Explore your archive at Oxfordshire’s History Centre

The 'Explore Your Archive' initiative will take place during November and will be marked by specific events and exhibitions around the country, but is also a reminder of the opportunities that there are for people to use archives themselves.

Oxfordshire History Centre, run by Oxfordshire County Council, at St Luke’s Church in Cowley has a wealth of historic documents, photographs, and printed material relating to the history of Oxfordshire and beyond.

Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services said:  “This national event seems like the perfect opportunity for people in Oxfordshire to delve into the history of their family, house or locality. There’s also the chance to use our revamped web pages to find out what we have and how to access it. First time visitors are always made welcome.”

Oxfordshire History Centre, St Luke's Church, Temple Road, Cowley, Oxford OX4 2HT. The centre can be contacted on 01865 398200 via e-mail: oxhist@oxfordshire.gov.uk . More details are available at the  website: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/oxfordshirehistory

Refurbishment to take three weeks

Those wishing to take part in the Explore your Archive initiative are advised to do so before November 25. The History Centre will be closed to visitors for three weeks from November 25 to December 13 for the refurbishment of its reception area and for the essential replacement of air-conditioning units.

However, History Centre staff will be on duty at Oxford Central Library on Tuesdays 10.30 am – 4.00 pm and Wednesdays to Saturdays 10.00 am – 4.00 pm during this period. Staff will continue to answer telephone calls via the usual telephone number and to answer letters and e-mail enquiries.

The History Centre will remain open to the public before November 25 on Tuesdays from 10.00am to 5.00pm and Wednesday to Saturday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Members of the public are advised to contact the History Centre before visiting to check seat availability. If you wish to look at original records, you will need to register for a County Archive Research Network ticket by providing two passport-size photographs and official evidence of your address and signature (e.g. driver's licence or bank statement and credit/debit card).

The ticket is valid for four years in about forty record offices around the country, and is a security measure to protect irreplaceable documents.