Public asked to identify archive images

FOR the fourth year running Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter, is asking the public to help identify images from its collection of 100,000 dating back to the early 17th century, so it can archive them under the right town or village.

FOR the fourth year running Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter, is asking the public to help identify images from its collection of 100,000 dating back to the early 17th century, so it can archive them under the right town or village.

On Monday, September 21, 50 of its most intriguing unknown images will be displayed for its Location? Location? Location? Investigation at Exeter Central Library until Sunday, October 4, then at Westcountry Studies Library from October 5-18.

Sidmouth Library, with others around Devon, is promoting the challenge and helping people to view photographs online at www.flickr.com.

Nearly half of last year's mystery images were solved with the help of Devon's public, but the centrepiece - a striking photograph of ladies enjoying a dinner in very grand surroundings - remains an unsolved mystery.


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This year's centrepiece is a picture of a group of gentlemen in formal dress, standing on the steps of an impressive and distinctive-looking building.

Proof will be needed to verify the accuracy of any claim, and once confirmed, locations will be recorded online.

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Katherine Dunhill of Westcountry Studies Library, said: "This important piece of work captures the imaginations of so many people each year, drawing on their memories to recall times and places, perhaps from childhood, or even their present day."

She said there were no prizes for identifying pictures which had been donated by Devon people to the library over the years.

"With the public's help we have been able to identify and therefore correctly catalogue many of our previously unknown images," she said.

"People find it great fun, playing amateur detectives to identify places they know, or they think they know.

"Sometimes we will even hear stories behind the photographs; the reasons why some locations are significant to members of the public.

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