The Elizabeth Treffry Collection is an important library of books and archive material by and related to, the women of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It is available to consult by appointment in the Elizabeth Treffry Reading Room at Krowji in Redruth. It is an ideal and quiet place to read, research and write.

The Elizabeth Treffry Reading Room is run by Azook on behalf of the Hypatia Trust who created the collection. Please contact us if you would like to make an appointment to visit on weekdays. A librarian is usually available in the room on Thursdays, our designated cataloguing day.

Azook’s team of talented volunteers are working to complete the Elizabeth Treffry Collection catalogue which will be made available online. In the meantime readers are encouraged to engage with and browse the collection.

Elizabeth Treffry Reading Room

About the Collection

In Cornwall, as true all over the world, the worthwhile achievements of women are often overlooked and even suppressed in oral and written histories.  This special collection will play an essential part in re-balancing narratives in Cornish and Scillonian history and literature by sharing the triumphs, stories and arts by women who have lived and worked in the county.

The reading room includes works by internationally acclaimed authors Daphne du Maurier, Helen Dunmore and Virginia Woolf and hundreds of the lesser known who should be found again.  It also highlights histories of great Cornish campaigning women such as Emily Hobhouse, Dora Russell, Judith Cook and many more.  The Hypatia Trust hopes that access to this important collection will provide young women and girls with inspiring role models whose lives were influenced by the place of Cornwall.

The Hypatia Trust

The Hypatia Trust is a registered educational charity in the UK. They support and promote women’s achievements though research and documentation, exhibition, publication and by providing training and educational activities.

The Hypatia Trust was formed in 1996 by Dr Melissa Hardie-Budden to collect and make available, published and personal documentation about the achievements of women in every aspect of their lives.  Central to activities has been the care, development and re-distribution of the Hypatia Collection, a unique set of sub-collections of books, artefacts and archives by and about women.

Elizabeth Treffry

Dame Elizabeth Treffry according to medieval legend, was an aristocrat based at Place House in Fowey and renowned for heroically and successfully rallying troops and defending the town during the French raid of 1457.  Her strategy was allegedly to pour molten lead over the raiders.