Immy & Marlene – Duke of Edinburgh Volunteers

Looking back one of the highlights of 2019 was having these wonderful young ladies complete their Duke of Edinburgh volunteering with us. Their enthusiasm was completely infectious! Near the end of their time here we asked them to write a little something about the library which you can read below. We think they’re some of the best reviews we’ve ever had! 



“Hello! My name is Immy and I have been coming to the Morrab Library for a few months now and it’s been really great. The people are so nice and funny, just being at the library I lose track of time and I end up spending a few hours here. By doing this it takes me away from my phone and stress… the atmosphere is so peaceful and quiet it feels like you’re in a different place, completely stress free. Which is absolutely needed in this 21th century. Even if you might not realise it, you probably are stressed out by one thing or another. And if you’re not it’s a great place to experience! The rooms are lovely! If you like a modern look you might like the art room and if you want to learn about West Cornwall then visit the Cornish Room. My friend and I found these funny poems written by a Cornishman, and it got me into poetry! I never really liked it until I found that little treasure. There’s many beautiful looking books from and about different eras. You can learn so much from a library, why not do it in a peaceful library with a stunning view of the Morrab Gardens right in front of you? I never came here before I started volunteering and it’s so refreshing and relaxing. If you don’t like reading just come to the library to look at its beauty. It’s been here since 1818 and it’s just so beautiful being in such a historic place.” 


“Hey! I’m Marlene. I volunteer at the library with Immy and I completely adore it. We’ve been coming here for almost nine months and our Duke of Edinburgh time is almost up, but I’m going to come by and visit afterwards because I’ll really miss all the lovely lovely people here and the beautiful vibe. My favourite place is the Natural History Room. The walls are covered with row upon row of gorgeous wooden shelves and stacked with hundreds of old volumes and pretty pictures. The light comes in gently from one tall window and the room is always in a state of peaceful twilight. Morrab Library is absolutely one of my favourite places in the world – and there’s something for everyone! Immy’s already told you all about the many attractions of the Library… there are so many hidden treasures to be stumbled upon here. The tiny book of Cornish poetry that we unearthed and pored over for hours is probably one of my favourite books. I’ve also found tons of beautiful clothes books from centuries ago which were a portal to another world entirely – just like the library itself!”


We’re sorry to say that due to the high winds, the Council has closed Morrab Gardens for the day, and therefore the library will need to close as well. We will be closed for all of today, Tuesday 26th November.

The forecast for tomorrow isn’t ideal either, but we will let you know as soon as we are able if we will re-open tomorrow morning.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this causes you.

Best wishes,
The Library Team

New Books for Autumn/Winter 2019

Pictured here are the covers of just some of the wonderful (& typically eclectic) new additions that have arrived in the library over the last few months… 

Most of these can be found on the new additions shelves by the library desk – if they haven’t been snapped up and taken out by members already! Do let us know if you would like anything reserved. You can find a full list of new titles (in no particular order I’m afraid!) here. 

Christmas Craft Fair – this Saturday 16th November

Don’t forget our Christmas Craft Fair will be held this Saturday from 10.30 am to 2.00 pm. We will be jam-packed with stalls showcasing a variety of beautiful crafts including ceramics, knits, cards, art, woodwork, books and more. Images from our Photo Archives will also be on sale. First prize in our raffle is a wonderful Christmas cake and we’ll have a Tombola too. And of course, our delicious refreshments will be available to enjoy. We really hope to see you there.

Morrab Calendar – on sale now!


Travel back in time with our 2020 Calendar …

We’re delighted to announce Morrab Library has produced a 2020 Calendar using photographs from our Cornish Photo Archive. The calendar is now available for purchase at the desk. At £10 it’s the perfect gift and a great way to support the library.

Stocks are limited! All proceeds go to the library. 

To find out more about these very special historical collections you can browse our Photo Archive here –

New Display: A Journey to Space

A Journey to Space: Morrab Library, Cornwall & Beyond

Inspired by a recent well attended Morrab Library talk about Spaceport Cornwall, Sue created a display of books and items from our Library collections.

50 years ago NASA sent explorers to the Moon. Now Cornwall is looking to host a spaceport at Newquay Airport. Closer to home, an exploration of the inner space of the Morrab Library reveals our changing view in the heavens through time.

Topics covered in the display are:

Pioneers of Ideas

Humans have always looked to the sky … drawing some very different conclusions about what they see and what it means.

Cosmogony: Or the Records of the Creation at the Time of Adam. from Morrab Library collection

Mapping space

A rational scientific approach requires examination and organisation of data.

The discoveries, inventions and work of many people are needed.  Cornish scientists contributed to the field of discovery including astronomer John Couch Adams who discovered Neptune.

Past Preoccupations

Items from the Morrab Library show some of the events and topics of interest in the past to our members.  We have several old astronomy books including a beautifully illustrated copy of Ball’s Popular Guide to the Heavens – a popular guide to the study of the sky (1905).

The 1999 solar eclipse was a memorable event in Cornwall. Morrab Library’s  Archive holds very special scrapbook of the 1999 Solar Eclipse.

Technical Details

As well as some of Cornwall’s past aerospace connections we looked at space technologies.  “Sound Barrier” by Duke & Lanchbery (1953) has photos of the X-1 high altitude aeroplane and rocket launch from aeroplane. Using an aeroplane as a launcher is an older idea now being reconsidered for the Newquay Spaceport.

“Sound Barrier” by Duke & Lanchbery (1953)

Other Views 

There are other views of the stars in the sky  – for example the artistic view. Children’s books such as “Vincent’s Starry Night” by Michael Bird (2016) have wonderful illustrations and stories.  The painting from the title of this book was created while Van Gogh was in an asylum. There are many theories of the meaning of this painting including speculation that he had seen an illustration of the Whirlpool galaxy in a French book popularizing astronomy by Camille Flammarion, the Carl Sagan of the 19th century. Compare it to the illustration in our copy of Ball’s Popular Guide to the Heavens.

Ball’s Popular Guide to the Heavens