Visits to local studies must be booked in advance. Please book online through the South West Heritage Trust or by phoning 01271 318792, lines are open Wednesday-Friday, between 10am-5.00pm

The North Devon Local Studies Library is currently operating without access to a catalogue. We have a knowledgeable and experienced team, but please bear with us as at times it may take a little longer to respond to and deal with any enquiries.

The North Devon Local Studies Library is located on the second floor in Barnstaple Library and houses a collection of over 17,000 books, pamphlets and illustrations about the North Devon and Torridge area together with items relating to the rest of Devon and wider South West Region.

Our Local Studies collection includes books on individual parishes, people, churches, education, railways, religion, cookery and sport amongst many other topics.

We also hold collections of the following items:

  • Parish magazines and periodicals
  • Maps, including Ordanance Survey Maps, Geological & Sea Bed Maps and Goad Maps
  • Local Trade Directories
  • Local Newspapers
  • Reports & Transactions of the Devonshire Association
  • Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings
  • Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries
  • Electoral Registers
  • Photographs

The North Devon Local Studies Library works alongside the North Devon Record Office and the North Devon Athenaeum to provide a comprehensive local studies and archives service for the North Devon and Torridge area. We welcome visitors from across the world as well as locally.

If you wish to research your family history, your house history or the history of the area where you live or have any other enquiries about the local area please visit during our opening hours when our staff are available to assist. On your first visit you will need to bring some identification to register with the South West Heritage Trust 

If you are unable to visit in person and you require some help please email in the first instance. If your enquiry is of a complex nature, there is a research service available through the Local Studies Library, please enquire through our email or by telephone for details. 

If you are making a special visit, please contact us by email or telephone in advance to check that we have what you require.

All internal areas are accessible, with a lift and disabled toilet and the search room has a hearing loop. Researchers can bring their own laptops for which there are power points available and there is Wi-Fi throughout the whole building.

There is a public car park both at the front and rear of Barnstaple Library, operated by North Devon Council and a further long stay car park at Seven Brethren in Barnstaple. Regular train services operate daily from Exeter to Barnstaple and there are many local bus services across the area. 


Services may differ per library. Learn more on our Covid-19 updates page.

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Opening hours:

Wed 10:00 - 17:00
Thu 10:00 - 17:00
Fri 10:00 - 17:00


Contact us:

Email: Barnstaple Local Studies
Tel: 01271 318792

Find us:

Barnstaple Library
Tuly Street
EX31 1EL

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Call us:

0345 155 1001

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Supported by

Devon County Council Arts Council England Torbay Council Exeter Live Better

Registered with

Fund raising regulator

Libraries Unlimited

Libraries in Devon are run by Libraries Unlimited

Bringing ideas, imagination, creativity and knowledge to enrich people’s lives and build thriving communities.

Libraries Unlimited South West, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Registered company number: 9822597. Registered charity number:1170092. Registered office: Exeter Library, Castle Street, Exeter, Devon , EX4 3PQ.