Skip to main content

Institute of Cornish Studies

Institute for Cornish Studies

Institute for Cornish Studies

The Institute of Cornish Studies combines academic research and teaching with community engagement. It seeks to promote a greater knowledge of historical and contemporary Cornwall.

Our work is disseminated to the public and other academics through publications (including Cornish Studies), an annual conference and a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops.


The ICS has created the Cornish Audio-Visual Archive (CAVA) – a unique collection of recordings relating to Cornwall’s past and present. Subjects covered include agriculture, brass bands, geographical communities, identity, kinship, mining, politics and religion.

The archive is accessible at the Kresen Kernow in Redruth, and we are keen on making its recordings accessible to a wider public through different mediums. 

The development of society, industry and the landscape in our fast changing world is as much of concern … as the history of those vast topics in the recent and remote past.

Charles Thomas, the first Director of the ICS.

Our research

Since its launch in 1971, the ICS has always been concerned with researching Cornwall today as well as in the past. Our current research agenda focuses on broad and related themes, including;

Political Behaviour and Traditions

How distinctive is Cornwall’s political culture? What impact do family, occupational and religious factors have on this culture?

Global Connections

What are Cornwall’s connections in a global context?  Alongside historical and contemporary connections with Celtic nations from Scotland to Brittany, we are looking at the impact of the global Cornish Diaspora in countries like the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Cultural Representations

How is Cornwall portrayed through the arts and media? We are particularly interested in Cornwall’s sense of place in relation to such mediums as written texts, music, storytelling, film and photography. 

Find out more about our research: