Bartlett Library

The Bartlett Library houses a diverse collection of maritime reference books, periodicals and archive material for public consultation and reference, admission free.

The resources in the library contain information on many types of boat and their construction and usage, and help to provide deeper knowledge and understanding of our maritime heritage and the maritime heritage of Cornwall.

The core of the library collection was donated by J. V. Bartlett Esq, whose interest in all types of maritime craft prompted him to start a library collection in 1945. Since this time this collection has grown to include around 19,000 maritime reference books.

You can access the Library catalogue here or using the link on the right of this page.

The Book Collection
The library’s core collection falls within three main categories.

  • Boats; with a special emphasis on material relating to the Museum’s boats – the National Small Boat Collection.
  • The Maritime Reference section; which includes an extensive run of Lloyd’s Registers of Shipping and similar publications from 1788 to date, a comprehensive run of Mercantile Navy Lists from the 1860’s, fully supported by a wide range of books covering such diverse topics as fishing boats, shipping company histories and aircraft carriers. While the library does not specifically focus on naval history, it does hold a representative selection of books on naval subjects.
  • Periodicals, Magazines & Journals; embracing many elements of maritime enterprise from boating for pleasure to pure academic research.

Conserving the books
Many of the books are rare or original. Specialist cleaning and conservation work is carried out by a dedicated team of Heritage volunteers from the Falmouth Decorative and Fine Arts Society.