Historical maps of Devon and 9 maps of Exeter tracing the development of the city from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
Historical maps for the British Islands and its counties, Devon and Wales in particular, and also 1540s and 1710s maps of the world
16th-19th centuries, with a particular strength in 17th century maps.
Maps and atlases, including the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 1" to the mile maps of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset made in 1809-1811, four of Ogilby's linear road maps of the Westcountry of c 1675, and a collection of "escape maps" printed on silk and given to military personnel (mostly airmen) who were shot down or captured during the Second World War to help them escape back to the United Kingdom.
17th-20th centuries, with a particular strength in 19th and 20th centuries maps.
The strengths of the Edmund Collection lie in local history. The main emphasis is upon Exeter and East Devon, although there is some material from West Devon (such as Plymouth) and Dorset and Cornwall. There are a few more general books in the collection, covering British history. The majority of the items (which includes books, pamphlets, periodicals and maps) covers various aspects of the west country, notably the history of towns and villages and their residents. Social history is well-represented with material on religion, transport (particularly railways), education and local myths and legends.
The collection is fully catalogued and entries appear on the University Library's online catalogue.
Material specific to Oman includes the personal papers and photographs of John Shebbeare (1919-2004), British advisor to the Sultan of Muscat and Oman, and the extensive collection of research papers and Omani manuscripts of John Craven Wilkinson, including a rare manuscript notebook (left) relating to water holdings and tribal settlements at al-Falaj al-Malki near Izki, one of Oman's oldest irrigation systems, containing names and holdings of the owners of the water shares over a period of approximately 50 years (ca.1825-75). The 500-page manuscript has been digitized and can be accessed here. There are also several documents and reports relating to Oman among Sir William Luce's papers.
Common Ground is an arts and environmental charity, which was founded in the UK in 1982. From the beginning, Common Ground's two main objectives have been: 'to promote the importance of our common cultural heritage - common plants and animals, familiar and local places, local distinctiveness and our links with the past; and to explore the emotional and spiritual value these things have for us by forging practical and philosophical links between the arts and the conservation of nature and landscapes' ('Holding Your Ground: An Action Guide to Local Conservation', 1985).
Common Ground has pioneered many innovative projects to raise awareness of environmental issues through the organisation of cultural activities. These projects have sought to celebrate the relationship between people and everyday places, as well as to empower people to care for their local environment. Common Ground often collaborated with writers, poets, artists, sculptors, photographers and composers. Many of the projects - in particular, 'Parish Maps', the 'Campaign for Local Distinctiveness' and 'Apple Day' - have proven to be highly sustainable, and their impact has continued long after Common Ground's active involvement in them ceased. The output from the projects has included publications, artistic commissions, exhibitions and events.
The Common Ground archive comprises a range of material created and collected by the charity in the course of its activities between 1982 and 2013. It includes: correspondence, notes, financial papers, reports, press clippings, research material, photographs, audio recordings, sheet music, publications, and promotional material. Material in the archive is mainly organised into sections according to project, reflecting its original order and use by the team at Common Ground. The projects are: 'Second Nature', 'Holding your Ground', 'New Milestones', 'Trees, Woods and the Green Man', 'Parish Maps', 'Orchards' including 'Save Our Orchards' and 'Community Orchards', 'Flora Britannica', 'Apple Day', 'The Campaign for Local Distinctiveness', 'Gardening and Local Distinctiveness', 'Field Days', 'Rhynes, Rivers and Running Brooks', 'Confluence', 'England in Particular', and 'Producing the Goods'.
The Common Ground archive has rich potential for interdisciplinary research on a wide range of areas, including geography, literature, the visual arts, and business studies. Some possible areas of research are listed below.
This Common Ground archive is currently in the process of being catalogued. You can search the archive in our online archives catalogue as the project progresses, or find out more about the archive and the cataloguing project in our project blog.
The University of Exeter holds a rich collection of twentieth-century literary papers including those of Daphne du Maurier, Charles Causley, William Golding, Jack Clemo, Ronald Duncan, Ted Hughes, Agatha Christie and Henry Williamson. One of the common factors shared by these writers is their links to the South West of England. The relationship between the writers and the environment - in regards to both their personal lives and influences on their literature - can be explored through these archives.
You can find more information about these collections in our South West Writers LibGuide.