On Monday, 20 May, Mark Lawrence will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:
Oxfordshire History Centre’s photographic archive traces its origins to the Oxford City Library of the 1890s in St Aldate’s. The archive rapidly expanded through the 20th century acquisitions of Taunt, Packer and Thomas collections, affording substantial coverage of our region, from Cotswolds to Chilterns and right through the Thames Valley. Gaining its first online presence via the Heritage Search website in 2007, our photographic archive now looks to Picture Oxon to provide a catalogue of 400,000 images of local people, places and buildings. Picture Oxon’s resources include not only photographs, but engravings, drawings and maps too. Our work of saving, collecting and recording photographic imagery of the county never stops, and the enthusiasm and effort of volunteers helps us to extend public access through the scanning and cataloguing of otherwise untapped collections. In future we look forward to more public involvement in our work, with sharing of content, effort and expertise, all directed towards a more effective capturing of our pictorial past and present.
Mark Lawrence is joint Manager of Oxfordshire History Centre, Oxfordshire County Council’s public archive and local history library. He has been a local studies librarian for over 30 years, starting his career in Barnstaple in the 1980s, with Devon County Council, working to improve access to local and family history resources for the previously isolated districts of North Devon and Torridge. Moving to Oxford in 1992, he supported the growth and development of the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies at Westgate, catering for up to 30,000 annual visitors at its peak. Restructuring in 2011 saw that service move from Westgate to Cowley, merging with the county record office, to form Oxfordshire History Centre, where the management of the photographic archive and the development of digital resources are two of his key concerns. Mark’s first brush with local history was as a schoolboy commuter into Bristol city cente, sparking off a long-term interest in photographic recording of the built environment. He vows he has at last transferred his allegiance and interest to Oxfordshire, but the family history ties to Bristol and Gloucestershire still run deep.
We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be advisors offering computer and genealogy help, and tea and coffee will be available. Non-members are very welcome, though we have a charge of £2 as an entrance fee for them to contribute towards the hire of the hall and the costs of speakers.