Devon Heritage Services Projects
Here are details of our projects, some of which are being undertaken in partnership with other organisations. In other cases, we are supporting outside projects with source material, resources, and advice.
Some of these projects have been made possible by external funding, and most take place with the help and support of volunteers working in the Devon Heritage Centre, the North Devon Record Office or at home.
This project, initially funded by a grant awarded by the National Archives Cataloguing Grants Programme, is cataloguing some of the Devon County Quarter Sessions records. The original year-long funded project has now ended, but volunteers are carrying on with further cataloguing of Quarter Sessions bundles.
Devon County Council has submitted a large scale funding application to deliver projects commemorating the centenary of the Great War in 2014. Some staff at Devon Heritage Centre have been involved in developing the submission and in informing local community and history groups about the council’s project.
From the Grassroots: an oral history of community politics in Devon
This project, which is supported by a grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to the History of Parliament Trust, began in October 2013. A part-time project coordinator has been appointed and is based at Devon Heritage Centre.
School admission registers dating up to 1914 are to be digitised and the images will be published online. This is the first project under the framework of the new National Digitisation Consortium, which includes up to 120 English and Welsh archives and schools working together to offer records for digitisation. Devon Heritage Centre and North Devon Record Office are both involved in this project, and admission registers deposited as part of school archive collections in both offices will be included.
Interpreting our Medieval Past
Devon Heritage Centre is participating in a collaborative project to explore our medieval charters and manuscripts.
The project has been developed by the University of Exeter and University of Bristol.
This volunteer-run project is providing an on-line finding-aid in the form of an index of all known Devon wills, administrations and inventories prior to 1858, through the Genuki Devon website. Devon Heritage Centre and North Devon Record Office staff have assisted with this project from its inception. In early October 2013 this Devon Wills Index was also launched on the genealogical website Origins.net.
This project in partnership with volunteers from Devon Family History Society and the Friends of Devon’s Archives, has digitised and is indexing shipping registers held at Devon Record Office and North Devon Record Office, and is making the detailed information they hold more easily accessible through our online catalogue.
Funding from Devon County Council has enabled the scanning of Devon’s tithe maps, and a project is still continuing to eventually make these maps, together with their tithe apportionments, available online so that they can be viewed without visiting the Devon Heritage Centre.
This project, which is virtually complete, is part of the Tithe Maps Online project, and involved the transcription onto a spreadsheet of the tithe apportionments for each parish, by a band of volunteers working from home, and using digital copies which we had purchased from the National Archives.
eHive is a collection management system on the Internet. It enables community heritage groups or individuals to share and discover collections online. The community heritage data captured through the Explore North Devon project was migrated to eHive, which will provide a more sustainable and flexible platform for future development. A ‘Devon’s Heritage’ community was set up on the site to which all present and future contributors will be linked. Henceforth, any community heritage group operating in Devon that wishes to present its images, etc., online will be able to sign up and join the growing community. Storage of data is free up to a certain limit, after which there is a modest annual charge. Devon Heritage Services cover the costs of storing the Explore North Devon data, but new members will be encouraged to budget for any costs themselves.
Explore North Devon
This community archives project began in 2006 and enabled individuals or groups to contribute content to a growing digital community archive and to make this available through the Explore North Devon website. North Devon Record Office was one of a number of project partners. The site is no longer active and will eventually be discontinued. Content from this site has been transferred, and is now viewable on the ‘Devon’s Heritage’ community pages on the eHive website.
This project was carried on by all three archive repositories in Devon, in partnership with Devon Family History Society, to produce transcriptions of, or indexes to, unusual records of interest to family historians.
Devon parish registers to go online
Following Plymouth & West Devon Record Office’s agreement with Find My Past to digitise many of its parish registers and make the scanned copies available online, a similar agreement between Devon Heritage Services and Find My Past was finalised, and digitising of the enormous number of parish registers held at Devon Heritage Centre and North Devon Record Office, which began in 2012, is still continuing.
This community heritage project, which was completed in 2013, aimed to continue the legacy of volunteer study and involvement in landscape heritage that has grown through the East Devon Area of Natural Beauty Partnership and the Parishscapes project. It drew on the work of Peter Orlando Hutchinson, a Victorian geological and archaeological researcher, diarist and artist, who spent all his adult life in Sidmouth, Devon. His five volume diaries are held at the Devon Heritage Centre, together with six volumes of his sketchbooks. These have been digitised by heritage centre staff and volunteers, and made available online through the project website.
Tuckers Hall is the home of the Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers & Shearmen in Exeter. Devon Heritage Centre has assisted volunteers working for the Tuckers Hall Heritage Lottery funded project, to digitise the historical records held here.
This project to make the maps held in Devon's archives more readily available to schoolchildren studying their local history was funded by Devon History Society and began in 2012. The material created by the project is yet to be put online.