Monday 12 March 2012

Devon Studies Open Day

With thanks to Beryl Evans from the Federation of Family History Societies (

First Devon Studies Open Day at the Devon Record Office

This event, organised by the Friends of Devon’s Archives and the Devon Record Office, Great Moor House, Sowton, Exeter, will be held on Saturday, 17 March, 2012, from 10.00 to 4.00. Admission is free.
For the first time local history groups from across the county will get together at the archives to show Devonians what local history is all about.

The event includes:
  • A series of lectures, one of which will be given by the Chairman of Devon County Council who has a doctorate in history
  • Tours of the strong rooms through the several miles of ancient documents.
  • An opportunity to speak to specialists on how to start doing your family history.
  • The search room is being given over to groups to showcase what they do and explain how to do local history research.
  • Advice will be offered to members of the public on how to conserve their own personal documents.
  • The launch of the Great War Project in which local history groups will be given access to the county’s list of the 12,000 men and women who died in the 1914 to 1918 war.

This is the first event of its type and is meant to highlight the great work being done across the county.

Open Day Programme

10 a.m. Doors Open
10.30 a.m. Official Opening
Councillor Roger Croad (Devon County Councillor for Ivybridge and DCC Cabinet Member with responsibility for Environment and Community Services)
Preservation Advice Sessions:
10.30 a.m., 12 noon, 1.30 p.m., 3 p.m. (advance booking is advised - 01392 384253 /

Tours of Devon Record Office Strong rooms:
10.30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11.30 a.m., 12 noon, 1.45 p.m., 2.15 p.m., 2.45 p.m., 3.15 p.m.
Devon Record Office Enquiry Desk (Open 10-4)
Devon Family History Society Advice Centre (Open 10-4)

11 a.m. Introduction by Dr Todd Gray, including the launch of the Friends of Devon’s Archives report ‘The State of Devon’s Archives in 2012’
11.30 am Launch of the Great War project
12 noon ‘Devon Diaries’, by Jill Drysdale (Friends of Devon’s Archives)
1 p.m. ‘County Governance - The Long Perspective’ by Dr.Phil Norrey (Chief Executive, Devon County Council)
2 p.m. ‘Researching Devon’s Gardens’ by Josephine Brown (Josephine Brown Heritage Consulting)
3 p.m. ‘The Quakers and Topsham’ by Emeritus Professor Christopher Holdsworth (University of Exeter)

There will be a large range of displays staffed by representatives of local history groups and other societies, including the Friends of Devon’s Archives, the Devon History Society and the Devon Gardens Trust.
Representatives will also be present from the North Devon Record Office, the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, the Westcountry Studies Library and Devon Adult and Community Learning.

11 a.m. Meeting of representatives of Devon Record Office Service Points
1 p.m. Meeting of representatives of local history societies
2 p.m. Meeting of stakeholders
3 p.m. Meeting of societies affiliated to the Devon History Society
4 p.m. Event Ends


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