up.[5]

The concept of a National Archive and Heritage Centre was born in Redruth in the early 2000s. This resulted in the creation of the Cornish Studies Library in the town. The old brewery at Redruth is now one of the three locations short-listed by Cornwall Council where the archive could be sited, the others being St Austell and Hayle.[6]

Legal deposit status in the British Isles[edit]

Currently there are six Legal Deposit Libraries in the UK and Ireland. The British Library, Bodleian Library, Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, and Library of Trinity College Dublin share responsibility for cataloguing the legal deposit intake of new publications. Allocations of books take account of the different imprints of books, and also the language that the book is written in. Irish imprints and Irish language items go to Trinity College Dublin, Scottish imprints and Gaelic language items go to the National Library of Scotland, and Welsh imprints and material in both the Welsh and Cornish languages go to the National Library of Wales.[7]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "National Theatre hope highlighted by report". West Briton. 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cornwall Council - Public urged to have their say on the future". Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  4. ^ "Bringing The Ordinalia Home, The Cornish National Library – The Stadium of the Mind - Cross Group Working Party Review of Cornwall Libraries". March 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  5. ^ "Tolzethan: The Life and Times of Joseph Hambley Rowe". Gorsedh Publications and Sales. 15 December 2011. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  6. ^ West Briton (10 May 2012). "Archive is vital to the future of 'struggling' town – claim". Cornwall Live. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "The Legal Deposit Libraries Shared Cataloguing Programme". British Library. 2003-11-30. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 

External links[edit]