We have a variety of other uniquely ‘Morrab’ gift options which all help to support the work of the library –
Share your love of Morrab Library with friends or family – a gift that include access to 70,000 books(!), tranquil work spaces, our marvellous library community and more (£40 for a year’s household membership – we also offer a discounted student membership at £20).
Morrab Library Christmas Cards
A beautiful design by our own staff member, Harriet-Jade Harrow. £1 each, £2.75 for 3 or £4.75 for a pack of 5.
John Trigg prints
Choose a high quality print from one of twelve beautiful images, taken from the collection of drawing books donated to the library by the artist John Trigg (£65).
A high quality reproduction of the 1841 map of the Borough of Penzance (£20).
Second hand books
There’s a brilliant, eclectic selection of second-hand books for sale – a perfect Christmas gift for a like-minded book lover.
A whimsical creation by members Sue Lewington and Steph Haxton – it’s Morrab Library in a bottle! Each jar contains a library poem, a drawing of a library scene, as well as a charm. Limited edition (£10).
Morrab Library Pens
High quality black ink pens with the library logo and name embossed on it (£2.50).
Acorn event with Morrab Library – Elizabeth I and Churchill talk
Tickets are on sale for the next talk by Mark Cottle on Feb 29th. Studies in Leadership – Elizabeth I and Churchill will focus on the life times and similarities of each leader. (£10 from the Acorn Theatre).
Get some Christmas shopping done and support the library at the same time!
Morrab Library is open to members (and their guests), but not to visitors, at this time. Here are our current opening arrangements:
- We are open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am – 4.00pm.
- You no longer need to make an appointment to visit the library to borrow books.
- We continue to take room bookings for the first floor, so you can reserve a desk at which to work. Reserved desks are labelled accordingly, so if you haven’t pre-booked but find a table that has not been reserved, you are welcome to use that.
- Entry to the library is via the reception room where we’ll ask you to sign in for track and trace purposes, or use the mobile app to scan your location using the QR code.
- While it is no longer mandatory to wear a face covering whilst moving around the building, staff will continue to do so – please consider doing so as well. This is so that everyone may feel safe when visiting, and will also reduce the risk of closure. Hand sanitiser is also freely available throughout the building.
- Library books should be returned to staff and volunteers at the reception desk.
- The Photo Archive is open on Thursday mornings to members and visitors by appointment. Please arrange this in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling the library to pass on a message to the team.
- The members’ common is partially reopened, and it is possible to make a cup of tea or coffee in the kitchen and take it with you around the building as before. At this stage however, it isn’t possible to remain in the kitchen beyond preparing your drink.
We thought you’d like to know about a rather significant milestone in the history of Morrab Library. Friday the 14th May saw us catalogue our first library book into KOHA, our new online library system.
Member, volunteer and former Chair Peter Chapman had the honour of barcoding the first of our many thousands of books, and adding the record to our catalogue – it was Annabelle Abbs’ Frieda, by the way!
This is a small but important step in our aim to improve access to our collections. By making our books searchable online, you will all be able to truly discover the extent, and the magic, of our collections, even the ones on the high shelves!
You’ll have to be patient though – we have a lot of books, so it will be quite a number of years before we have completed the retrospective project, but we do feel it’s worth the effort involved! There won’t be any changes to the way you search for or borrow books just now, but we will provide regular updates on progress.
The project is currently in its pilot phase (starting with the fiction collection), with Peter and our Honorary Librarian, Harry Spry-Leverton, testing things for us, but soon we will be looking to recruit some more volunteers to help with the cataloguing, so we’ll put the call out when we’re ready.
A big thank you to Sue Garwood, our Assistant Librarian, who used the lockdown periods very productively coming to terms with KOHA, and to Dr Vivian Cothey, member and cataloguing expert, for his brilliant advice and guidance.
Morrab Library will be opening again on the 14th April, although still in a very limited capacity. The necessity to keep staff, volunteers and members as safe as possible remains our first priority, and we will need to continue to work within the context of health and safety legislation and best practice guidelines for libraries to achieve this.
It needs to be said that while the staff will do all it can to make the library as safe as possible, we cannot of course guarantee it 100%, so each member will need to make their own decision about whether they feel they can visit.
Opening hours and access
- The library will open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10.00 am to 3.30pm.
- The library will be open for book loans and returns, and for readers who wish to book a workspace on the first floor or access the newspaper collection.
- Entry will be by appointment only. We need to be very strict about how many people can safely be in the library and share spaces at the one time. You can email us at : email@example.com or telephone 01736 364474 and leave a message with your name and contact entails – staff will contact you to arrange an appointment.
- Please don’t try to visit unless you have received confirmation of your appointment time. We do not want you to have to queue outside for any lengthy period.
- Please book for an appointment as far in advance as you can to avoid disappointment.
- You do not need to make an appointment if you are only returning or collecting books and do not wish to enter the building beyond the entrance foyer.
- When you come to borrow books we will be able to welcome you for a visit of 30 minutes. If you are isolating as a household, a couple or family can come in together.
- Only library members (or members of their household) will be able to access the building – we will sadly not be able to welcome any visitors at this stage, unless they are expressly wishing to join as a new member.
- We cannot accept any book donations at this time.
- The Photo Archive will not be open to visitors on Thursday mornings at this time, but please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the library and we can pass on any enquiries.
While you are with us
- It will not be possible to remain in the library beyond choosing or returning books, or working in your reserved room.
- Hand sanitiser will be on offer at the front door, and we will ask that you make use of it BEFORE entering the building. There are additional hand sanitising stations throughout the building.
- It is a legal requirement that you wear a face covering whilst moving around the building, unless you have a legitimate reason for not being able to do so.
- Social distancing practices will be in place (working to the 2 metre rule) and staff will be working behind a temporary screen.
Loans and Returns
- If you are returning library books, please bring them in a bag (preferably one you don’t want back), and include a note with your name on it. There will be special boxes in the foyer where you can leave them – in keeping with health and safety guidelines, they will need to be quarantined for 72 hours before staff can process them.
- The lifting on restrictions on the number of loans will remain, meaning you can borrow more than six books at a time. If you don’t feel comfortable coming to the library yourself, you can nominate a fellow member, friend or family to borrow and collect books on your behalf.
- We will be offering a collection service. If you send us a list of titles you are seeking, we can check our holdings and the shelves, and if they are available, we can bag them up and leave them for you or a friend or family member to collect from the foyer, so you won’t have to come into the rest of the building.
- The magazines and newspapers normally located in the Reading Room will be moved to the tables in the Jenner Room, and be available for loan.
- The ground floor toilet will be available, but we ask that it be accessed only if completely necessary. Please leave the space as clean as possible after use. A hand sanitising station will be located just outside.
- Sadly, the kitchen will be closed to members, and not accessible.
- Lockers will not be in use. Bags must remain with you. They cannot be left at the desk or elsewhere.
- The till will be in operation for book and other sales, donations and new memberships and renewals. Payment by card is our preferred option, although we will accept cheques and cash. Appropriate hygiene measures will be in place for using the till.
- The photocopier will only be available for the use of library staff, but we will happily copy anything you need on your behalf.
- The lift will be in operation and hand sanitising stations will be available in the foyers on each floor.
- Parking at the library should generally be possible during this time, although if you would like to be guaranteed a parking spot, please let us know when you make your appointment.
- Library staff will carry out regular cleaning of ‘hotspots’ around the building throughout the day, such as door handles, stair bannisters and the toilet.
- We will also undertake a deep clean of the library after hours each day.
- Desks, chairs and other items will be cleaned in between room appointments.
Please contact the Library (email@example.com), or leave a message on 01736 364474 and we’ll call you back, if you have any questions or concerns.
We would also like to offer my assistance to any of you who will need to continue to self-isolate and won’t be able to visit, or do not have anyone who can borrow books on your behalf. Please get in touch so we can find a way to help you if we can.
I know this remains a less than ideal situation, but hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we can return to the normality of the Morrab Library we all love so much. Thank you so much for your wonderful support throughout lockdown, and as we move forward into the new year.
Lisa Di Tommaso
Library member and writer, Charlotte MacKenzie, has written this short piece about her latest book –
Mary Wollstonecraft’s youngest sister Everina was appointed in 1797 as governess to the family of the second Josiah Wedgwood. The events which followed affected the lives of five women writers three of whom had close family associations with Cornwall. In February Everina stayed with Mary in London before travelling to the Wedgwoods. During her visit Everina went out for the day with a friend, the poet Anne Batten Cristall who had been born in Penzance.
Mary was three months pregnant and married William Godwin in March. After Mary gave birth to her second daughter the placenta failed to deliver. The novelist Eliza Fenwick, who was the daughter of a Methodist itinerant preacher from Newlyn, nursed Mary. Godwin then asked Eliza to write to Everina with the news that Mary had died. Everina made plans with her sister Eliza Bishop to adopt Mary’s two daughters. After visiting her sister in Ireland Everina did not return to the Wedgwoods. Fanny Imlay and Mary Godwin, the future author of Frankenstein, continued to live with William Godwin.
In October the Wedgwoods arrived at Mount’s bay in Cornwall where they had taken a house for the winter and their daughter Charlotte was born. By the spring the Wedgwoods were searching for a new governess. They appointed Thomasin Dennis who later wrote and published a gothic novel while she was living at Trembath near Penzance.
Fifteen years later the families of a Cornish Admiral’s widow and a banker who was a widower were part of the same social circle in Truro. These families included at least four female members who later published novels or verses. Two of the banker’s daughters, Charlotte Champion Pascoe and Jane Louisa Willyams, published a novel together in 1818 after Walter Scott sent their manuscript to his publisher. Louisa and Charlotte both later separately published their individual writing.
The Michell family had returned to Truro after living in Portugal. Charlotte’s friend Anna Maria Michell, whose married surname was Wood, published verses in magazines and in 1838 printed a volume of verse including some of her translations from Portuguese and Italian. The youngest and most prolific writer was Emma Caroline Michell, who had been born at Lisbon, and who many years later started to write when aged in her 60s and published thirteen sensation novels which were mostly set in Cornwall; initially using the pseudonym ‘C. Sylvester’ and later in her own married name Lady Wood. She also published a volume of verses with her daughter Anna Caroline Steele who was a writer; as was another of her daughters Emma Barrett-Lennard who was also a composer who set songs to music.
When I discovered the writing of these women and others like them who had strong associations with Cornwall, I wanted to tell their life stories. Women writers and Georgian Cornwall (2020) is available from online retailers as a paperback or EPUB. Readers are welcome to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
You can watch Charlotte’s online talk for Kresen Kernow here.