Oxfordshire History Centre set for Open Day

If you are interested in Oxfordshire’s past or tempted to trace your family history, you are likely to need the services of Oxfordshire History Centre.

The Oxfordshire County Council run centre is holding an Open Day on Saturday, November 14, shining the spotlight on the fantastic range of collections held, and letting visitors look behind the scenes at how documents are cared for and how books, newspapers, photos and sound recordings are made available for public research.

Oxfordshire History Centre contains all the raw material anyone would need to research both local and family history.

The centre is based in the historic building of St Luke’s Church, Cowley, built by motor magnate and philanthropist Lord Nuffield in 1937.

A wonderful event

Councillor Lorraine Lindsay Gale, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural and Community Services, said:  “This will be a wonderful event and I hope it will be well attended.

“We will be running tours of the centre throughout the day, and will have displays of original and facsimile documents, exploring themes like schools, world wars, leisure and business.

“We will also be available to give a guided introduction to the latest digital and online resources such as wills, tithe maps and parish registers, and there will be children’s activities, including a “Make Your Own Wax Seal” workshop, and a “Children’s Trail” around the Centre.

“Our new “Listening Post” will play a cross-section of soundbites from our oral history archive, and a digital display will reveal History Centre staff’s favourite documents – showing items from our collections which have captured our own interest and explaining why we like them!

“We’d also like to hear from anybody who was married or confirmed at St Luke’s Church, Cowley. If you had any connection with St Luke’s, we’d love to see you at our Open Day”.

People with connections to the church should email oxhist@oxfordshire.gov.uk to tell the history centre what that connection is, and to let staff know if they are coming along on the day.

The original St Luke’s Church registers will be available for visitors to find their entry, and there will be a St Luke’s Church exhibition providing a visual journey through the history of our building.

Oxfordshire History Centre Open Day will run from 10am until 4pm, and refreshments will be available.

Please note that the Open Day replaces our normal 9am-5pm Saturday access for researchers.

Everyone welcome

Councillor Lindsay Gale added: “It doesn’t matter whether you are beginner, practised historian or simply curious about the history of St Luke’s Church – everyone is welcome to come and discover more and speak to expert staff.”