Cumbria Archive Service - latest news

Extension of opening hours at Cumbria Archive Centres from 4 August 2021

We are pleased to announce that opening hours at Cumbria Archive Centres will be extended from 4 August 2021. These are as follows:

Barrow Archive Centre: Wednesday to Friday: 9.30am to 1pm; 2pm to 5pm (closed between 1pm to 2pm)

Carlisle Archive Centre: Wednesday to Friday: 9.30am to 1pm; 2pm to 5pm (closed between 1pm to 2pm, the Victorian Kitchen will be open for visitors to stay during the lunch closure but bring your own refreshments). Please also note that Reception at Lady Gillford's House will be closed 12pm to 1pm. Archive users already in the building will be able to exit the building but there will be no admittance of visitors during this hour.

Kendal Archive Centre: Wednesday to Friday: 9.30am to 12.30pm; 1.30pm to 4.30pm (closed between 12.30pm to 1.30pm)

Whitehaven Archive Centre: Wednesday to Thursday: 9.30am to 12.30pm; 1.30pm to 4.30pm (closed between 12.30pm to 1.30pm); Friday 9.30am to 12.30pm

We are continuing to request that researchers book an appointment to visit Barrow, Kendal and Whitehaven Archive Centres. Researchers wishing to visit Carlisle Archive Centre should book an appointment if they wish to consult original documents. There is no need to book if only consulting secondary sources and microfilms.

We encourage researchers to continue to wear face-coverings and sanitise hands. We also ask that you pre-order your document requests by email. There is no obligation to use NHS Test and Trace but QR codes will continue to be available for visitors who wish to use the NHS Covid-19 App.

If you are unable to visit and have shorter enquiries or copy requests, we are responding with an enhanced remote enquiry service. You can also commission paid research to undertake work on your behalf.

Coronavirus in Cumbria: documenting the pandemic in our county

Soap advert, influenza pandemic 1918

The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted on all aspects of life and is likely to have far reaching consequences for individuals, communities and the economy.

All our archive centres and libraries are closed to the public for the first time ever but Cumbria Archive Service continues its work.  We are seeking your help to assist us in recording the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cumbria for future generations.

You can help us create a community archive of Cumbrian pandemic related records, which will be catalogued, preserved and made available for research by doing the following:

  • Write about your experience of the pandemic: this may be about single memory or event; in the form a diary over several days or weeks, or a creative piece (story or poem)
  • Take a photograph which shows how the pandemic has affected you or your community in Cumbria*
  • Produce an audio or video recording about your experiences
  • Collect leaflets/flyers/posters or similar digital content from local government, schools, local businesses, local voluntary or community organisations which provide information about closures, changes in operation, social distancing and efforts to help vulnerable people

*Please note that when taking photographs that you have the consent of any person in the image or that they cannot be identified.

We ask that material for deposit with Cumbria Archive Service should be written, printed, or digital.  All material should wholly or mostly relate to Cumbria for us to accept it.

You can deposit your material with us as follows:

Email digital files and content to (our Barrow office will collect all this material for all the county during the lockdown period).

Post written and printed material to one of our Archive Centres, or hand these over to us when our Archive Centres have re-opened.

It is important that you do not risk your own or anyone else's health whilst gathering this material. Please follow Covid-19 advice issued by HM Government and Cumbria County Council.

For further information please contact Susan Benson at Barrow Archive Centre. Email: