September 2020


Welcome to our September newsletter. There’s lots to share with you, despite having been closed for four months….

From the Trustees

Dear Morrab Library Members,

How delighted we were to open the Morrab Library’s doors to you again, and on behalf of the Trustees, I would like to thank you all for continuing to support the Library over the past few months. The Annual General Meeting seems an age ago now. That successful, sunny afternoon, at the beginning of March, where we said goodbye to trustees who were leaving, thanking them for their hard work for the good of the library will not be forgotten.

Over the last few months we have gained two new trustees. We welcomed Myfanwy Barrett, who has taken over the post of Honorary Treasurer and Daniel Garside, who some of you may have already met, if you have ventured upstairs to our theology section. Both Myfanwy and Daniel bring skills and experience to the Management Committee. A full list of current Trustees can be found on our website: Alas, we do still need a new Chair so don’t be shy if any of you feel that you would like to join us; contact Morrab Library now. On this note, the Trustees are always looking for members with expertise; specifically building maintenance skills, personnel work, fundraising ideas or event management drive, then please step up now.

As many of you know, we have been plagued by roof leaks over the last two or three years. Indeed as we write, yet another one has occurred, serious, but not damaging to our lovely books. Perhaps ironically it has happened at the right time as a major roof repair is in progress (you might have seen the scaffolding at the Library) and hopefully a robust long-lasting repair can be achieved.

Lastly, Trustees would like to reassure members that, in this uncertain world, the Morrab Library will survive, and its future is bright. During closure Morrab Library has received a very generous grant and a rate reduction from Cornwall Council, which offset the loss of income and we have been overwhelmed by the kindness of library members, who have made donations large and small.

Morrab Library Management Committee look forward to the day when members no longer need to make appointments to change their books and when that day comes, there will be an open day of celebration, so that we can thank you all in person.

My absolute best wishes,

Jak Stringer, Vice Chair

Library Update

As you know, 2020 has been somewhat disrupted by a certain virus, and we are delighted to be open again, albeit in a limited capacity. We are currently open by appointment on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You’ll have seen our messages outlining our booking process for borrowing books or using rooms in which to work – all the information you need is on our website, or if you don’t have access to that, give us a call and we can explain your options. We shall continue to adapt our service as circumstances (hopefully) improve and we’ll keep you updated on any changes. Unfortunately at this time we are unable to schedule any talks, events or classes in the library where groups would gather. We will rely on Government guidance and make appropriate decisions around resuming these in due course.

Whilst most of our volunteers have not been able to return in the current situation (and we miss you greatly!), we would like to express our thanks to those who have been helping us in various capacities since we reopened to keep the library’s operations ticking over.

The Library team continued to work from home all through lockdown and a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work was able to be completed during this time. One of the most important reflections from this experience was the amount of support and goodwill we received from you, our members. It kept us going during an uncertain time, and inspired us to do everything we could to reopen as soon as we were able and to welcome you back to this wonderful space. An enormous thank you from the library team.

Life in the Photo Archive
Thanks to all the safeguarding measures put in place by Lisa we have been able to resume our work in the Photo Archive. We are restricting the number of volunteers in at any one time and we have separated our work stations. At the end of each session we meticulously clean our own areas. Otherwise things are fairly normal, and we are scanning images and responding to requests for photos from the general public. You will soon be able to see the Zennor Collection (from the Wayside Museum) and other discoveries from our collections.

We are always pleased to hear from members about any matters concerning our photographs. We are planning a calendar for 2021 and I would be interested to hear from anyone with memories of the ‘At Home’ events at the Library in the early 1960s. Also does anyone know anything about Dorothy Cake (possibly her married name) who moved away during WW2? We hope to get the newly scanned photos online soon. Don’t forget you can search for many of our images online at:

David Puddifoot, Photo Archive Manager

New shelves and furniture
Just before lockdown our Honorary Librarian Harry Spry-Leverton and talented maintenance man Kane Emslie worked together to create some new shelving in the Jenner Room. Our Cornish collections were fast running out of room and the addition of these above the fireplace has allowed us to create some wriggle room for all of our lovely new future acquisitions. We were also able to spend a small grant from Cornwall Council’s Community Chest scheme, which allowed us to buy some wonderful new bean bag sofas for the children’s room. They’re brilliant for our young members to lounge on when perusing the collections, and will also prove very useful when our Super Storytime sessions can resume.

New books
Our Book Selection Working Group met (virtually!) just after we reopened and chose a wide and varied selection of new titles to add to the collections. We’re in the process of cataloguing them all now and we’ll email a full list of new titles to members once they have all been processed and are available for loan in the next few weeks. For those not on email, a full list will be available on request, please just contact library staff. A reminder that we welcome suggestions for new books to be added to the library collections.

Lockdown stories
We thought we would like to capture something of the spirit this unprecedented time – the longest period the library has ever been closed in its 202 year history. We’d very much like to hear your lockdown stories – how did it affect you, did you create something artistically or literary? Did the library being closed affect you – what did you miss about us? We would like to collate people’s stories and images and add them to our Archives collection for future generations to gain some insight into how the pandemic changed our lives. Get in touch with Lisa if you would like to contribute or for more information.

A few reminders

  • If you weren’t able to renew your membership prior to lockdown in March, we ask that you still might consider doing so now. At £30 (£20 for students), membership will cover you to the end of the year, ready for renewing annual memberships again in January.
  • New members are welcome to join the library at a cost of £15 (£10 for students) for the remainder of this year, so please spread the word.
  • If in the past you haven’t supplied us with an email address, and you would like to do so now and be added to our regular mailing list, please contact the library. Similarly, if you now find you are eligible to agree to Gift Aid on your membership or donations, please do let us know. Gift Aid allows us to claim an additional 25% on your contribution, so it’s incredibly helpful to us.
  • While access to the library is restricted, it’s possible for members to borrow back issues of journals we subscribe to, including the Times Literary Supplement, The London Review of Books and many Cornish journals. Get in touch for more information.
  • We’re still not able to accept large quantities of book donations at this time, but get in touch to discuss options if you would like to donate a smaller number of titles (i.e. no more than a bag!).
  • Although somewhat stalled by Covid, the fundraising appeal towards the acquisition of a public access defibrillator in the Morrab Gardens continues. Cash or cheques can be given in at the Library, with cheques to be made out to `Hypatia Trust defibrillator account’. Contact the library for more information.

Social media
Don’t forget that information about Morrab Library can be found on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. We use these platforms to share images and information about treasures from our collections, and we recently celebrated our 1,000th new follower on Instagram!

Book and Archive cataloguing update
Work progresses on developing the pilot programme for our KOHA book cataloging project. And even during lockdown some of our volunteers continued to work from home creating electronic records of our paper archives index. We recently featured in a case study for the National Archives, which gives an insight into how the archive cataloguing work is done, and why it’s so important for us:

Congratulations to the PLHG
Warm congratulations to the Penwith Local History Group, who meet regularly at the Morrab (usually!), on their nomination in the annual Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof publishing awards. The awards were established to promote books about Cornwall, set in Cornwall or in the Cornish language. The PLHG’s latest book, Growing Up in West Cornwall, was nominated in the Social, Cultural and Political History Section. Copies of the book are available to borrow, or purchase through the library.

So finally…
An enormous thank you once more for your support and encouragement to the staff and for the library. We would be nothing without our members and volunteers, and we look forward to welcoming more of you back in better circumstances in the future.


February 2020


From the Chair

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great Christmas and are now fully recovered to face 2020! 

2019 was, as usual, a busy year for the Morrab, with a huge variety of talks, film shows, children’s storytelling and art and craft courses. Almost all of these were fully booked, and all raised funds for the library through your generous donations. So a big thank you for your support. I’m happy to say that the talks’ programme for 2020 is looking equally busy. The Library also attracted many new members in 2019, with membership standing at 715 at the close of the year. 

Looking ahead, plans are afoot for the refurbishment of the basement. This would see the creation of a proper working space for the book conservation team, a private workspace for the Library staff, a new space for visiting researchers, as well as improving our storage capacity. The Trustees have been meeting with various advisors ahead of making a substantial bid to the National Heritage Lottery Fund. This bid is also likely to contain a budget for environmental improvements to the building, principally solar panels on the roof and, potentially, a ground source heating system to replace our ancient night storage heaters. Inevitably, the process is likely to be lengthy, but it’s an extremely important development for the library going forward.  The Digitisation of the Library’s book catalogue will also get underway this year. As with so many Library projects the Library’s volunteers will provide enormous support for this; the Trustees thanks go out to them for all the work they do for the Library. 

You will have recently received an email from us about joining our new Library Benefactors Scheme. We hope you might consider this an important way of supporting our wonderful library. Contact Library staff if you would like more information.

All the very best. 

Peter Chapman – Chair


News from the Photo Archive 

We recently had a recruiting drive for volunteers and had a fantastic response. With our new volunteers we are now able to redouble our efforts to scan all of the prints, negatives and glass plates in our collection. The work in the archive, however, is not only to scan and save the images and make them available but also to identify and date them. With our new volunteer intake we have gained more local knowledge which helps greatly in this process. 


You could help as well! Simply browse our photos on the Morrab Library website and see what information we have about the images and we would be glad to hear from you if you can add anything. You can then contact me at telling me the title and number of the photo and giving your information. At the same time you will have endless fun looking at the images of Penwith and places further afield. 


David Puddifoot – Photo Archive Manager



A gentle reminder that your annual membership subscriptions are now due. There are more methods to pay this year – via card, cash or cheque, and also using our Direct Debit facility. Please contact the library for more information. Our thanks to everyone who has already renewed this year.


We have also introduced student membership at a reduced rate of £20 per year. This is an individual membership (not household), and will be available to any who present their current student card at the desk.


Annual General Meeting

Morrab Library’s AGM will be held from 2.00pm on Monday 2nd March at the Lugger Inn (Marine Terrace, PZ). Papers relating to the meeting are attached to this newsletter. All members are very welcome to attend – please note however that on voting matters, only one vote per household is permitted. We very much look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there.



We have already hosted our first talk of the year, and look forward to many more throughout the year. The schedule remains a work in progress, but at the end of this email you’ll find a list of those which have been confirmed at the time of writing. We can still only take bookings once each event is advertised, usually around a month before the event, so please keep an eye out on email, and in the library, as bookings open.


You will notice that the Trustees have made the decision to reduce the number of Fairs we host this year. The Spring Fair will merge with the Summer Fete, and we won’t be hosting a Book Fair this year. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being the huge amount of work required to prepare for and host the events. We will do our utmost to ensure that the Summer and Christmas Craft Fairs are brilliant, and look forward to welcoming you to both.


We’re delighted to announce that local artist Karen Lorenz will join us for two weeks from the 6th – 21st June as our artist-in-residence during the new Penzance Art Festival PZ20. More details will follow soon.


Gift Aid on Donations

The library welcomes donations of books to either add to its collections, or to sell in order to raise valuable funds. We are now able to claim Gift Aid on donated books which means we get an extra 25p for every £1 sold. If you are looking to donate books to us, and you are eligible to pay Gift Aid (i.e. you are a UK taxpayer) do let us know. It’s a simple way of raising money for our library and sharing the joy of books!


National Archives

Our wonderful team of volunteers have been busy over the last few months  creating archive records to be added to the National Archives DISCOVERY catalogue. So far, the collections relating to JT Blight, Sir Humphry Davy and his brother John Davy, Caldwell Harpur, Thomas Dawson, and our records on the subject of Railways and Gardens have been added, with more to follow soon. It is all searchable via this link:


Member email addresses

There are over 100 members who we don’t have email addresses for, and therefore our budget only allows us to contact you just twice a year through a postal mailout. If you now have an email address and would like to be contacted in this way, please let us know and we can add you to our email list, where you’ll be kept up to date regularly on talks, events and classes as they happen here. For members already receiving our emails, please don’t forget to update us if your details change.


Other cataloguing news 

We are delighted to say that the library has now purchased the KOHA library management system system, which will allow us to begin the process of creating a digital catalogue of our book collections. We are in the midst of sorting out the technicalities involved in getting it up and running. We’ll be recruiting volunteers soon to start adding our book titles to the system, in what will be the beginning of a very long but worthwhile process in helping our members, and the rest of the world, get a better idea of the brilliant collections held within our library.


Book title suggestions

Don’t forget that all members are welcome to suggest titles which are not held in the library, for consideration by the Book Selection Committee. The team meet four times per year to decide which books to purchase for the collections, and your ideas and suggestions are invaluable to us.


Social Media

For those who don’t follow us already, a reminder that news about the library can also be found on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. 


Public Access Defibrillator  – a message from Martin Crosfill, Library Member

“A reminder that the Library, alongside the Friends of the Gardens and Pengarth

Day Centre are supporting an appeal for the provision of a public access

defibrillator in the Morrab Gardens.The Gardens are used by people of all ages and it is

hardly necessary these days to point out the value. £2000 is the target, of which we already have over £600. This covers the cost of the apparatus, installation and training. Cash or cheques can be given in at the Library. Cheques should be made out to `Hypatia Trust defibrillator account’. Please support us – it might be you!” 


Lisa Di Tommaso



Upcoming events at the Morrab Library 


Please don’t try and book until the event has been advertised by the Library (approximately one month before the event date).




Friday 21st February 10.30am – tickets still available

Children’s event: Super Storytime with Jak Stringer





Wednesday 4th March 2.00pm – limited tickets still available

A talk, live performance and Q&A by Tunde Jegede on the life and times of 19th century composer and violinist, Joseph Antonio Emidy


Saturday 14th March – 11.00am  – 3.00pm – FULLY BOOKED

Study Day: Ways Into Writing with Anna Murphy


Thursday 19th March 11.00am – 1.00pm

Drop in and chat with five NHS medical students as they present individual displays on a range of topics on medical history, including Sir Humphry Davy’s contribution to the development of anaesthesia, the artist Bryan Pearce’s medical condition and how it affected his art, health beliefs during the time of the plague, Leonardo Da Vinci and his studies of anatomy, and the Theory of the Four Humours.




Saturday 4th April 10.15am – 1.15pm

Study morning: Art and Music in the Tudor Century with Mark Cottle


Wednesday 8th April 2.00pm

Talk: Meet the  occupants of the Elizabeth Treffry Room

Speaker: Maggi Livingstone




Wednesday 13th May 2.00pm

Talk: Dylan Thomas

Speaker: Jak Stringer and Linda Camidge


Friday 29th May 10.30am

Children’s event: Super Storytime with Jak Stringer



Wednesday 10th June 2.00pm

Talk: Being an Artist-in-Residence at Morrab Library

Speaker: Karen Lorenz


Saturday 13th June 11.00am

Talk: The Jews in Cornwall: evacuation from the East End

Speaker: Susan Soyinka


Saturday 20th June 10.00am – 2.00pm

Morrab Library Summer Fete




Wednesday 15th July 2.00pm

Talk: Naval History

Speaker: Professor Andrew Lambert




Wednesday 7th October 2.00pm

Talk: The Building of Buckfast Abbey

Speaker: Mark Cottle




Saturday 21st November 10.00am – 2.00pm

Morrab Library Christmas Fair


Saturday 28th November 1.30-3.30

Morrab Library Volunteer Thankyou Afternoon Tea




Saturday 19th December 1.00pm-4.00pm

Morrab Library Christmas Party

Autumn 2019


2019 is flying by and the library continues to flourish. We have hosted some great talks and workshops, including some wonderful children’s events, and enjoyed hosting our Spring and Summer Fairs. We bid a sad farewell to our Assistant Librarian, Katie Lennon in April, and welcomed Sue Garwood in her place, who has settled in wonderfully. The Library has also upgraded the wifi and introduced other processes to help make the running of the library more efficient. Check the end of this newsletter for a list of remaining events this year, and in particular, don’t forget the Library’s annual Book Fair on 21st September.


From the Chair

Penzance’s new Mayor, Nicole Broadhurst, visited the Library on August 15th, accompanied by Hester Hunt, Town Clerk, and Paula Smith, the Council’s Support Services Manager/Responsible Financial Officer. The visited was instigated by Trustee Tina Clark (who also made the delicious scones we ate at the end of the visit!). Lisa and I showed the councilors around the Library’s rooms where they were very impressed with both the range and age of the books on our shelves. They also met Sandie, Pamela and Hilary from the book restoration and repairing team, hard at work in the basement, before visiting the Photo Archive where Glyn and David explained the archive’s work and shared some of its images. The tour ended in the reading room where Lisa had arranged an impressive display of items from the Library’s Archives. The Mayor’s visit was an opportunity to bring the Town Council up to date on where the Library currently stands, and it’s plans going forward, including digitization and alignment with the National Archives. 


As you know only too well we’ve been plagued with roof leaks over the past few years. These have all been patched up, but on a temporary basis. This is clearly not a satisfactory solution and we are now going ahead with permanent repairs to the roof. We are very grateful to the Tanner Trust who are helping us with the cost of these repairs, which we hope will be completed before the end of the year. 

Peter Chapman – Chair


News from the Photo Archive 

The Photo Archive has created a calendar using some of the historic photos from the Archive, ‘MORRAB LIBRARY 2020’. As we go to press it is in the hands of the printers and will be on sale in the library very soon! A perfect Christmas present for all your friends and relations at home and abroad. 


We have a great team of volunteers in the Photo Archive. We are a friendly bunch with a range of skills that we have learned ‘on the job’. Would you like to join us? At present we need more people to scan prints and negatives and save them on the database. We will show you how to do everything, so as long as you aren’t computer-phobic you will be able to contribute. Training sessions will be on Thursday mornings but after that you can choose a time to suit you to continue the good work. Come and talk to us any Thursday morning or email: or 

David Puddifoot – Photo Archive Manager


A new way of paying…..

Some members may have noticed we have very recently installed a new electronic till system at the reception desk. This means we can now accept payments by card, alongside cash and cheque – an exciting development for the library.This will help to streamline the way we work and help us manage those precious pennies we receive from members and visitors.


National Archives

We are excited to announce that work has now commenced on the project to digitise our Archives catalogue. A small team of volunteers are now transcribing the paper records of our holdings, which allows us to upload our records on to the National Archives catalogue. The DISCOVERY catalogue is available via the web and searchable by anybody throughout the world. It means that Penwith’s history and culture is, deservedly, being shared with an audience beyond the region. The first 92 records created by one of our volunteers are those of the archaeologist J.T. Blight – you can view them on the catalogue via this link:


Other cataloguing news 

By the end of this year, the library will have acquired a new library management system called KOHA. This will allow us to start the very long process of cataloguing all of the books in the library into a searchable online catalogue. The index cards we presently use are not going anywhere for a long time, but the ultimate aim is to create a system where all of the books we hold can be searched for by author, title, dewey number and subject, so we all have a far better idea about the treasures on the Morrab’s shelves (including those high ones!). We’ll keep you updated on progress. 


Book suggestions

Don’t forget, if you would like the library to consider purchasing any new titles, we have a Book Suggestion list where you can add your thoughts. You’ll find this at the library front desk. Our Book Selection Committee meets three times per year where all suggestions are considered. 



A big thank you as always to our amazing team of volunteers who keep the doors to the library open, and for embracing the continual change which is unfolding here. We have welcomed some new faces in the last few months, as well as said goodbye to old friends. Please know that current or past, we are so grateful to all who volunteer in the library in any capacity. A thank you tea for our volunteers will be held on Saturday 23rd November – save the date!


Penwith Local History Group

The Penwith Local History Group (PLHG) has enjoyed a strong relationship with Morrab Library for many years. The group undertake important and fascinating research into West Cornwall and are based here at the library, meeting regularly and making use of our collections. Their latest book, Growing up in West Cornwall, brings to life the experience of childhood in West Cornwall, from as far back as the seventeenth century, taking us up to the 1960’s. Copies of the volume are available to purchase for £10 directly from the PLHG at: , or at the library front desk.


Public Access Defibrillator  – a message from Martin Crosfill, Library Member

Owing to the exigencies of the Data Protection Act, this appeal has been delayed until it can

be incorporated in this newsletter. The Library, the Friends of the Gardens and Pengarth

Day Centre have agreed to support an appeal for the provision of a public access

defibrillator in the Morrab Gardens.The Gardens are used by people of all ages and it is

hardly necessary these days to point out the value. £2000 is the target, of which we already have over £500. This covers the cost of the apparatus, installation and training. Cash or cheques can be given in at the Library. Cheques should be made out to `Hypatia Trust defibrillator account’. Please support us – it might be you! 


Committee News


Comings and goings

We have welcomed a number of new Trustees to the Library Committee this year. Following is a complete list of current Trustees:


Chair: Peter Chapman Vice-Chair: Jak Stringer

Honorary Secretary: Stephen Clark Honorary Treasurer: Julian Little

Honorary Librarian: Ashley Axten Hon. Health & Safety Officer: Tim Kendall-Carpenter


George Care

Tina Clark

Sue Nebesnuick

David Puddifoot

Susan Soyinka

Harry Spry-Leverton


Custodial Trustees: Mary Ellery; David Mann; Jenni Pozzi


Tom Arkell 17 April 2019

We were sad to hear of the passing of Tom Arkell in April. Tom was Chairman of Morrab Library from 1996 to 1999, and helped introduce a number of changes to the library, including its change of name from Penzance Library to Morrab Library.


Annual General Meeting

The date is set for next year’s Annual General Meeting – it will be held on Monday 4th March 2020, venue to be confirmed. We will pass on more information about this meeting in the coming months.


Lisa Di Tommaso


September 2019


Upcoming events at the Morrab Library 


Please don’t try and book until the event has been advertised by the Library.




Saturday 21st September 10.30am – 2.00pm

Event: Morrab Library Annual Book Fair


Tuesday 24th September 2.00pm

Talk: Victoria Osborne-Broad

Guardian of the Stones Book Launch (PLACES STILL AVAILABLE)




Wednesday 9th October 2.00pm

Talk: Martin Crosfill

The Tragic Tale of J.T. Blight


Saturday 12th October 11.00am

Talk: Sue Astles

Harry Ousey


Saturday 19th October 

Study Day: Mark Cottle  – “When England Had Hardly Begun” (FULLY BOOKED)


Saturday 26th October

Talk: Friends of Morrab Gardens – the Red Squirrel Project




Wednesday 6th November

Talk: Sharon Wright

Balloonomania Belles: Daredevil Divas Who First Took to the Sky


Saturday 9th November

Book launch: Melissa Hardie  – Bronte Territories: Cornwall and the Unexplored Maternal Legacy, 1760-1870


Tuesday 12th November 1-4pm

Film Screening:Severn and Somme  – The Life of Ivor Gurney


Wednesday 13 November 2.00pm

Talk: Cornish Records Office

An overview of Kresen Kernow and the Archives and Cornish Studies Service


Saturday 16th November 10.30 – 2.00pm

Event: Morrab Library Christmas Craft Fair




Saturday 7th December 11.00am

Talk: Mark Cottle

Shackleton (reprised)


Wednesday 11th December 2.00pm

Talk: Suzy Williams

Once Upon A Christmas – a talk on all things Christmas: legend, how other countries celebrate, and the origins of the day.


Saturday 14th December 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Event: Morrab Library Christmas Party 


January 2019


A happy new year

The Library team would like to wish all our members a very happy and healthy 2019, and thank you for your continuing support and friendship. After the great success of our very busy Bicentenary year, things may feel a little quieter this year, but we promise there will still be lots of talks, events and classes to enjoy. A list of confirmed events for 2019 is at the end of this newsletter, and more will follow. We won’t be taking bookings for each of the talks until the event is advertised closer to their scheduled time.

A message from the Chair

A Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you had a great Christmas, wherever or however you spent it.

As we move into a New Year it’s worth reflecting, briefly, on our bicentennial which has just ended. It was a successful year, full of events both in the library and elsewhere that ranged from lectures, concerts and storytelling in schools, to the Pop Up Shop and a film screening. These all helped to significantly raise the profile of the library, with the result that we ended 2018 with our membership just over 650. I’d like to thank the staff for all their efforts in this. They managed the weekly (sometimes daily) roster of fully booked events with calm assurance, whilst ensuring the day to day running of the library proceeded as normal.

January is membership renewal month (sorry to raise this matter!) and I’m happy to say that renewals and new memberships are currently running at a higher rate than this time last year.

Going forward in 2019 we’ll continue to develop the library’s services. The first of these will be a new Audio Visual system in the reading room, and an upgrade to the library’s Wi-Fi system. Both of these projects have been funded by The Myner Trust, and we thank them for their generous support. In terms of governance, we have a fully working committee, bar one significant omission – a Health and Safety Officer. So, if any of you have experience in this field and would be prepared to put yourself forward for this role, we’d love to hear from you. Less formally the Management Committee is also seeking to establish sub-committees/working groups in the fields of Human Resources and Fundraising so again, if these are your skills and you’re happy to give your time, please let us know. That’s the end of the appeals.  See you at the AGM on March 4th

Peter Chapman – Chair.  

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General meeting will be held on Monday 4th March from 2.00pm at the Lugger Inn, 3 Marine Terrace, The Promenade, Penzance, TR18 4DL. Proposals for amendments to the  constitution are posted on the notice board in the library providing full details. All members are very welcome to attend – please note however that on voting matters, only one vote per household is permitted.


Thanks to all who have already renewed your annual membership to the Library. For those who haven’t, attached you will find a membership renewal form – could we ask you to complete the form and return it to us with payment, either in person or by post? If you can’t print the form at home, please don’t worry, we can supply a copy when you are next in. If you’d like to pay by Standing Order, a mandate form is attached as well, or is available from library staff. The cost for Household membership remains at £30, and at the moment we can still only accept cash or cheque payments.

200 Centenary Book

At the recent Christmas Party, Steph Haxton and Sue Lewington handed over the ‘200’ year book to the library – celebrating the milestone of the Library’s 200th anniversary. Titled ‘The Uncommon Place’, it is a collection of poems, prose, art and photographs contributed by you, the members over the last twelve months. It is a true labour of love by Sue and Steph, and a stunning and poignant piece of art in its own right. All members are welcome to come and browse its pages. We won’t be leaving it on the open shelves as it is very precious, but we will be very happy to retrieve it for you to enjoy here at the library on request. There is also currently a display in the cabinet at reception which takes a look at the making of the book.

New year, new look website

For those of you with access to the internet, you may have noticed that the Morrab Library website has had a makeover. We have updated the look of the website with plenty of beautiful new images, and hopefully an easier way to navigate your way around the pages to find the information you need. In the coming months, we will refresh and update some of the information on the site, as well as add some new content, including more contributions from you, our members. We’ll keep you posted and be in touch about this – stay tuned!

Digitising the catalogue

The Library Committee has agreed to proceed with initiating the project to digitise our library card index of the book collections in 2019. We are all immensely fond of the card catalogue, but I’m sure many of you will agree that it is sometimes difficult to find books we hold when using it. We aim to get all of our book holdings online so they will be searchable by author, title and subject, allowing you to find books far more easily, and for library staff to manage the collections in a better way. The process will be slow, and take a number of years, so there will be no immediate changes to our current practice, but we all believe it’s an important and exciting way forward for the Morrab to help ensure its longevity, and perhaps one of the most significant steps in its history. We’ll be calling for volunteers to help with the project once we are up and running.

National Archives Scoping Grant

As reported in the last newsletter, we received a grant from the National Archives to engage a qualified archivist to visit and review our historic and important archival collections. We enjoyed a visit in November from Heather Roberts who as well as consulting, also works part-time at the Royal Northern College of Music, who was impressed by not only the collections we hold in the Archive, but by the brilliant indexing work undertaken by the late and greatly missed John Simmonds. Heather provided a range of useful advice to us as to how to move forward with managing our archival collections, with a particular view to making them available on the National Archives ‘Discovery’ catalogue. Exciting prospects ahead, and we shall keep you posted on developments.

A sad loss

It is with great sadness that we tell you that our much loved volunteer Millie Howells passed away on the 18th December. Millie had been a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer since 1989, both in the library in general, and the photo archive, where she embraced change and new technology with relish. She will be sadly missed. Our thoughts go out to her family. An afternoon tea to remember Millie will be held at the library on Thursday 7th February from 2.00pm – all are welcome.


Lisa Di Tommaso


January 2019



Upcoming events at the Morrab Library

These are the events already planned – more will follow in due course. Please don’t try and book until the event has been advertised.


Saturday 2nd March 10.30-12.30

Workshop: Ukuleles in the Library – another chance to take the opportunity to learn or hone your Ukulele skills!

Wednesday March 13th 2.00pm – SOLD OUT

Talk: Jak Stringer

Wilkie Collins Rambles in Cornwall 1850

Saturday 30th March 11.00amSOLD OUT

Talk: Mark Cottle

A talk on the Shackleton Expedition  


Wednesday 10th April 2.00pm

Talk: Timothy Neat

Causley and Clemo – Two Poets Remembered


Saturday 4th May 2.00pm

Event: Morrab Library Spring Fair

Wednesday 8th May 2.00pm

Talk: Stephen Glendenning

Artists who work with books


Wednesday  12th June 2.00pm

Talk: Charlotte MacKenzie

Charlotte discusses her new book, Merchants and smugglers in eighteenth century Cornwall

Saturday 22nd June 10.30am – 3.00pm

Event: Morrab Library Summer Fair


Wednesday 10th July 2.00pm

Talk: Ruth Downie

Stories in Stones: murder mysteries set in Roman Britain


Wednesday 14th August 2.00pm

Talk: Melissa Thorpe

Spaceport Cornwall


Wednesday 11th September 2.00pm

Talk: Mike Griffiths

Listening to the Enemy: the St Erth Radio Station

Saturday 21st September 10.30am – 3.00pm

Event: Morrab Library Annual Book Fair


Wednesday 9th October 2.00pm

Talk: Martin Crosfill

The Stalker – J T Blight


Wednesday 13 November 2.00pm

Talk: Cornish Records Office

An overview of Kresen Kernow and the Archives and Cornish Studies Service

Saturday 16th November 10.30 – 3.00pm

Event: Morrab Library Christmas Craft Fair

Saturday 23rd November 1.30pm  – 3.30pm

Event: Library Volunteer Thank You Afternoon Tea


Wednesday 11th December 2.00pm

Talk: Suzy Williams

Once Upon A Christmas – a talk on all things Christmas: legend, how other countries celebrate, and the origins of the day.

Saturday 14th December 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Event: Library Christmas Party