Cornish studies and records library to unite

The services offered by the Cornish Studies Library and the Cornwall Record Office are to unite under the banner of the Cornwall Archives and Local Studies Service.

The two services are much used by people not only in Cornwall but worldwide and offer an excellent service.

Now access to information on Cornwall and its people is set to improve even further as the new service, to be managed by the Historic Collections Service, will work jointly to offer efficiencies and improved services.

One of the challenges will be to adapt the services on offer to changes driven by the internet. Online catalogues and specialised sites such as Ancestry have transformed the way the public accesses information and have led to a growing demand for on line content. Freely available access to heritage information will increasingly enable the communities of Cornwall to understand and interpret their heritage. By uniting the services currently offered by the Cornish Studies Library and the Cornwall Record Office, the new service will be in a better position to rise to the challenge of providing and managing quality information on Cornwall, its culture and its heritage.

Cornwall County Council's Community Services portfolio holder Jeremy Rowe said: "These days more and more people are taking an interest in Cornwall's history, whether they're trying to trace the origins of their own family or delving into our rich and proud cultural heritage. This change to the way our collection of historic material is managed should make these resources more accessible to everyone, particularly with the growing use of digital technology."

Cait Hutchings, Chair, Libraries, Record Office and museums Single Issue Panel welcomed the development saying: "Cornwall Archives and Local Studies Service is clearly the way forward to produce improvement and accessibility in a vital area of interest in Cornwall. This bringing together is a catalyst to make things happen and to provide clear points of contact for users from all over the world. Digitisation has taken research and information sources into the 21st century. Local communities will be able to access information on line and have 'seamless' access to their history and culture. This is an exciting and progressive step forward".

Based at in a high quality renovation of a historic building at Alma Place, Redruth, the Cornish Studies Library offers printed sources such as books and local newspapers as well as sound recordings and an extensive and important photographic collection.

Based in purpose-built accommodation at Old County Hall, Truro, the Record Office cares for the majority of Cornwall's surviving archival legacy - local government documents, some Public Records, and the records of churches and chapels, landed estates, solicitors, businesses, charities, hospitals, clubs and societies.

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