Cumberland libraries and archives

Find your nearest library to access services such as book loans and internet access or use our archive service to find out more about your family history.

Library services

If you live, work or study in Cumbria you can apply for a free library membership. 

It's quick and easy to join the library.

All you have to do is visit your local library with proof of address and some ID (if you study in Cumbria use your term-time address). Give a member of staff your details and you will receive your membership card.

We also have an online only membership that allows access to e-books, audiobooks, virtually every UK daily and Sunday newspaper, many magazines and much more, free of charge! 

If you are already a full library member, these digital services are automatically included in your membership.

Our libraries are about more than just simply books and the printed word. 

There are activities, in-person groups and sessions for you to enjoy. In addition, Carlisle Library is part of a national network of centres - run by The British Library - that provide advice and support to business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors, and people with a business idea. 

Find out more about our libraries.

Archive services

The archive service cares for parish registers, other church records, wills, electoral registers, maps and plans, poor law records, title deeds, and photographs. 

The archives of many families, businesses, local authorities, solicitors, societies and schools also help form a fascinating record of all aspects of life in the county.

We provide:

  • Places in our Carlisle and Whitehaven centres where you can look at the archives
  • An education service for schools, colleges, students and teachers    
  • Information and advice on the preservation and conservation of archives     
  • Facilities for official organisations, churches, businesses and members of the public to donate or deposit archives for safe-keeping   
  • Exhibitions and talks on the work of the service and records in our care.

Find out more about the archive service.