We Celebrated 30 years of working with the North Devon Record Office and North Devon Local Studies Library this month, here are 10 facts about the last 30 years
1. Since we moved into the library building there have been 3 Librarians and 5 Assistant Librarians for the Athenaeum.
The current Librarian and assistant librarian have been in post for 12 years this week. More recently we have also created the post of research assistant who looks after our enquiries and research service.
2. There have been 2 Principal Archivists, 2 Archivists, and 3 Archives Assistants for the Record Office over the last 30 years.
We now work with the North Devon Heritage Officer who is an archivist, and an Archives Assistant.
3. There have been 5 Local Studies Librarians and 9 Library Assistants during the same period.
We now work with three Library Assistants who look after the local studies library.
4. The Longest Serving Staff Member from across the three organisations was Colin.
Colin retired after working with the Record Office for 28 years, having come up with the documents which were transferred from Exeter in 1988.
5. At one time the Beaford Archive was also based in the department.
They have since moved to South Molton an are currently in the middle of a project to digitise and publish over 10,000 images by James Ravillious and Roger Deakins which capture life in North Devon over a twenty year period.
6. During the last 30 years computers have changed the way we do certain things.
Back in 1988 the only way to search the censuses was to use the copies we held on microfiche and, for the most part, these only covered the North Devon area. With the advancement of technology the censuses for the whole of England, Wales and beyond have been made available online. While we still keep the microfiche versions of the censuses, we use the online versions most of the time.
7. All three Organisations work together in the same public space producing a cohesive service.
This means we all have knowledge of each other’s collections and can advise anyone who visits us.
8. We Share the Public Space and Enquiry Desk
When you visit us there will always be two members of staff on duty, from two of the three organisations.
9. We Work Together so Well our Visitors Don’t Always Know Whose Resources they are Using.
While each organisation has its own collections they can and do overlap frequently. We have some of the same books the library has and we have hundreds of items on loan with the Record Office. Our collections compliment each other which enables a visitor to get the most out of their time with us. There are often times when a visitor thinks they are looking at an item from one collection which actually belongs to another.
10. Each Member of Staff has their own Specialist Knowledge and if we don’t know the Answer to something we generally know who does.
While we all have a good knowledge of what is in each of the organisations collections we all have our own areas of specialist knowledge. So if we don’t know the best way to research non-conformist registers of servicemen from the First World War we know which of our staff members from across the organisations does. We also know a few of the local experts on various historical subjects as well.