Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre

Cockermouth Castle, Cockermouth.  c.  1903-1919. Raphael Tuck and Sons PostcardsCockermouth Castle, Cockermouth. c. 1903-1919. Raphael Tuck and Sons Postcards. The Newberry

Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre collects and preserves documents relating to the area of West Cumbria surrounded by River Derwent in the North and River Duddon to the South.  

Places covered by the Archive include the areas around Workington, Cockermouth and Whitehaven.

Dating from the twelfth century to the present day, these resources include documents, manuscripts, maps and photographs.  

The collection held by the Local Studies Library includes books, journals, illustrations, reports and other material relating to life in Whitehaven and West Cumbria right up to the present day.

Whether you wish to learn more about the history of a house, conduct research for a school, college or university assignment, research your family history or discover more about a local area, you will find the resources held of use.  

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you require assistance.

If you have any documents relating to the history of the Whitehaven area that you would like to donate to the Archive to preserve them for future generations, they would love to hear from you.

Contact Information for Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre


Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre 
Scotch Street 
CA28 7NL

Telephone Number:

01946 506420



Collections and Opening Hours

For information regarding their location, opening times and collections, please visit their Home Page.  Resources held by the Archive include:

  • 1841-1891 Census Returns for Cumberland
  • 1881 Census Index and Transcript for Cumberland, Westmorland and the Isle of Man
  • 1901 Census Returns for the modern county of Cumbria
  • Business Records
  • Deanery of Copeland 1541-1858
  • Electoral Registers
  • Estate Papers
  • GRO Index 1837-2003

Records held by Whitehaven Records Office also incorporate:

  • Local Authority Records
  • Newspapers
  • Nonconformist Records
  • Official Records
  • Ordnance Survey Maps
  • Probate Records
  • School Records
  • Trade Directories

More collections are available at their Library, which include:

  • Books
  • Journals
  • Reports
  • Original Materials relating to life in Whitehaven and West Cumbria

Location and Directions

A car park is available behind the Archive.  If travelling by bus or train, the Office is a ten minute walk.


Some documents must be ordered in advance of your visit.  For further details of these collections, please visit their Advance Order Collections page.


Two computers are publicly accessible, proving access to many useful websites, including CASCAT, their online catalogue.


Use of a digital camera is permitted in Whitehaven Records Office, but there is a charge for using this service. Some documents may not be photographed because of copyright laws and/or because they are delicate and can be damaged easily.  Use of flash is not permitted and a copyright declaration form must be filled out.


The building is fully accessible, having wheelchair access to all areas.  A lift is also accessible. 

A hearing loop is also available.

Readers' Tickets

Whitehaven Archive and Local Studies Centre is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).

For further details of Record Offices covering the old counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, now called Cumbria, please visit my pages regarding Carlisle Archive Centre and Kendal Archives.

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