VISITORS to Bideford Library will be asked to turn detective from November 23-December 5 and help identify mystery images contained in a travelling exhibition by the Westcountry Studies Library. For the fourth year running, the studies lLibrary in Exeter

VISITORS to Bideford Library will be asked to turn detective from November 23-December 5 and help identify mystery images contained in a travelling exhibition by the Westcountry Studies Library.

For the fourth year running, the studies lLibrary in Exeter, which has one of the most extensive public collections of printed materials, photographs and illustrations in the South West, is asking people to identify 50 old images from its collection and help them with their archiving.

The images have been donated by Devon people to the library. It has more than 100,000 images dating back to the early 17th century.

The exhibition has captured the imagination of amateur sleuths, and organisers are delighted with the progress as many people have come forward to suggest where and when unidentified photographs could have been taken.

Cabinet Member for Adult and Community Services, Councillor Stuart Barker said: "This is a great opportunity for people to test their local knowledge of Devon and the Westcountry. The images chosen this year are all quite remarkable - each of them strong, and a reminder of life gone by.

"The knowledge that people may have about this year's collection is also very valuable to the library so I hope people will take the time to come and see the exhibition or view them online."

Around 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 dinner in very grand surroundings - still remains an unsolved mystery.

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

Local County Councillor Alison Boyle said: "Location? Location? Location? is an intriguing exhibition allowing all those who live in and love the West Country to emulate the likes of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot and solve the tantalising clues of Who? Where? and When?

"Somebody knows the answer and, as the Lottery promoters are always saying, it could be You!"

All 50 images have been on display at the Exeter Central Library and at the Westcountry Studies Library during September and October. Although only a selection of the full exhibition will be on display at Bideford Library due to space constraints, people will be able to view all of this years images online at www.flickr.com/photos/whereindevon.