Hartland Archives Project© Stephen Hobbs 2014  Contacts | Information


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Steve Hobbs is off to spend time testing rocking chairs on the patio!!

Thank you all for your past support.

Note: All the digital content from the Hartland Archives Project that is publicly viewable is deposited at the North Devon Records Office and/or The North Devon Athenaeum. Further items will be deposited in due course.

No materials that are my transcriptions or researches are now available to view.

The 'Hartland Forum' has been running in various guises now for over 20 years, started by Alexander Hobbs as a community project and then continued by myself as the public face of the Hartland Archive Project.

Sadly all things must end and today this is one such event, which could be seen as a double blow for Hartland with the previously announced closure of the Hartland Times Magazine due in September and also a loss for people with an interest in our local history.

The reasons are fairly simple and in no particular order: Age; Health; Finance and the advance of technology. This has always been a hobby for myself and one largely funded by myself. Initially grants were received from a small number of people and organisations for which I and everyone who has enjoyed the outcomes are very grateful.

I am afraid the larger organisations which specialise in genealogy have taken over and a lot of what people have been interested in on this site is available from their sites, but at a price. This makes what I have been doing almost impossible to get funding for anymore. The Archive Project itself is still intact but without a public face now. The materials processed are, where possible, deposited but now accompanied by a digital copy. The materials that came from private sources and not publically viewable have been returned, but the digital element remains on storage drives.

The outcome is that materials I have brought you will once again return to being localised information within books, documents or grey literature. This is something that I am not alone in as small projects struggle to maintain long term funding however small the amounts and always depend on a small group of volunteers.

You may be interested to know a few of the facts and figures:

This site has received around 100,000 visits per year over the last five years, on average a visitor stays on the site for 32 minutes (the longest was 4.6 hours).

The projects that have spun out of this website and the Archive Project are interesting in themselves:

4 exhibitions brought in 800 people; The work on the Warren and St Catherines Tor involved or had visit over 1200 people; one person has gone on and gained a degree due to initially joining this work, a number of others have gone on and gained higher education awards; 89 talks and presentations have been given; work undertaken has been cited in numerous publications and hopefully the effort put in has been enjoyed thoroughly AND we have extended our knowledge of this parish enormously. I feel now we may need to revert to traditional methods of disseminating information with - "A Large Book of Hartland" - to supplement Pearse Chope's and Dennis Heard's publications.

I have enjoyed meeting and helping people with their researches and the thanks I have received. It seems as always when something is available freely it is not as valued as paid for content.

16 February 2014

I can still be contacted by Email