Collections Enquiries

If you have an enquiry about our collections please contact the museum by email museum@northdevon.gov.uk  Please be aware that we are a small team so may not be able to respond straight away.



The Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon rely on donations to build the collection, and has outlined areas for future collecting.

All donations must comply with our MBND Collections Development policy 2021 . Priority will be given to items which reflect Barnstaple and North Devon’s local distinctiveness and ‘special’ nature. Donations ideally need to have a local connection, be in good enough condition to be displayed and be an item we do not already have examples of.

If your objects are books or paper records we advise you to contact the North Devon Record Office or North Devon Athenaeum.

Please write to us or email details to museum@northdevon.gov.uk along with any images you may have of the object.



If you are interested in borrowing one of our objects or paintings for an exhibition or for other uses, you will need to request permission.

We will need details from you about why you wish to borrow the item and if permission is granted, we ask that you comply with certain conditions.

MBND Loans Policy and Procedure 2018

To make a request, please email museum@northdevon.gov.uk.  Most of our loans are to other museums and galleries and where we expect the public to be able to benefit from our collections.

We ask that if you are considering the loan of objects from our collection that you contact the museum a least 6 months prior to the loan. However we will consider loans on a case by case basis, and may approve loan requests made less than 6 months before they are required, if capacity allows.


Image reproduction

 All image requests should be made to the Museum, please contact the museum directly with details of any photographic requirements.



Our collections team have a great deal of expertise about our own collections and are happy to help try and identify your objects.

If you would like an object identifying, please email museum@northdevon.gov.uk in the first instance, providing as much information about the object as you can, including, if possible, a detailed description, a photograph, and the exact location where it was found or bought. Regrettably, we cannot give advice on items for sale and cannot give valuations.

If you are enquiring about an object we own, that you have seen photographed or published, please try and provide as many details as you can about where you saw it. To make an enquiry, please email musuem@northdevon.gov.uk.


Portable Antiquities Scheme

Potential objects of treasure, as defined by the Treasure Act 1996, must be reported to the coroner within 14 days of discovery. Our Finds Liaison Officer based at the Somerset Heritage Centre can advise and facilitate the reporting of treasure.

Treasure is defined as:

• Objects over 300 years of age and comprised of more than 10% precious metal (gold or silver)
• Coin hoards
• Modified precious metal coins
• Prehistoric metal hoards.

Recently found material with accurate provenance information may be referred to the Finds Liaison Officer of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (www.finds.org.uk). This scheme aims to record archaeological objects found by members of the public onto a national open access database.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme runs finds Find’s days throughout the year at the Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon – please find a list of the current dates below, which will run from 11am to 2pm.

  • Saturday 5th June

Given the demand, material left as a Portable Antiquities Scheme enquiry, excluding potential treasure, will be available for collection in a maximum of four months, although the timescale may be shorter dependent upon workloads.

Should you require further information please contact the museum.



The Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon collects archaeological archives from North Devon, Torridge and Lundy Island.  The collection includes material from the Palaeolithic period up to the 20th century from Northern Devon, With material on display from the many Iron Age settlements in North Devon.

If you are going to carry out an excavation in this area please contact the museum on 01271 346747.

Archaeological Archives need to be prepared in accordance with the conditions outlined in our Deposition of Archaeological Archives in the document below. The museum charges for deposition.

Archaeological Archives Deposition 2023