The St Ives Fishing Heritage

The St. Ives Fishing Heritage project was set up in 2013 with the aim of promoting the history of the town’s fishing industry in St. Ives and further afield.

It is a joint collaboration between St. Ives Archive and Porthmeor Studios (Borlase Smart John Wells Trust.)

It is supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

The small town of St Ives in the far west of Cornwall has, for more than 600 years, been dependent on the fishing and mining industries and more recently on tourism and artists.

BORLASE SMART JOHN WELLS TRUST

The Borlase Smart John Wells Trust  provides high quality, affordable studios for artists working in Cornwall. It owns possibly the oldest and most celebrated studios in the country: the Grade II* Porthmeor Studios in St Ives which is still shared by fishermen and artists, and the Grade II Anchor Studio and Trewarveneth Studios in Newlyn.  They have hosted some of Britain’s most influential painters, including Ben Nicholson, Patrick Heron, Julius Olsson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Terry Frost and Francis Bacon.

ST IVES ARCHIVE
St Ives Archive opened in 1996 and has collected information on every aspect of the town’s unique history and people including:

  • newspaper articles
  • maps
  • legal documents
  • correspondence
  • catalogues and pamphlets
  • books
  • sound recordings
  • photographs
  • genealogical records

St Ives Archive has volunteers who have special areas of expertise who can help with research, whether it’s a simple query or a detailed research project.

ST IVES ARTISTS
St Ives has a unique and special place in the art world. Material about St Ives artists, galleries and art societies covering the period from the artists’ first arrival before the 1880s to the present time is available for detailed study.

FAMILY HISTORY
For more than 150 years people from St Ives have left the town seeking opportunities elsewhere and now have descendants living all over the world. The archive can help trace people’s St Ives roots using comprehensive data for researching family history and migration. It has access to census returns, baptismal records, burial books, trade directories and transcriptions for all burials in Barnoon Cemetery. 

PHOTOGRAPHS
St. Ives Archive holds an extensive collection of photographs which have been taken over the past 140 years. These clearly document how the area has changed over time. It also has a selection available to purchase.

PROJECTS
St Ives Archive promotes special projects including exhibitions, lectures and the recording of reminiscences from the public to supplement the written material.
One of these projects has been St.Ives Memory Bay. This oral history project is designed to celebrate the heritage of the town by recording reminiscences of members of the local community who have memories of the artists who have worked in St Ives.

STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
The St Ives Archive has a large number of helpful and knowledgeable volunteers who can assist with queries either as a personal caller or by post, telephone and e-mail.
Anyone living in St Ives interested in working with the archive can become a Volunteer.

OUR COMMUNITY
We don’t live in the past! Being a charitable organization the archive plays a major role in the community. It works closely with local schools, colleges and other educational establishments and has links with libraries, museums, art galleries and archives in St Ives and Cornwall.

ACQUISITIONS
St Ives Archive welcomes printed material of all kinds concerning St Ives and its people.

FUNDING, MEMBERSHIP AND DONATIONS
St Ives Archive is funded through membership subscriptions, donations, sales of books and photographs and other fund raising activities.

Although visits are free, a small charge is made for research work.

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