Oxfordshire Record Office hold resources relating to the history of Oxfordshire and surrounding areas. The Office made an agreement with the Diocese of Oxford in 1998 to preserve Church of England records and to make them accessible to the public.
Archives held include manuscripts, maps and plans, newspapers, printed material and photographs and come from a large variety of sources, including NHS hospitals in Oxfordshire, court and police records and school records.
Whatever your research interest, whether you are tracing your family history, researching the history of a house or want to discover more about the history of your local area, you will the documents held of use. The documents are also useful if you are working on a school or college project or completing a university degree.
The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you need advice and assistance.
For information regarding their collections, please visit their Home Page and their Collections page. A catalogue of the county's cultural and heritage resources called Heritage Search can also be perused on-line, but not all their collections are included in the catalogue at present. Card indexes are the only catalogue available for some resources.
Collections held by the Office incorporate:
Collections also include:
Please note that parish registers of towns and villages located in Berkshire before the county boundaries changed in 1974 are located in Berkshire Record Office.
Their Opening Hours can be found by going to their opening times page.
The Office is located in Cowley, three miles from Oxford city centre. Buses 5(Oxford Bus Company) and 1 and 10(Stagecoach) travel from the centre, stopping near the Archive. Bus 5 also runs from Oxford Railway Station.
Free parking is available on the premises, but limited spaces are available.
It is prudent to book in advance before visiting Oxfordshire Record Office in order to avoid disappointment especially if you are travelling some distance because it can become very busy.
You are not generally able to order items in advance because items can usually be retrieved from the searchroom within a few minutes of a request being made. You can complete an order slip on arrival.
You may bring a laptop with you to the Archives, but operating the laptop from a power point provided is at your own risk.
Computers are available in the Office, where you can access many family history websites. You are allowed to download information from the computer to a USB memory stick, but must purchase a permit before beginning a download.
The use of a camera is permitted, but you have to purchase a photographic permit from the staff. You can take digital photographs and download copies to your memory stick.
Some documents cannot be photographed because of copyright laws or because they are fragile and easily damaged.
A photocopier is available in the search room for use by visitors, but you have to take the item you wish to photocopy to the enquiry desk where you will be given a card relating to the number of copies you wish to make. You cannot take photocopies of any original documents or fragile volumes.
The staff can also take photographs of items, but the Office makes a charge to people taking advantage of this service.
Any image supplied by the Office must be for personal use only. If you wish to publish an image supplied by the Office on a television programme or website, you will have to purchase the necessary permission.
The building is fully accessible, with disabled access provided to the Reception and Searchroom areas. They also have disabled toilet facilities.
If you any particular requirements, the staff are always on hand to help.
A cafe is available on the premises which sells fair-trade tea and coffee. Biscuits and snacks are also available but it does not sell sandwiches or meals. You are also welcome to bring your own food.
Books and CD-Roms are available to buy from their shop, which include research guides, local history books, introductory books, Oxford Gaol Prisoner Portraits and Oxfordshire Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts.
The Archive offers a research service for people unable to visit the office in person. A charge is made for any enquiry lasting longer than 15 minutes, and must be paid in advance.
You are able to pay by cheque made payable to Oxfordshire County Council, writing the email or letter reference on the back, by bank via faster payments or by SWIFT if you are overseas. They are unable to accept payments made by credit or debit card.
The Archive has a Facebook page, @OxfordshireHistoryCentre, where they publish photographs from their collections, give details about the Office and their collections and answer visitors' queries.
They also have a Twitter Account, @OxHist, where they give information regarding events, family history and local history related news, publish images from their collections and highlight specific documents.
The Archive is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network).