We are very happy to have digitised over 10,000 previously unseen photographs of North Devon and are in the process of making these available online for the first time. These photographs by James Ravilious and Roger Deakins capture life in rural Devon over a twenty year period starting in the early 1970s and provide an unparalleled view of Devon’s landscape, its communities and agricultural practice.
We’re in the middle of a 3 year-long project funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, digitising a carefully curated selection from almost 80,000 photographs and contact sheets, alongside accompanying materials such as Oral History interviews that we are continuing to collect over the next year. Do keep an eye out and subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear about new photographs and interviews as they get added to the site.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of data to gather and we don’t pretend to have all the information about who is in every frame or even where all of the photographs were taken. For this, we need you! Once on the archive site, you can search and add comments. Do share any information you have - even if you think it’s a little detail, this could have huge significance for future generations. We want as many people involved as possible so please: explore, join the conversation, and help us spread the word.
If you’re not sure what to search for, let us guide you through a curated selection of the newly released photographs. The collections under Our Land, Our Lives and Our Future include photographs of interest from a social history perspective and include comments by academics and people connected to the Archive. You can also find a selection of James Ravilious' well-known photographs in the Best & Good Selection, which James classified as his best photographic works. Click on an image below to explore.
If you’re looking for something specific - a place, a theme or a person - you can start your search now. All of the Archive photographs have been tagged to help you find what you’re looking for. This is the place you can add your own comments, thoughts, musings or help us fill in any blanks. Click into the archive!