The Friends of Devon's Archives undertake projects aimed at widening access to and encouraging the study of Devon's written heritage. The success of these projects depends on the active involvement of volunteers whose enthusiasm and time commitment is greatly appreciated. For more information about how to become involved in any current Friends projects, please contact us (using details on our contact page). Details of current and past projects are available below.
John Norden's survey of Devon manors, c. 1613.
Devon Document Donor Card
Eighteenth century Devon: people and communities (website)
Tithe apportionments project (website)
Devon World War One Roll of Honour Project (website)
Devon maps and mapmakers (publications)
Black history, a survey and list of references by Dr Todd Gray
A note on the lands of the feofees of St Sidwell's, Exeter, by Sue Jackson
I have one proper archive research project on-going and another project that rather more indirectly taps into the archives. My 'proper' archive research is on land-use and agriculture in Northern Devon using the Tithe Survey. I use the online pdfs of the Tithe Apportionment and transcribe these to get my data. I have published odds and ends from this in the Devon Historian. I have not been very consistent with this as I keep adding new parishes! I have field names, area (converted to decimal acres) land-use and the details of ownership and occupation.
My more indirect research is on North Devon in the Newfoundland fishery. I am on the organising committee of the Bideford event in the DA Devon Newfoundland programme and my fellow North Devonians are remarkably ignorant of this vital part of our maritime history and the source of the great wealth of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In the histories of the Newfoundland fishery, there is always more attention paid to the role of South Devon and Poole, as these areas persisted far longer in the fishery than did North Devon, which dropped out at about the time of the Seven Years' War, for reasons that no-one is completely certain about. I have been able to use the transcriptions of the Public Records of the Naval Commodores at Newfoundland made by Peter Pope at Memorial University in St John's and thus have names of ships, masters and details of the fishery. I make no claims for original research but we in North Devon should be more aware of all of this and I hope that the posters I am making and talks I shall give will put the Newfoundland connection to the fore.
I would be happy to hear from anyone with similar interests and willing to share ideas and insights.
I have been working on Charles Hall, an eighteenth century economic writer and theorist.
Little is known about his life. I have been working on him for three years in Devon, Somerset, and various other archives including the National Archives. I have discovered amongst many other things that he was born in Salcombe Regis in 1739 and from about 1795 rented a farm from William Baring Gould at Lew Trenchard near Tavistock, prior to that he lived in Braunston Northamptonshire. I am currently preparing a paper for an academic journal on his life and thought.
If members or their friends know of any living relatives of Charles Hall, I should be delighted to hear from them.
My researches over many years cover all aspects of book history in Devon, London, the rest of the British Isles and various parts of the wider world.
Devon book history studies are detailed on my Exeter Working Papers in Book History website. Some examples of specific projects are given below.
Election ephemera, particularly for the period 1760-1900.
Broadside ballads, including the collections amassed by Sabine Baring-Gould.
Watermarks, particularly on printed ephemera 1760-1830, as well as other studies on papermaking.
Correspondence of Richard Lapthorne in London with Richard Coffin in Alwington, book trade references 1683-1697.
Sabine Baring-Gould's Library, now split between the University of Exeter, Lewtrenchard Manor and the Devon Heritage Centre.
Exeter Library's early printed book collection, and other special collections.
Devon bibliography, an attempt to revive and continue the Devon Union List and Devon bibliography in the digital age, particularly to improve the recording of current output of publications, both printed and on-line.
Somers Cocks Devon Topographical prints, which seeks to make available once more the Etched on Devon's Memory image bank of some 4,000 views of Devon from 1660 to 1875 which was recently "lost in transit" and is no longer easily accessible by researchers.
Among my various ongoing research projects are the following: