Monday, 29 June 2015

Bibliography in Devon

Bibliography in Devon, past, present and future
Early library listings
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre.

There have been booklists ever since the 1070 list of Leofric's donations. There are later Cathedral listings in 1327 and 1506, the latter mentioning printed books: "impressorie artis".
James Davidson
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre.

Davidson, James. Bibliotheca Devoniensis; a catalogue of the printed books relating to the county of Devon. - Exeter : William Roberts , 1852 Format: [6],226p ; 23cm.WSL: 016/DEV/DAV
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre.

Davidson, James. Bibliotheca Devoniensis : supplement. - Exeter : William Roberts , 1861 Format: [112]p ; 21p. WSL: 016/DEV/DAV.
The first person to attempt to get a grip on the printed output relating to Devon was James Davidson (1793–1864), antiquary and bibliographer. He was the eldest son of James Davidson of Tower Hill, London, a stationer and printer. In the early 1820s Davidson bought the estate of Secktor, near Axminster, and enlarged the small cottage there. Here he lived for the rest of his life, interesting himself in Devon antiquities in general, but concentrating especially on the topography and history of the parishes in and around the valley of the Axe. His works on this district were: The British and Roman Remains in the Vicinity of Axminster (1833); History of Axminster Church (1835); History of Newenham Abbey, Devon (1843) and Axminster during the Civil War (1851). He left behind in manuscript four volumes of notes on almost every church in Devon, the results of many country rambles. His most significant work was, however, the Bibliotheca Devoniensis: a Catalogue of the Printed Books Relating to the County of Devon (1852) and its supplement (1861). It did not include a bibliography of the works of Devon authors but within the limits of Davidson's scheme it was an accurate and complete catalogue. Davidson spared neither pains nor expense, and the libraries in London and the universities were fully checked. His extensively annotated copy of the bibliography and manuscripts listing additional material are in the Devon Heritage Centre.
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre.

Davidson, James. Literary collections for Devon. WSL: s016/DEV/DAV
Davidson, James. Literary collections for Devon: appendix. WSL: s016/DEV/DAV
Davidson died at Secktor House, Axminster, on 29 February 1864. Many of his manuscript compilations passed into the hands of Joshua Brooking Rowe, who bequeathed them to Exeter City Library. Davidson's eldest son, James Bridge Davidson (1824–1885), a lawyer, who shared his antiquarian interests, died unmarried in London. Many of the books included in the Secktor House library, which was formed by the father and the son, were sold by William George of Bristol in 1887. The extensive collection of Devon pamphlets was bequeathed to the Plymouth Institution and was destroyed during the Second World War.
Other early bibliographies
Wright, William Henry Kearley. A plea for a Devonshire bibliography : a paper on librarians and local bibliography. - Plymouth : W.H.Luke , 1885. - 16p ; 17cm. WSL: s010/DEV/WRI
Worth, Richard Nicholls. The Three towns bibliotheca : a catalogue of books, pamphlets, papers. - Plymouth : Plymouth Institution , 1872-. - 352p ; 22cm. WSL: s016/PLY/WOR
Adams, Maxwell. An index to the printed literature relating to the antiquities, history and topography of Exeter. - Trans. Dev. Assoc. v.33 , 1901. WSL: B/EXE/016/ADA
Later bibliographers also undertook work in particular fields, Dredge on early imprints:
Dredge, John Ingle. Devon booksellers and printers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Privately printed, 1885-91. - Reprint of articles which originally appeared in Western Antiquary:
[Original paper]: vol. 5 (1885), p.1-8,25-32.
Supplementary paper no. 1. Vol. 5 (1885), p.112-114,119-123.
Supplementary paper no. 2. Vol. 6 (1887), p.97-100,121-125,153-156.
Supplementary paper no. 3. Vol. 10 (1891) p.9-12,34-36,103-105,126-128, 151-154.
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

Dredge, John Ingle. A few sheaves of Devon bibliography. In: Transactions of the Devonshire Association:
The first sheaf. Vol. 21 (1889), p.498-548.
The second sheaf. Vol. 22 (1890), p.324-356.
The third sheaf. Vol. 24 (1892), p.476-526.
The fourth sheaf. Vol. 25 (1893), p. 552-601.
The fifth sheaf. Vol. 28 (1896), p.547-605.
The sixth sheaf. Vol. 31 (1899), p.331-355. Compiled posthumously from his notes.
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

Brushfield, T.N. A bibliography of Sir Walter Ralegh Knt, 2nd edition. - Exeter : James Commin , 1908. - 181p,plates : ill,ports ; 23cm. - Expanded edition of work originally published: 1886. WSL: 012/ RAL
Printed library catalogues
The main additional sources for the bibliography of Devon were the printed catalogues of the public libraries in Exeter and Plymouth.
Plymouth Public Library. Index catalogue of the reference department including the Devon & Cornwall library. - Plymouth : W.F.Westcott , 1892. - This collection was largely destroyed in World War 2. References are to accession numbers. Imprints are not given, and the place of publication is not always recorded for non-London items.
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

... and the series of catalogues of the Devon and Exeter Institution's library including this 1863 listing.
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

Devon and Exeter Institution Library. Catalogue of the Devon and Exeter Institution library Exeter : Printed by W.Balle 1863. sB/EXE/017.2/DEV
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

- Appendix to the catalogue. - Exeter : William Pollard , 1880. WSL: sB/EXE/017.2/DEV.
Plymouth Institution. Catalogue. 1894 s019.2/PLY/PLY
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

Plymouth Athenaeum. Catalogue of the Davidson collection of pamphlets etc in the library at the Athenaeum. - Plymouth : Plymouth Institution , 1894. s019.2/PLY/PLY - This collection was destroyed by bombing in 1942. It gives place of publication but not imprint. These are particularly important in view of the effects of the blitz in Plymouth and Exeter.
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

Plymouth Public Library. Catalogue. 1854. s019.2/PLY/PLY
There were other important local libraries in the 19th century. In some cases their catalogues were only published later:
Tavistock subscription Library. History and catalogue. 1999 WSL: p027/TAV/TAV. 
South Devon Library, Totnes. 1857. WSL: s017/TOT/SOU. 
Barnstaple Literary and Scientific Institution. 1862. WSL: s060/BAR/BAR. 
North Devon Athenaeum. Catalogue. Supplement. 1908. 
Bideford Library. Catalogue of the Pearse Chope Collection. 1949.
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

Royal Albert Memorial. Catalogue of the reference library. 1901. WSL: sB/EXE/018.1/ROY
An important development was the foundation of Exeter Public Library in 1870. From the start the scope of the local studies collection was Devon and the adjoining counties, making it a major collection of regional significance. The librarian from 1902 to 1946 was Harry Tapley-Soper, an energetic supporter of bibliographical endeavour in Devon. Between 1911 and 1945 he contributed "Some recent Devonshire literature" to the Devonian Year Book.
Reginald Burnet Morris
All the sources mentioned above, as well as catalogues of national collections and booksellers' catalogues, were trawled through by Reginald Burnet Morris, the Devonshire Association's Recorder of Bibliography who worked on it virtually single-handed for more than a quarter of a century between 1914 and 1940. 
Burnet Morris. Reports on Devon bibliography. In: Devonshire Association Report and Transactions , 1916-1941. WSL: PER/DEV 
Burnet Morris Index. Devon Heritage Centre search room. 
Devon Library Service. The Burnet Morris Index 1940-1990 : a guide prepared to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the completion of the index. – Exeter : Devon Library Services , 1990. WSL: p016/DEV/DEV
On 18 February 1915 the Council of the Devonshire Association appointed a committee to compile a bibliography of Devon which was to include:
a. Works of persons born or resident in Devon
b. Works printed in Devon
c. Works written wholly or partly in Devon
d. Works relating wholly or partly to Devon or Devonians
The Committee included the City Librarian Harry Tapley-Soper and such familiar names to students of Devon history as R. Pearse Chope and Beatrix Cresswell. It would appear however that another committee member, Reginald Burnet Morris, had started gathering material on his own initiative as early as July 1914.
Burnet Morris was born in London in 1859 and after taking a degree at Trinity College, Cambridge he practised as a barrister until he was 45. He then retired to Devon (his father was a native of Exeter) to devote himself to genealogical and historical studies. He became a member of the Devonshire Association in 1909.
In his first annual report in 1916 Burnet Morris notes that it had been difficult to obtain the services of many workers during a time of war. Nevertheless 46,000 slips had already been filed in three sequences: the author catalogue, place index and subject index, separately arranged in drawer boxes in what he described as "lexicographical order". These boxes, which were to grow to a total of 424, were kept in Burnet Morris's house, at first in Exmouth and later in Teignmouth, where they were available for consultation. In 1939 as many as 114 inquiries were made without fee.
The Committee only continued for eight years. During its lifetime the Council of the Devonshire Association resolved in 1921 that the index be deposited in Exeter City Library on condition that the public had access to it daily during library hours and without fee. After the Committee was dissolved in July 1923 Burnet Morris continued alone as the Association's Recorder of Bibliography, presenting a total of twenty-six annual reports through which the growth of the index can be traced.
Unfortunately for bibliographers (but perhaps fortunately for historians) Burnet Morris confused a bibliography with an index and the vast majority of the 1,000,000 plus cards in the massive index now sprawled like a stranded bibliographical leviathan in the search room of the Devon Heritage Centre are to single line references in larger works. Some attempt was made to continue the index after 1940 when Burnet Morris passed it to Exeter Central Library.
As early as 1919 we learn that Burnet Morris was including "miscellaneous notes". Apart from vivid descriptions of his visits in search of parish registers these increasingly included detailed analysis of a wide range of documents. It is because of the incorporation of this analytical material that his life's work is referred to as the Burnet Morris Index rather than the Burnet Morris Bibliography.
In October 1940 he filed the millionth card in the index and, because his eyesight was failing, he retired and the index was deposited in the Exeter City Library on 31 October 1940.
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

SECTION 1: Authors (drawers 1-291, fiches prefixed with A)
SECTION 2: Places (drawers 292-391, fiches prefixed with P)
SECTION 3: Subjects (drawers 392-415, fiches with prefix S)
Coverage includes:
  • Books and pamphlets. Details obtained from direct inspection as well as from bibliographies and catalogues of libraries, booksellers' and auction catalogues.
  • Reference works. Details extracted from directories, year-books, almanacks, biographical dictionaries, registers of universities and inns of court, army and navy lists, peerages, landed gentries etc.
  • Ephemera. Ballads, broadsides etc from catalogues of various collections.
  • Manuscripts. Details obtained from Public Record Office calendars, PRO lists and indexes, Historical Manuscripts Commission reports, publications of record societies, indexes of probate records, published and unpublished catalogues of manuscripts in the British Museum, the Bodleian Library, Lambeth Palace Library, Somerset House etc. A personal survey of parish records in the county.
  • Maps and plans. Details from the British Museum catalogue of printed maps and other sources.
  • Monumental inscriptions.
  • Illustrations. Details of portraits, topographical prints and paintings by local artists from art gallery catalogues and other sources.
  • Music. Songs etc. from the British Museum catalogue of printed music and other sources.
  • Newspapers. Details from the Times Tercentenary Handlist, British Museum catalogue etc.
  • Cuttings and references from local and national newspapers, mainly for the period 1915-1940.
  • Official publications. Statutes, bills, parliamentary papers, references in the London Gazette.
  • Periodicals. National and local titles, including school and parish magazines, learned society publications etc.

Fortunately the Burnet Morris Index was evacuated before the firebomb attack of 1942 which destroyed so much of the Library's collections. By 1946 it had been moved back to the wreck of the old building where it suffered from damp and mould under a leaky roof. The City Librarian N.S.E.Pugsley had it dried out and rehoused in the temporary reference library in Rougemont House.
Suggestions for continuing the index were made as early as 1941 when John Benson wrote to the Association. Burnet Morris added 7,300 extra slips after his retirement. The index slips compiled by Mr. Waterfield for the Transactions of the Devonshire Association were partially incorporated and slips were also produced by Colonel and Mrs Hughes from indexes in printed Public Record Office calendars published after Burnet Morris's recordership had ended. Burnet Morris died on 24 February 1952 without having left a detailed code of practice to assist in the arrangement and continuation of the index. Mr Pugsley rightly avoided the temptation of adding to Burnet Morris's highly individual compilation. In 1963 he gave a paper to the Association on the future of the Index, among other things proposing that it be microfilmed and that a committee be set up to consider its continuation
No further action appears to have been taken but when the new Library was opened in 1965 it was moved in new cabinets to the Cresswell Room adjacent to the reference library. A further move was made when the Westcountry Studies Library was opened in 1975. Over the years the index was heavily used by researchers and many cards were misplaced or lost. On the fiftieth anniversary of its completion in 1990 was possible with the generous assistance of the Genealogical Society of Utah to sort the index into order, remove the items which were added later without regard to Burnet Morris's principles, and to microfilm it. The film was jacketed but never labelled, so the original cards are still used.
The situation of local studies libraries in Exeter changed after local government reorganisation in 1975 and the establishment of the Westcountry Studies Library, which merged the collections in Exeter Central Library and the County Library headquarters at Barley House and began to tackle the immense backlog of local studies cataloguing.
The Devon Union List
Brockett, Allan A. The Devon union list (D.U.L.) : a collection of written material relating to the county of Devon. - Exeter : University Library , 1977. - iii,570p ; 22cm. WSL: 016/DEV/DEV.

Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre
About that time Allan Brockett, a librarian at Exeter University Library, started work on the Devon union list, basing his listing on the catalogues of the main libraries in the county. He had a hard task. Many catalogues were lacking in detail and the Westcountry Studies Library catalogue was still the manuscript stock record. Nevertheless in 1977 the University of Exeter published The Devon union list : a collection of written material relating to the county of Devon, compiled by Allan Brockett. Of the 8,300 titles listed the majority were from the Westcountry Studies Library.
The Devon bibliography
In the hope of continuing this record the Devon History Society initiated the annual Devon bibliography. This was compiled by Geoffrey Paley, former Westcountry Studies Librarian, largely from information supplied by the Westcountry Studies Library, until his death in 1984. From 1985 it was taken over by Devon Library Services. The Devon bibliography began to appear in digital format on the County website from 1998. The last printed version covered the year 2000 and the annual compilation ceased in 2005.
Special Devon bibliographies
A number of special bibliographies have appeared since WW2:
Blackwell, Alfred E. Lundy bibliography. - Lundy : Lundy Field Society , 1956. - 8p ; 21cm. Reprinted from: Lundy Field Society. Tenth annual report. WSL: p016/LUN/
Holbrook, A. Lundy Island : a bibliography. - Bath : Bath University Press , 2000. - [iii],79p ; 30cm. - ISBN 0861971272. Only 12 copies produced for limited distribution. WSL: sx016/LUN/HOL.
Somers Cocks, John Vernon. The Dartmoor bibliography : non-fiction. - Exeter : Dartmoor Preservation Association , 1970. - vi, 66p ; 21cm. - (Dartmoor Preservation Association. Publications no. 6). - ISBN 0950138606. WSL: 016/DAR/SOM.
- Supplement no. 1 - Summer 1974. - Yelverton : Dartmoor Preservation Association , 1974. - 12p ; 21cm Ref. no.: ISBN 0950138614 WSL: 016/DAR/SOM.
- Supplement no.2. - Plymouth : Dartmoor Preservation Association , 1979. - [17]p ; 21cm (Dartmoor Preservation Association. Publications no. 6B). WSL: p016/DAR/SOM.

Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre
Hamilton-Leggett, Peter R. The Dartmoor bibliography 1534-1991 : including a 1992 supplement : non fiction. - Exeter : Devon Books , 1992. - xii,365p ; 24cm. ISBN 0861148738 WSL: 016/DAR/HAM.
- Supplement no 1, July 1993. - Walkhampton : The Author , 1993. - 40p ; 21cm. 30 sets run off for distribution from master supplied by author. WSL: 016/DAR/HAM.
Miles, Roger. The Exmoor bibliography : revised up to 31 December 1989 / compiled by Roger Miles and Victor Bonham-Carter. - Dulverton : Exmoor Society , 1990. - 46p ; 21cm. ISBN 0900131675. WSL: p016/EXM/MIL.
Pike, John R. Torquay, Torbay : a bibliographical guide. - [Torbay] : Torbay Library Ser. , 1973. - 86p ; 22cm Ref. no.: ISBN 0901842176 WSL: 016/TOR/PIK.
Pike, John R. Paignton, Torbay : a bibliographical guide / by John R.Pike, Vernon F.Palmer and Hilary J.Barrett. - Torquay : Torbay Borough Council , 1974. - 57p ; 21cm Ref. no.: ISBN 0901842176 WSL: B/PAI/0001/PIK.
Pike, John R. Brixham, Torbay : a bibliographical guide. - : Torbay Library Services , 1973. - 24p : ill ; 21cm . WSL: B/BRI/0001/PIK.
Torbay Library Services. The hundred of Heytor 1973 : a guide to the printed sources. - Torquay : The Library , 1973. - 39p ; 22cm. ISBN 0901842184. New ed. of 1967 ed.; incorporates 2 supplements & new material WSL: 016/HEY/TOR.
East Devon:
Ramsden, J.V. Bibliography of the parishes of east Devon, except Exeter. - : Typescript , 1947. - [45]leaves ; 33cm. WSL: sx016/DEV/RAM.
Periodical articles:
Library Association. Subject index to periodicals : Devon. 1954-1961. - London : Library Association , 1955-1962. - 26cm. WSL: sx016/LIB/BOX.
British humanities index : Devon regional list 1962-66. - London : Library Association , 1963-1967. - 1 vol ; 25cm. WSL: 016/DEV/BRI.
Raymond, Stuart A. Devon : a genealogical bibliography. Vol. 1: Sources. - Exeter : S.A. & M.J.Raymond , 1990. - vi,121p ; 21cm Series: British genealogical bibliographies ; 5A. WSL: 016.9291/DEV/RAY
Raymond, Stuart A. Devon : a genealogical bibliography. Vol. 2: Families. - Exeter : S.A. & M.J.Raymond , 1990. - 80p ; 21cm Series: British genealogical bibliographies 5B. ISBN 0958814430 WSL: s016.9291/DEV/RAY.
Books with Devon imprints:
Maxted, Ian. Books with Devon imprints : a handlist to 1800. - Exeter : J.Maxted , 1989. - ix,219p ; 30cm (Exeter working papers in British book trade history ; 6). - ISBN 095073067x WSL: sx070.5/DEV/MAX.
Bibliography of British newspapers : Cornwall [and] Devon / edited by Jean Rowles and Ian Maxted. - London : British Library , 1991. - xiv,123p ; 24cm. - ISBN 0712302339. WSL: 016.07/WES/BIB.
Topographical prints:
Somers Cocks, J.V. Devon topographical prints 1660-1870 : a catalogue and guide. - Exeter : Devon Library services , 1977.
Batten, Kit. The printed maps of Devon : county maps 1575-1837 / Kit Batten and Francis Bennett - Second ed. - Stuttgart : K. Batten , 2008. WSL : sx016.912/DEV/BAT.
Batten, Kit. The Victorian maps of Devon : county maps 1838-1901 / Kit Batten and Francis Bennett. - Tiverton : Halsgrove , 2000. WSL: x016.912/DEV/BAT.

Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre
Devon maps and map-makers, manuscript maps before 1840. Volume 1 [and 2] / edited by Mary R.Ravenhill and Margery M.Rowe. - Exeter : Devon and Cornwall Record Society , 2002. – (Devon & Cornwall Record Society; New Series Vol. 43). Supplement / Edited by Mary R. Ravenhill and Margery M. Rowe. - Exeter : Devon and Cornwall Record Society , 2010. - (Devon and Cornwall Record Society. Extra series, volume 3).
Courtesy Devon Heritage Centre

The present situation : problems and challenges
Over the past 150 years there has been a change in responsibilities for tracking local publications. The move has been from the initiative of individuals such as James Davidson to institutions such as the Devonshire Association (with Burnet Morris) or the University of Exeter (with Allan Brockett) and it has ended up firmly in the court of the public library. It is significant that the Devonshire Association deposited the Burnet Morris index with Exeter Central Library in 1940. The Library Association Local Studies Group in Local studies libraries guidelines (2nd ed., 2002) lays down recommendations for a wide-ranging collecting policy and has guidelines on cataloguing and database development.
But many local publications are not covered by legal deposit and in any case, regional libraries do not benefit from the national scheme. In 2000 the British Library held a seminar: Improving the legal deposit of local publications. At this Ian Maxted presented a paper: Sharing the load: the legal deposit of local publications, a public library view. The paper is referred to on page 58 of the Library and Information Commission Research report 70.
The following table of potential local publishers in Devon is based on The legal deposit of local publications: a case study of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, by Richard Harris, John Feather and Margaret Evans (Library and Information Commission, 2000).
Churches 450to include urban parishes
Commercial publishers25(based on 1998 Devon bibliography)
Companies30,000entries on database (2,000 in published directory)
Local authorities First tier3(Devon, Plymouth, Torbay)
Local authorities Second tier8(District Councils)
Local authorities Third tier398(Town and parish councils)
Health authorities102 health authorities, 8 NHS trusts
Ethnic voluntary groups10?
Police/fire authorities2
Political groups25/30?
Schools368state schools in Devon
Universities2(several campuses)
Voluntary organisations6,000based on Community Information Database
All this has time implications for tracking local publications: e.g. community magazines. In 2000 the Westcountry Studies Library received an estimated 10% of an estimated 200 potential titles. If each title takes 10 minutes a year to chase, accession and file, 200 titles take 33 hours (almost one week's work). If local legal deposit results in an extra 1,000 titles a year and each title takes 10 minutes to receipt, catalogue, process and file, 166 hours 40 minutes additional work involved (i.e. 5 weeks work).
From the 1980s the catalogue of Devon's local studies collections has been mounted on a digital database. For many years the annual bibliography was cumulated from the monthly local studies booklist which was used as an ordering tool for reference and lending libraries throughout the county.
The Devon bibliography was discontinued in 2004 on the retirement of the County Local Studies Librarian. Since then there has been a gradual decline in the documentation and collection of Devon's printed heritage, although some of this may be due to lower levels of hard copy publication since the growth of the internet.
CenturyTitles DecadeTitles DecadeTitlesYearTitlesYearTitles
However the decline has become particularly apparent since local government cuts began in 2011. Specialist posts were abolished and this affected the local studies service, resulting in October 2012 in the transfer of the Westcountry Studies Library to the Devon Heritage Centre, but without any dedicated library staff or bookfund. The removal of the collections was completed in 2014, and in November that year the library came under the umbrella of the South West Heritage Trust. The effect of these changes upon the library's collecting of Devon's printed heritage can be ascertained by an analysis of records in the database. The figures are for books, pamphlets and ephemera with Devon content identified. 
These events show just how vulnerable the maintenance of our printed heritage is. The South West Heritage Trust, headed up by Somerset is intent on repairing the damage caused by the way Devon has managed the cuts, but with diminished resources this will take time.
To fill the gap in coverage the Devon bibliography was restarted on the Exeter working papers in book history website during 2013 and was transferred to the Devon bibliography website in 2015, but this is not really the answer. Perhaps there is an argument for an alternative base for the maintenance of the Devon bibliography.
There is a range of possibilities. The Devonshire Association could once more take up the mantle, the Devon History Society is another candidate, the Devon and Exeter Institution as the main library actively collecting in this area, the University of Exeter – or could this be a function for the new heritage centre under development in Plymouth? But each of these has its disadvantages – the coverage of Devon's printed heritage is not just about history but also about all aspects of the county today: community, economy and the natural environment.
The best solution would be to support the endeavours to obtain adequate funding and staffing in the Devon Heritage Centre within the new South West Heritage Trust, preferably with at least one designated librarian. While the work of archivists, museum curators and librarians are in the same general field of heritage, they approach this from very different ways. Museums collect a wide range of artefacts apart from books, ephemera and illustrations and they catalogue them in very different ways from librarians. Archivists care for official records of institutions of all kinds, classing them into archival groups, selecting from them, conserving them, presenting them to the public. They do not go out to acquire items on the open market as these do not normally qualify as archives. Librarians deal with published items on a wide range of subjects, continuously produced by a multiplicity of publishers, institutions and individuals. They need to be continuously sought from book trade listings, national bibliographies, newspaper and periodical reports and reviews – between them these list in excess of 100,000 items each year, perhaps one per cent of them with significant Devon content. They need to be ordered – as previously mentioned there is no local deposit and local items can be very difficult to trace. They frequently need to be paid for – many publishers quite reasonably wish to recoup the expenses of production – and this needs a bookfund. They need to be catalogued according to established standards and assigned subject keywords – something that is not so important for the archivist placing records into archive groups which reflects the administration of the institution. The database that holds the catalogue requires to be adequately maintained, usable by a range of personnel, and made available on-line.
In the meantime there is a growing gap in Devon's bibliographical record. It is important that an accessible on-line file is maintained in a platform-free digital format that can be added to and amended as a wiki style by a team of contributors, each analysing a different range of sources. Contributors could alert the WSL to new publications, search catalogues and databases, liaise with local institutions, researchers, publishers, tourist information centres to ascertain what has been published since 2011 and encourage the donation of a preservation copy with WSL. The resulting file, or series of files, could be placed with the Devon Heritage Centre, who would have overall control of access and editing.
Potential coverage of an on-line Devon bibliography
1. Monographs: printed books, pamphlets, ephemera (selectively)
2. Serials: newspapers, periodicals
3. Articles in periodicals and Festschrifte/collections
4. Maps
5. Illustrations
6. Digital and electronic data
7. Theses (non-Devon research the responsibility of the universities)
8. Sound and video recordings (responsibility of the Sound and Television Archive)
9. Manuscripts and archives (the latter the responsibility of record offices)
Scope of bibliography
1. Works with Devon subject content
2. Works about Devonians (by birth or adoption)
3. Works by Devon authors
4. Works printed or published in Devon – a record of an important local industry
Format of bibliography
The following information should be provided where available.
Title: with author statement for works of joint authorship or editors, edition statement.
Imprint: place of publication, publisher, date
Format: pagination/number of volumes, illustrations, maps, size)
Standard references: ISBN, BNB, ESTC, URL etc
Notes: authorship, publishing history, local relevance etc
Known copies in local or national collections.
Subject keywords: Region. Place. Subject. Name. Aspect. Dates.
Data exchange
Records for each title are being incorporated into a series of Excel spreadsheets or tab delimited text files to be loaded onto an online database. The following fields are used. Not all sections of all records will necessarily contain data.
CreatorBrockett, Allan A
TitleThe Devon union list (D. U. L.)
Subtitlea collection of written material relating to the county of Devon
ResponsibilityAllan A. Brockett
Edition[1st edition - not normally noted]
Publ. placeExeter
PublisherExeter University Library
Publ. date1977
Formatiii,570p ; 22cm
Scale[For maps or atlases]
ControlnoISBN 0902746065
LinksURL, accessed
Series[This item is not in a series]
Item notesGives locations of Devon books in six major libraries in the county
LibraryWSL: 016/DEV/DEV
Place[not applicable, covers all Devon]
Name[of person, organisation etc]
Aspect[how the subject is treated]
Date span1500-1975
Earlier systems of marking up survive in many files pending conversion.
Files The large number of records can be split into more manageable files (maximum of about 5,000 records) for ease of searching and working on data.
Books: files for individual years/decades/centuries.
Articles: files for individual years/decades/centuries.
Periodicals: title. Probably a single file A-Z by author/title.
Newspapers: place and date. A single file.
Manuscripts and other unpublished items.
Maps: place and date.
Illustrations: place.
Digital data - a thematic presentation.
Collections - from libraries to individual assemblages of works, e. g. volumes of pamphlets, extra-illustrated volumes.

Copyright © Ian Maxted 2015
This page last updated 30 November 2018