Barrow Archive Centre

Information on opening hours, sources and local studies available at this archive centre.


This centre provides:

  • one public access computer in the Archive Centre and one in the Local Studies Library to allow brief 'look-ups' of a limited selection of useful websites containing local sources, including CASCAT, Ancestry and Find My Past
  • wheelchair access
  • vending machine and seating area available in adjoining library

Sources available at this archive centre

Original historical documents relating to the area of Furness (Lancashire North of the Sands) and South West Cumberland, particularly for Barrow, Ulverston and Millom. 

These include: 

  • Church of England Parishes 
  • Nonconformist Churches 
  • Local authorities 
  • Civil Parishes 
  • schools 
  • businesses and industries 
  • landed estates 
  • solicitors 
  • societies

Significant collections

These include:

  • Estate papers of the Duke of Buccleuch, reflecting the local iron ore industry c1854 to 1963 (BDBUC)
  • Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd. including gun mounting drawings c1898 to1950 (BDB 16 and others)
  • Hodbarrow Mining Company Ltd 1824 to 1969 (BDB 21)
  • Millom Hematite Ore and Iron Company Limited (and associated companies 1824 to 1970 (BDB 47)

Other materials

These include:

  • Ordnance Survey maps
  • local studies collection of photographs
  • slides
  • postcards
  • pamphlets

Local studies library

Microfilms of Church of England and Non-conformist churches registers of Baptism, Marriage and Burial. Cemetery records (on microfiche) and some indexes for Barrow, Dalton, Ulverston, Grange-over-Sands.

Newspapers (on microfilm) including: 

  • Soulby's Ulverston Advertiser 1848-1914
  • Barrow News 1883-1985 
  • North Western Daily/Evening Mail 1898-current
  • Lancaster Gazette

The library holds books relating to Barrow, Furness and the counties of Lancashire, Cumberland and Westmorland.  A selection will be available in the library but the rest can be requested. There is also a collection of periodicals, most of which need to be requested:

  • Chetham Society
  • Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society
  • Fell and Rock Climbing Club Journal
  • Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire
  • Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society
  • Lancashire and Cheshire Naturalist
  • Lancashire Parish Register Society
  • Northern History
  • Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire
  • Surtees Society

Census returns for Furness and Cartmel areas, and South Cumberland including Millom, 1841 to 1901 with some printed indexes.

Collections that require advance ordering

Some collections may need to be ordered in advance, this is because they are either stored at our Carlisle outstore or need additional time for us to produce them at Barrow. 

Before you visit this centre, check our advance order collection page.

Book a visit

Book a visit to the Barrow Archives Centre

Make an order in advance

There are a number of records that require prior ordering before visiting this archive centre.

For more information on which collections these are, read our prior ordering page on the Cumbria archives website.

Deposit records

If you would like to deposit or donate records, before you visit you'll need to read our depositing records page on the Cumbria archives website.

Sign up for an Archive Card

If you want to see original archives you will need to obtain or already have a valid Archives Card.

Sign up for a Archives Card

How to get here

Buses to Barrow stop on Duke Street across the road from the Archive Centre.

It's a 5 to 10 minute walk to train station. Trains run to Barrow from Carlisle, and from Preston and Lancaster.

Parking in the area is limited to 2 hours. Free parking available at west end of Duke Street; pay and display car park behind Town Hall on Duke Street.


Barrow Library
Ramsden Square
LA14 1LL
United Kingdom


There is disabled access to this building.

Opening times

Open Wednesday to Friday: 9.30 am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm (closed 1pm to 2pm)

Local Studies Library

The library is open:

Monday to Thursday: 9.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm
Friday until 5pm
Saturdays: 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm


Barrow Archive Centre and Local Studies Library