Cumbria Libraries aim to collect for reference at least one copy of each book and pamphlet whose subject relates to the county of Cumbria. The collections hold tens of thousands of items, some dating back to the 17th century. The following types of materials may be found in the main collections; County histories (compiled from the 18th century onwards), trade directories (late 18th century to the 1960s), government and local authority publications. Subjects covered are not confined to history but include natural history, planning, social and economic conditions, literature, biography, sport and genealogy. The majority, but not all, of the local studies books, are listed on our online library catalogue
The main local studies collections with specialist staff are listed below.Material in the collections is for reference only but lending copies of many titles are available through the County's lending libraries.