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About the Beaford Archive and Hidden Histories Project

“The material of the Beaford Archive, belonging to its future and rooted in its past, is of and for North Devon in the most fundamental sense.” Founding Director John Lane, 1974

Over the coming months we will be publishing over 10,000 previously unseen images from the Beaford Archive: an archive of photographs taken by James Ravilious and Roger Deakins capturing life in North Devon over a 20 year period starting in the early 70s. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have been able to grant the communities of North Devon and beyond unprecedented access to a vast collection of over 80,000 photographs. On this site you will be able to leaf through the Archive and share your thoughts, insights and knowledge by adding comments, helping us to understand more about the collection than ever before.

James Ravilious’ classification of his own images was meticulous with every photo being labelled as best, good, fair or poor. His iconic best and good photographs are already well known and having been published online previously, we are now digitising a selection from his fair or poor – although it’s sometimes hard to believe they could be seen as anything other than outstanding examples of our social history.

Come back again and share your memories as more and more images are added to this incredible historical record over the next year.

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More about the Hidden Histories Project

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William Medland cleaning out the milking parlour by James Ravilious

William Medland cleaning out the milking parlour

James Ravilious - October 1978