Information and Reference

Special Collections

The Special Collections held at Exeter Central Library are kept under the care and supervision of the Reference department. They support Devon Library Services aim of helping people of all ages with their reading, learning and information interests. In keeping these collections the aim is to add breadth and depth to the Library Service's exisiting collections and to preserve some of these rare and unique items for future generations.

Access to the Collections

***Please note that the collections are currently unavailable owing to the redevelopment of Exeter Central Library. ***

Photocopying and photography

If you require a photocopy of any material, you will need to consult Library staff. Users may not do their own copying.  Library staff reserve the right to refuse to copy any item they deem too fragile, or too tightly bound, or where they would infringe copyright.

Photography is allowed for personal useonly, with the permission of Library staff.

The Funny Book

Devon Collection of Children's Books

A collection of Children's books containing about 2,000 items mainly dating from before 1940. They were built up over a period of time by bequest, donation and purchase and do not represent any significant individual collection. The titles to 1850 have a detailed listing by the noted children's book historian Marjore Moon (1908-1996) which is available in the Library.

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Rare and Early Printed books

Amongst our earliest items are:........

16th and 17th century books on.....…

Early copies of bibles and books on...

Particular strenghts include

The collection was built up by Exeter City Library since the 1870s by donation, bequest and purchase.

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Pocknell Collection

A collection of shorthand books bequeathed to the Library by Edward Pocknell, a professional shorthand writer and deviser of the Legible Shorthand system.

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Exeter Central Library holds long runs of many famous eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century including: the Gentleman’s Magazine, Blackwood’s Edinburgh magazine, Country Life Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. . In addition, the collection is particularly strong in the areas of art and architecture with conserable holdaings of titles such as  Graphic, The Art Journal, Art Union, and The Architectural Review.

See the Periodical Union List image - PDF icon (146KB - pdf help) for further details

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Collected works

The library holds a considerable collection of Collected works including: The Life and Works of Charles Lamb. London: Macmillan, 1900. The Kirriemuir edition of the Works of J.M. Barrie. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1913. The Works of John Ruskin. (Library Edition - London: George Allen, 1903)


Exeter Central Temporary Library
Castle Street

Telephone: 01392 384206
Fax: 01392 384208