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We hold a wealth of books and manuscripts in our reference library and archive, for use by researchers and visitors.

The Armitt Library houses extensive collections relating to life and work of local writers and artists including Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin, Hardwicke Rawnsley and Kurt Schwitters. We also hold a large Local History collection, an exceptional number of guidebooks from the 18th Century onwards, and the Fell and Rock Climbing Club’s books on climbing and mountaineering.

Our archive is full of documents and images which illuminate the area’s social history, industry and culture. It provides a research resource for students, academics, artists and genealogists.

We are working to make a catalogue of our collections available online. In the mean time, please contact us at to enquire about items or to make an appointment to view material. We are happy to accommodate groups by appointment. Visitors are invited to browse the library and enjoy a quiet moment with any of the books on open-access shelves.