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
Jan 092016

20160107_142007The exhibition – 66 Men of Grandpont 1914-1918 – has been set up at Oxfordshire History Centre by Liz Woolley, the project co-ordinator.  It will be available to view 7-23 January 2016.

This free exhibition is about the men from Grandpont in south Oxford who died in the First World War The exhibition is part of an innovative community history project which is commemorating the 66 men named on the First World War memorial in St Matthew’s Church in Grandpont. A team of volunteers has researched the lives of the men and their stories give a fascinating insight into the War and how it affected one small suburban community. The exhibition includes maps, photographs, copies of contemporary documents and a wealth of interesting and accessible information. It also provides a model of how other local communities could carry out similar projects. For more information see

May 302015

On Monday, 1 June 2015, Guy Grannum, Discovery Product Manager at The National Archives, will talk to OFHS on “An introduction to using Discovery: The National Archives catalogue “.

The meeting will be held at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 7:30pm.

Discovery is The National Archives online catalogue and holds more than 32 million descriptions of records held by The National Archives and more than 2,500 archives across the country. Over 9 million records are available for download. Guy Grannum will be giving an overview of Discovery which aims to help you to understand what it holds and how to make best use of this valuable online resource.


Guy is an experienced genealogist with English and Bajan roots. He has worked at The National Archives for over 25 years and is the Discovery Product Manager with responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Discovery service.

Both members and non-members of OFHS are very welcome.

May 212015

OHCWiFiOxfordshire History Centre and Oxford Central Library are now WiFi “hotspots”, as part of the UK’s “Super Connected Cities” program.

Within Oxford, there is now free WiFi in all community centres, libraries, Park and Ride sites, the visitor information centre and museums such as The Ashmolean and Museum of Natural History.


More details of the scheme are available at http://www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decB/WirelessHotspots.htm

Oct 292014

HistoryCentreFor those hoping to visit the Oxfordshire History Centre before Christmas,
their website has the following notice:

“Oxfordshire History Centre will be closed to visitors for 3 weeks for the refurbishment of its Reception area and for the essential replacement of air-conditioning units. We will use this opportunity to carry out our annual stocktake, which usually takes place in January and February.

During this time History Centre staff will be on duty at Oxford Central Library on Tuesdays 10:30 am – 4pm and Wednesdays to Saturdays 10am – 4pm

We will continue to answer telephone calls via our usual telephone number and to answer letters and e-mail enquiries.

We apologise for any inconvenience this building work causes.”

In the meanwhile, from the comfort of home, feel free to browse the Oxfordshire FHS CDs and books for sale (menu on the left at www.ofhs.org.uk), or consider joining & supporting OFHS if you’re not already a member – joining now gives you membership round to the end of next year!

There are details at www.ofhs.org.uk too of our phone and email help contact details.  We also have help & advice on offer at Westgate library on certain days – see www.ofhs.org.uk/#meetus

Nov 202013

All libraries will close at 1 pm on Tuesday 24 December, or at their usual time if this is earlier than 1 pm. Any library which does not usually open on a Tuesday will be closed from its usual closing time on Monday 23 December.

Branch and mobile libraries will reopen on Thursday 2 January. Oxford Central Library will be open from Saturday 28 December to Tuesday 31 December inclusive (closing at 5pm that day) and re-opening on Thursday 2 January.

Nov 192013

On Monday 24 January 2011, Dave Annal spoke to an Exeter Hall meeting on the subject: Death and taxes: an introduction to the Death Duty records.

I have recently noted that it is possible to download a podcast of Dave speaking on this topic from TNA website at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/podcasts.htm

The talk goes under a slighly different title thereon: Death and taxes: understanding the death duty registers

TNA then go on to say:
“For over 100 years, from 1796 to 1903, the Inland Revenue maintained a series of registers recording the payments of death duties. These registers are now held by The National Archives and represent one of family history’s best kept secrets. This talk looks at the surviving records in detail and explains how they can be used to uncover some fascinating facts about the lives and times of our 19th century ancestors”.

Those who could not attend our meeting on which Dave spoke on this topic, or who simply want a refresher, might want to download this free resource.

Nov 032013


On Monday 26 November 2012, Audrey Collins spoke to a meeting of this society at the Exeter Hall on the subject :-

“The London Gazette: not just the brave and the bankrupt”

Audrey has now “blogged” about some changes as to how the various gazettes are accessed :-


Enjoy !


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