Fifty pieces of history to celebrate Museums Service anniversary

Fifty of Oxfordshire’s most intriguing historical objects have gone on display to mark a half-century since the Oxfordshire Museums Service was established.

The ‘Oxfordshire in 50 Objects’ exhibition, which opens next week at the at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock, features items specially chosen by 25 different community groups and members of the Museums Service – past and present.

It features artefacts spanning thousands of years of local history, from Anglo-Saxon jewellery and traditional costumes, to fascinating Bronze Age and Neolithic items including stone tools and part of a human spine with an arrow embedded in it.

The project has enabled people from across the county and beyond to choose objects which are important to them personally and professionally, and which tell the Oxfordshire story.

The service has always depended on the interest, support and pride of local people
Cllr Lorraine Lindsay-Gale

Bringing the past to life

The county’s Museums Service was established with the opening of Oxfordshire Museum at Fletcher’s House in Woodstock on 15 October 1966.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services Lorraine Lindsay-Gale said: “The service has evolved over the years in response to different challenges, but what hasn’t changed is the dedication of staff to bringing Oxfordshire’s past to life and promoting engagement in, and understanding of, the county’s heritage.

“This is a really fitting way to mark the 50th anniversary, and the involvement of Oxfordshire communities in shaping the exhibition underlines the role the county’s residents have played in sustaining the service over the decades. It demonstrates the fact that the service has always depended on the interest, support and pride of local people.”

About the Oxfordshire Museums Service

The OMS collects, preserves and exhibits a wide range of objects selected to reflect life in Oxfordshire. The majority of over 100,000 Archaeology and Social History items are stored at the Museums Resource Centre at Standlake. Rescue and remedial conservation, academic research and exhibition development remain at the heart of the service.

The service produces exhibitions reflecting the county’s rural and agricultural past, but also showcases the best of Oxfordshire arts and crafts. Its temporary exhibitions also illustrate a diverse range of contemporary themes for visitors of all ages and tastes, aiming to encourage fun and fascination in equal measure.