The Beaford Archive of photographs has been reopened for the first time in more than 30 years to provide a record of the coronavirus pandemic.
The archive is home to the North Devon photographs of James Ravilious and Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, capturing the daily lives of thousands of people living and working in the area.
Now Beaford Arts is appealing for the public to submit their own pictures to capture life during the pandemic and lockdown.
Beaford director Mark Wallace said: “James had unrivalled access to North Devon lives, but not even he could have recorded life during lockdown.
“The only way we’ll do that is together - so, for the first time ever, we’re asking everyone in North Devon to add their photos to the Beaford Archive.
“James was, first and foremost, an artist. He felt that only 1,700 of his photographs were worth exhibiting, but in the 20 years since he passed away, all of his photos have become a unique record of North Devon.”
The Beaford Archive contains more than 100,000 images of northern Devon from 1850-1990. More than 10,000 of these are now available online at beafordarchive.org, thanks to the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Royal Photographic Society has said the archive is ‘unparalleled in both quantity and quality’.
It has never before been opened for general submission, but the trustees of Beaford say they see it as vital that the archive records these times for future generations.
As a result, this new chapter in the archive’s history will be written by the people of North Devon.
Mark added: “Everyone’s setting will be different. You may be at home with children, or with your parents, or caring for someone. You may be a key worker, or helping the neighbourhood, or working the land. All our lives are changing in ways great and small, and whatever you’re experiencing is worth saving and sharing with future generations.”
More details on how to submit photographs and information on James Ravilious’s approach to photo selection can be found at http://beaford.org.
Curated galleries featuring submitted photos will be displayed throughout the lockdown period.