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Help and advice for Devon - Archives and Libraries

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

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Devon - Archives and Libraries:

The Record Offices and Local Studies Libraries that come under Devon County Council have been reorganized and amalgamated as Devon Archives and Local Studies (based at the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter with a branch at North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple). These now form part of the South West Heritage Trust, which also encompasses the Museum of Somerset and the Rural Life Museum, in Glastonbury. These developments do not affect the other major Devon archive, the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office, or the Local Studies Library, which are located in Plymouth and come under the Plymouth City Council. Collectively these provide the principal genealogy-related resources in Devon. However the respective reponsibilities and resources of Devon Archives and Local Studies, and of the Plymouth-based services are not easily disentangled - hopefully the links given below will help.

Exeter and Barnstaple:

Plymouth:

Online Exeter, Barnstaple and Plymouth Catalogues:

  • Devon Archive Collection Catalogue Search page. (This presumably replaces the Devon local studies catalogue search page - covering the former Westcountry Studies Library local studies collection, and local studies collections at branch libraries all over Devon.)
  • Plymouth and West Devon Record Office catalogue.
  • Note that the Record Office collections at Exeter, Barnstaple and Plymouth have in significant part been catalogued by the The National Archive (TNA)'s Access to Archives Project. The results of this now-terminated cataloguing project are incorporated in TNA's Discovery catalogue, and can be browsed or searched via their Devon and Local Studies Service and their Plymouth and West Devon Record Office pages.
  • Devon and Cornwall Record Society: a shelf-list of the collections. Covers the Society's own publications, parish register transcriptions, files on a large number of individual parishes and families, etc., etc. (This collection is being housed within the Devon Heritage Centre, but is not covered by the latter's local studies catalogue.)
  • Catalogue of the North Devon Athenaeum (at the North Devon Library & Record Office, Barnstaple).

Previous Exeter and Barnstaple record office websites, prior to amalgamation, now gradually being superceded:

Other websites:

Friends of Devon's Archives web-site - The Friends of Devon's Archives society was formed in 1998 to promote the preservation and use of historical records throughout Devon . . . in close association with the Devon Record Office and the North Devon Record Office".

The Devon Museums web-site hosts information about a growing number of museums across Devon.

Exeter University Library - which provides a link from its Web site to an online catalogue of its holdings.

Exeter Cathedral Library - general information.

Plymouth University Library - has an online catalogue.

Devon page of ArchiveCD Books.

North Devon Maritime Museum - basic information.

Devon section of the catalogue of the extensive holdings of the LDS Family History Centre, Hyde Park, London.

Devon County Council's main web site is becoming large enough to be categorized as an archive - they now have a search service, well worth checking for information on particular places, etc.

Reports of the Committee on Devonshire Records:

  • Brownlow, Canon W.R. (ed.) First Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records: Bodleian Library. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 21 (1889), pp. 123-131. [Index]
  • Chanter, J.R. (ed.) Second Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records: Harding MSS, etc. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 22 (1890), pp. 59-65. [Index]
  • Cotton, R.W. and Brooking-Rowe, J. (ed.) Third Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records: Bodleian Library. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 23 (1891), pp. 150-170. [Index]
  • Brooking-Rowe, J. (ed.) Fifth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records: Phillipps, Dredge, and Plymouth Institution MSS. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 25 (1893), pp. 218-248. [Index]
  • Brooking-Rowe, J. (ed.) Sixth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records: Plymouth Proprietary Library. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 26 (1894), pp. 86-100. [Index]
  • Brooking-Rowe, J. (ed.) Seventh Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records: Plymouth Proprietary Library. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 28 (1896), pp. 110-173. [Index]
  • Brooking-Rowe, J. (ed.) Eighth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records: Plymouth Proprietary Library. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 29 (1897), pp. 79-144. [Index]
  • Brooking-Rowe, J. (ed.) Ninth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records: Plymouth Proprietary Library. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 31 (1899), pp. 120-145. [Index]
  • Leary, Emmeline. (ed.) Hidden Assets: Museums and their archive collections in Devon & Cornwall (1996). [SoG Library: DE/G 107]

Downloadable books on Devon from eBooksRead.

Gray, Todd (ed.) Devon Documents. Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) 228pp. [ISBN 0925836203]
Sun Life insurance: Index to Devon Policies Held at Guildhall Library, London. [Devon FHS Library 368.1]