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Devon Archives and Local Studies: Services We Provide

Visiting the Devon Heritage Centre

You can visit the Devon Heritage Centre free of charge all day Tuesday to Friday, and some Saturday mornings.  For more details, see our Planning a Visit page.

Visiting North Devon Record Office

The North Devon Record Office houses archives relating to the North Devon area.  These include the records of North Devon and Torridge District Councils, the boroughs of Barnstaple, Bideford, South Molton and Great Torrington, and Anglican parishes in the North Devon area.  It also holds the records of many individuals, families, businesses, societies, chapels and schools.

Torbay Archive Service

We provide an archive service on behalf of Torbay Council, caring for many thousands of documents relating to the Torbay area.  You can access these at the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter, or via our research service.  We also have three service points in Torbay where you can look at microform copies of historical records for the local area.  These are located at Brixham Heritage Museum, Paignton Library and Torquay Library.

Research and Copy Services

We operate a professional Research & Copying Service to do research on your behalf in the records held at the Devon Heritage Centre and the North Devon Record Office.

For more information, please see the leaflet and information request form below.  Please note that charges apply to this service.  

Devon Local Studies

The West Country Studies Library was opened on 22 October 1975.  It was created from the local studies collection of the old Exeter City Library which had been held in the Exeter City Reference Library, and was supplemented from the collection of local studies material held at the Devon County Library, Barley House.  Most of the latter collection was eventually used to form the core book stock of Barnstaple Local Studies Library.  The West Country Studies Library joined with the Devon Record Office in 2012 to become Devon Archives and Local Studies.  The collection includes more than 45,000 published works relating to the history, people and places of Devon, and over 27,000 illustrations of the county, along with a collection of newspapers, maps and ephemera.  Since 2014 the West Country Studies Library has been located at the Devon Heritage Centre.

Depositing Archives and Books

We are always happy to discuss offers of archives and published items relating to Devon and its history.  We are also grateful to be told about archives that are at risk.  Please see our Depositing Archives and Books page for more details.

Talks and Tours

Staff can give talks on the work of the Devon Archives and Local Studies Service, and provide advice about the sources to use for various aspects of historical research.  Find out more by clicking the link below.


Our community reminiscence sessions bring the heritage resources of Somerset and Devon direct to your group.Guided by trained experts, they are activity rich and allow people to touch, handle, listen and use their senses to stimulate recall.

Publications and Shop

We sell a number of publications, CD-Roms and a small amount of merchandise in our reception bookshop.  These items can also be ordered via email.  To view the available publications and to find out more, please click below.

Services for the Conservation and Preservation of Archive Material

We offer free advice to the public and local organisations.  Training in preservation of archives and some conservation or preservation treatments to private archives can be negotiated, please see the Charges Page.   To contact The Conservation Team, please follow the link.

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