Welcome to the Morrab

Opening times: Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm

The Morrab is an independent library established in 1818, situated in Penzance’s Morrab Gardens overlooking the sea. In Penwith we are lucky to possess a rare, remarkable and rewarding thing – a large independent library.

Morrab Library is rare because it is the only one in Cornwall and there are only 30 in the United Kingdom. It is one of the largest – ranking sixth, with more than 55,000 volumes and is strong in literature, history, biography, antiquities, topography and travel and religion.

It is remarkable because it houses a marvellous series of collections which have gradually been acquired since the library was founded in 1818. The Jenner Room has brought together its extensive Cornish collection and its holdings on the other Celtic countries as a centre for Celtic studies. Some 2,750 of its books were printed before 1801.

The Library offers great research potential in its extensive runs of eighteenth- and nineteenth- century periodicals, among which are over a century of Cornish newspapers which start before 1850. There are seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Parliamentary Reports, nineteenth-century Blue Books and Historic Manuscript Commission Reports.

There is a collection of 3,000 Napoleonic memorabilia, which has been described as “the only great Napoleonic collection in the world”; whilst the Library’s photographic archive has a computerized catalogue of over 10,000 prints and negatives of antiquities, places, people and events in West Cornwall. It has recently acquired a further 15,000 transparencies of buildings, industrial archaeology and related interest.

We are located in the beautiful Morrab Gardens in Penzance. For a map and directions click here.