Oct 182017

Oxford University’s “Lest We Forget” campaign (of which Oxfordshire FHS is a supporter) is running a collection (in the bring and digitise sense) event at Cheney School in the afternoon of Friday 10th November.

Links: — Lest We Forget (campaign)Lest We Forget (home) — Cheney School collection event
Poster for the Cheney School event (PDF download)

Sep 142017

The Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock marks the 20th anniversary of the Treasure Act with an exhibition showcasing some of Oxfordshire’s most amazing treasure finds. As part of a nationwide celebration being led by the British Museum, the exhibition will look at the huge significance that both the Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme have had on the County’s collection and its contribution to our understanding of Oxfordshire’s history.

The Treasure Act, 1996 was introduced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on the 24th September 1997 in order to preserve significant archaeological finds for the nation. Over the past 20 years thousands of objects found by members of the public have been made available to the nation because of the Act. The Portable Antiquities Scheme was set up at the same time to collect details of all the finds that did not class as Treasure. With over 1 million objects recorded so far, the scheme has created an extraordinary resource for exploring our past.

All of the objects in the exhibition have been found by local people and metal detectorists across Oxfordshire. They include Treasure finds and also items that have been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Objects range from clay pipes and pots to gold coin hoards and Elizabethan rings. Recent acquisitions such as a beautifully decorated pair of Roman callipers, a hoard of Roman pewter from Somerton and an Iron Age brooch will all go on public display for the first time.

20 Years of Treasure – The Portable Antiquities Scheme in Oxfordshire’ opens on the 23rd of September with a free lecture at 10.30am – 11.30am by Michael Lewis, Head of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum. Please contact the museum on 01993 814106 to book a place.

Sep 142017

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy…

Find out what this nursery rhyme has to do with the Museum Collections at the Museums Resource Centre at Standlake, when the stores open their doors once more to visitors on their Open Day on Sunday 8th October.

The centre will open to the public for one day to offer a unique chance to explore this treasure trove of museum objects from archaeology to the present day and  meet staff and volunteers to find out what they have been up to over the last year.  Whatever your interests, come on a tour behind the scenes of the centre, have a look at the objects in store and be inspired by the variety of Oxfordshire’s Heritage from archaeology to the present day.

Browse the Witney Blanket industry collections in its new dedicated storage area, for a chance to marvel at this world famous industry and to exchange memories of bygone days.

The centre will be open between 10 am and 4 pm. All are welcome, entry is free and there is parking on site. The site is accessible on level ground and suitable for wheelchairs.

Jul 242017

In today’s Oxford Mail, news that Colin Harris, one of our Vice-Presidents, has been awarded an Honorary Master of Arts degree by Oxford University, in recognition of his 50 years of “continuous and exemplary service to the Bodleian.”

The university said: “The outstanding feature of his career has been his truly dedicated service to all types of library reader – from senior academics to masters’ students, professional writers to amateur historians – whom he has advised with expertise and unfailing patience.”

Currently, Colin is Superintendent of the Special Collections Reading Rooms.


Congratulations, Colin, from Oxfordshire FHS!


Mar 012017
Posted on the Oxfordshire History Centre Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OxfordshireHistoryCentre/ with permission received for circulation.

We would like to clarify Oxfordshire County Council’s plans for the future delivery of Oxfordshire History Centre’s services from late 2017 onwards.

A staffed public service for the consultation of archive and digital collections, including the existing on-site strongroom storage, will continue to operate at St Luke’s, Cowley. A staffed public service for the consultation of local studies and digital collections, including the photographic archive, will be relocated to the Westgate library in central Oxford in October. This will give the History Service a prime location in the new Westgate development, with increased footfall and exposure. Staff will be working across both sites and detailed plans are now being formulated to ensure that the service is as integrated as possible.

Feb 042017

Cameras in the Sky     21 January – 26 March

Aerofilms Ltd was the first British company to make a business out of aerial photography.

Established in Hendon, London in 1919, Aerofilms’ founders were pioneers of the air. A collection of adventurers, showmen and aviation enthusiasts, the firm married the fledgling technology of flight to the discipline of photography.

From the very start of operations, Aerofilms took photographs of villages, towns, cities and landscapes all over the country. Continuing this far-reaching programme for 80 years, its photographs provide a unique view of the development of Britain’s urban centres and rural landscapes throughout the 20th century.

This collection of photographs shows Oxfordshire from above, featuring town and country, special events, industry and transport. The development of Oxfordshire, chronicled from above by Aerofilms is history like no other!

EPW000827 The Radcliffe Camera, Bodleian Library, All Souls College, St. Mary’s Church and Brasenose College Oxford ,1920 ©Historic England (Aerofilms Collection)

 The Oxfordshire Museum hopes you will be able to come along

Mar 012016

blue-question-markThe Westgate library has now closed til late 2017, and with it our advisor Helpdesk service.  Thanks to all the team who gave helpdesk cover there over four days a week.

Irrepressible, they have all volunteered to help in local libraries around the county, which so far has led to our introducing helpdesks at Botley, Kidlington and Bicester libraries.  At some the helpdesks don’t start straight away – see the rota at http://www.ofhs.org.uk/#meetus

The monthy helpdesk at Abingdon library will continue, as will the Tuesday, Thursday and some Saturdays when help’s offered at the Oxfordshire History Centre at Cowley.

If you’re not local to Oxfordshire, and have something you’d like to ask about your family history, or about the Society, you can always contact the helpdesk at help@ofhs.org.uk or 01865 358151 (+44 1865 358151 from beyond the UK).

Jan 132016
Members may be interested in a new exhibition: Tokens of Love which opened at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock on Saturday 9 January and continues until 13 March 2016.
The exhibition features objects from the Oxfordshire Museum’s collection which were used as love tokens including bobbins and corset stays to rings and photographs, via smocks and samplers and Valentine cards from Shell, who began sending Valentines greetings cards to their lady drivers in 1938. They were designed by artists of the day and carried witty jokes and rhymes on motoring and petrol themes. The tradition continued into the 50’s, 60’s and up until 1975. Shell extended their collection in 1964 when the company acquired 200 cards from the collection of the late Miss Jane Samuels, collector and founder of ‘The Valentine Shop in the Strand’, London.
This exhibition traces the history of the Valentine from early nineteenth century onwards; it has romance and gushing sincerity with the liberal use of lace, ribbon and guilt cupids!
Free entry

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