We are pleased to be able to accept non-urgent requests again following a reduction in our backlog of research and copying enquiries.  In order to manage requests please be aware of the following:

  • Priority will continue to be given to urgent requests, such as imminent legal and business requirements
  • We are currently requesting payment by PayPal
  • All requests are restricted to no more than two hours of work
  • We may need to reintroduce further restrictions if backlog levels rise significantly again

We are aware that many people have held back from submitting non-urgent requests in recent months and we thank you for your patience.

Updated 27 April, 2021 

We operate a professional Research and Copying Service to do research on your behalf in the records held at the Devon Heritage Centre.


Types of Research

​We can carry out research on the archives and other resources at the Devon Heritage Centre.  We handle all sorts of enquiries from family history and house history to rights of way disputes and research for television programmes.  Please note, we cannot research at other archives or give legal advice.

Costs of Research

​We charge by the time the work takes, rather than per enquiry or per document.  Please allow for a reasonable amount of research time to answer all of your questions, and contact us for an estimate if unsure.  A good general guide is to allow for an hour’s research – if your enquiry takes less time than this, we will charge you less accordingly.  Please see our Charges page for more information.

Information We Need From You

All research requests must be sent using our Research-Service-Leaflet-and-Request-Form-1.  To speed up your enquiry, please specify as clearly and precisely as possible the information that you are seeking, and enclose any relevant information which might assist us.  Please write clearly or type your enquiry.  Please complete all sections of the form, including your name, email address and postal address.  If relevant, quote our reference number given on previous correspondence, especially if related to your current enquiry.  Please enclose an accurate map if your enquiry concerns a house or land.  Include a daytime telephone number so that we can contact you for clarification if necessary.  Please state whether you would like copies of any documents found during research and in what format you would like the copies.

Ordering Copies of Documents

Please provide the exact references for the documents if known.  Please state whether you require a photocopy or digital image (N.B. Some documents cannot be photocopied and have to be supplied in digital format).  If you require a standard digital format other than jpg (e.g. tiff) please let us know.

Receiving Your Research

Enquiries are dealt with in the order that we receive them.  At busy periods you may expect a delay of up to 4 weeks.  In exceptional circumstances we can give priority to your enquiry e.g. when a deadline has been imposed on you at short notice.  Please phone or email to discuss.


When sending us your completed Research Request Form please let us know the maximum authorised amount we can charge you, and your preferred method of payment, see below for details.  Payment must be made in advance.  Once we receive payment your research request will be processed.  Refunds can be issued if the research takes less time than anticipated.

​We encourage users to pay by PayPal where possible, as this is the most secure payment method.  Upon the completion of research, if it has taken less time than originally estimated, appropriate refunds will be given via PayPal.


All copies supplied are for private research or study.  You will need to obtain permission in writing from the Devon Archives and Local Studies Service before publishing any copies or digital images that we supply to you.  This includes uploading to the internet.  Additional fees might be involved – please for for details and a Permission to Publish form and allow plenty of time for us to obtain the relevant permission.

Request Research

To find out more, please see our Research-Service-Leaflet-and-Request-Form-1, which includes details on how to make a payment, and a form to complete if you would like us to carry out research on your behalf.