‘Hidden Histories’: The Beaford Archive


The Beaford Archive is a photographic record of people and community in rural north Devon containing more than 80,000 images covering the 120-year period 1870 to 1990.  According to the Royal Photographic Society, it is “…a unique body of work, unparalleled, at least in this country, for its scale and quality”.  However, few of these images are currently accessible to the public.

Hidden Histories is a three-year project and will include:
•        Digitising, cataloguing, archiving and publishing to the web approximately 10,000 existing 35mm black and white negatives from the James Ravilious and Roger Deakins Beaford Archives
•        Production of a new fully searchable website to provide a showcase for existing digitised work, newly digitised images and audio, and new work as it is produced
•        A programme of oral history, learning and community activity which will create new work and engage people in learning and education

Duration 14 (months)
Documentary photographs by James Ravilious for the Beaford Archive © Beaford Arts

Reflections on the project:
The oral history strand of the ‘Hidden Histories’ project links oral testimony to selected photographs of James Ravilious with the intention of describing life in rural North Devon between the 1970s and the late 1980s. Research participants are people photographed by Ravilious, and other key figures in the life of North Devon rural communities during these years. The oral history interviews have been conducted by a range of interested parties, including people from the communities featured in the photographs.

The oral history phase of the project will finish in May 2019 with an exhibition of Ravilious’ photographs linked to selections from the oral history interviews.

The recordings and transcripts will be stored at the Beaford Archive.

Contact details
Crown Yealm House, Pathfields Business Park,
South Molton, Devon
EX36 3LH

South Molton EX36 3LH
Email: malcolm@beaford-arts.com