We care for the written evidence of Somerset and Devon history and hold millions of documents and printed sources dating from the 8th century to the present day.

Our collections tell the story of the two counties and the people who have lived and worked in them. Whether you’re seeking to discover the history of towns, villages, families, individuals or events, there is no better place to start your research.

Archive conservation services are provided to ensure that collections are preserved for the future. We also have wide-ranging local studies libraries, containing printed sources for Devon, Somerset and the wider West Country.

Accredited Archive Services

Devon and Somerset Archives and Local Studies were recognised in 2017 as Accredited Archive Services. Accreditation is the UK quality standard recognising good performance in all areas of service delivery. Achieving accreditation demonstrates that the South West Heritage Trust is meeting national standards in caring for collections and making them available.

Our Sites

Somerset Heritage Centre

Somerset Heritage Centre was opened in 2010 and provides state-of-the-art access and storage for the historic records of Somerset. It also holds the museum reserve collections, including those of North Somerset Council and Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. The Heritage Centre is on the outskirts of Taunton at Norton Fitzwarren.

Devon Heritage Centre

Devon Heritage Centre holds all types of historical archives relating to Devon and the City of Exeter. They include records of churches and chapels, county, district and parish councils and many families, estates, schools and other organisations. The West Country Studies Library is also located here.

North Devon Record Office

The North Devon Record Office occupies the second floor of Barnstaple Library. It provides a full archive service to the north of the county and holds records relating to the area of the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple and of North Devon and Torridge District Councils.