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Etched on Devon's Memory

The Etched on Devon’s Memory project ran from 2002-2003 and digitised over 3,500 topographical prints of Devon, dating from 1660-1870. A catalogue of these, compiled by John Somers Cocks, was published in 1977. The prints depict a wealth of Devon scenes including landscapes, townscapes, buildings and some interior views. The project also created thematic information and a biographical list of illustrators to accompany the images. These are available as research guides.

The present web site was put up after Devon County Council took down the website that hosted it early in 2017 and the content became temporarily unavailable to researchers. The South West Heritage Trust has been working to remedy this, and the image data is now more easily available through the Trust's website, using the online search facility. 

Following concerns by SWHT that the revived Etched website provided "unauthorised" links to images of original material in the custody of the Trust (all of which is out of copyright) much of this website was withdrawn.

As however this website was funded by the Heritage Lottery to make material publicly available in perpetuity and information is still not as easily accessible to researchers as formerly the pages are being progressively mounted on the internet and retained until acceptable access can be provided. In the meantime it is hoped that the guidelines below will assist in accessing topographical prints. 

Because they do not provide links to a significant number of SWHT images the following pages have been retained - the links may no longer work as the image filenames have been changed:

List of sources: 1710-1819, 1820-1829, 1830-1839, 1840-1849, 1850-1879, prints in series, Rock engraved vignettes. Rock engraved vignettes.

1. The print trade in Devon.
2. Techniques of printmaking.

Biographical dictionary of Devon printmakers.

​It is not easily possible to limit a search to Devon topographical prints but the following search strategies may be helpful:

Book. The search facility also includes other types of material, including illustrations.

Title. This will only retrieve records where the words appear in the title of the print.

Author. This will also pick up engravers or lithographers. For thorough searches it may help to put the surname in the keyword box rather than the author box.

Keyword. This is where it is possible to search for the number in the Somers Cocks catalogue. Input e.g. sc1234. Truncation can limit the numbers of records, for example sc078* will retrieve records for Somers Cocks prints numbered sc0780 to 0789. The truncation sc* will limit the search to all records with "sc" (Somers Cocks) control numbers but will also retrieve other records with words which start "sc" e.g. schools. The keyword search is a useful catch-all option for searching as it will pick up terms in most fields. Another way of limiting searches to a particular type of image is to put in a truncation of the technique used: engrav*, etch*, lithograph* etc.

Date of Publication. Please note that if searching for a single year, the date must be put in BOTH boxes. As many dates are estimates, this type of search has its limitations for topographical prints.

Place. Insert the name of the place, normally parish or town to see all prints for a particular locality. The addition of sc* in the keyword box should eliminate records for most books, articles and other items.

Subject. This search locates the principal subject of the print as assigned by the cataloguer.

Select which library/ies to search in: Limit the search to Devon Libraries.

Only include records with images. If this box is checked records which do not have images attached will not be listed.

This page last updated 25 July 2018