Discovering Black histories in Cornwall

The events of this summer have led us to look at our archive collections with new eyes, to interrogate them and see what they really reveal about diverse and different histories of Cornwall. This work has only just begun, and we expect to uncover more hidden stories and silenced voices along the way.

We are aware this is an enormous topic, so we have started by focusing on records related to Caribbean history and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. We plan to continue this work with staff, volunteers and students, but wanted to share some of our findings so far. We hope by continuing this work we will challenge conventional views of Cornwall in the past, uncover new voices and stories, and make items like these easier to find in our collections.

This small online exhibition is designed to give you an idea of what we hold. You might also find this Collections Guide useful and interesting.

Please note: we recognise that our catalogue and this exhibition contain some terms which are offensive, and some whose meaning has changed over time.  Such terms exist within some original records and have been retained to inform users of the nature and content of the sources concerned.  They do not reflect the views of the Archives and Cornish Studies Service.  We apologise for any offence that our inclusion of these words may cause.