Adopt a book

The library of the Devon and Exeter Institution was established in 1813 with an initial budget of £4,000. The historical collection contains a wealth of fascinating books covering a wide range of subjects including travel, science, history, zoology and religion.

The National Preservation Office of The British Library conducted a survey of the stock in 2015. The results of this work reported that 71% of the stock is actively deteriorating. An enormous amount of work has been undertaken since 2015 by the volunteer Library Preservation Team supported and trained by the conservation team at the South West Heritage Trust. The stock and library shelving have been cleaned and a programme of rebinding has been undertaken.

The earliest book in the library dates from the 16th Century. We need your help to ensure that this marvellous collection is here for future generations to use.

We are fortunate to have engaged the services of a specialist bookbinder and some of you may have already seen the results of her work.


How do I adopt a book?

Below are some examples of books in need of rebinding.  The books have been selected by the library team based on their knowledge of the collection.  However if there is a particular title that you would like to adopt please let us know.

  1. Choose the book that you would like to adopt or make your own selection.
  2. Choose the amount that you would like to donate.
  3. Complete the donation form on the Adopt a Book leaflet which can be found in the library or you can print a copy here: Adopt a book leaflet and form
  4. Return the form with a cheque made payable to Devon & Exeter Institution 2 marked for the attention of LIBRARIAN.

In return

for your donation you will receive

  • A certificate of thanks
  • A personalised bookplate attached to the inside cover of your adopted book, once it has been fully restored.

The current Book List for adoption is currently being updated and will be available shortly. If you have any questions please ask Anne Howard.