Newspapers, periodicals and directories

Over 200 local newspapers, periodicals and directories are available at Oxfordshire History Centre.

Local newspapers are a valuable resource for local and family history research as they record events as they happened.

The principal newspaper for Oxfordshire was Jackson’s Oxford Journal published from 1753, which became Oxford Journal Illustrated from 1909 and was incorporated into the Oxford Times from 1928. This title can be viewed at Oxfordshire History Centre on microfilm and editions up to 1900 are accessible online (see below - Local newspapers online).

Local newspapers at Oxfordshire History Centre

A list of newspapers covering all Oxfordshire towns and their surrounding areas held at Oxfordshire History Centre is available to download. A list of their titles and dates (pdf format, 276Kb).   Titles are mainly held on microfilm.

Paper or digital copies  of newspaper articles can be made on a self-service basis at Oxfordshire History Centre or may be ordered by post or email subject to current charges.

Contact us giving details of your enquiry for further information.

Local newspapers online

British Newspaper Archive includes Oxfordshire local newspapers among the 100s of titles now available. This is free to view on site at Oxfordshire History Centre and in Oxfordshire Libraries (a personal subscription is needed for home use). See our list of Oxfordshire titles (pdf format, 276Kb) included or www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Available online at Oxfordshire History Centre, in Oxfordshire Libraries or at home via Oxfordshire Libraries Reference Online are:

  • Newsbank includes the full-text of selected local and regional newspapers, including some Oxfordshire titles including the Oxford Mail and Oxford Times. Coverage varies but dates range from the 1980s to current
  • 19th Century British Newspapers - a fully text searchable of 71 national and regional British and Irish newspapers, 1800 - 1900, including Jackson’s Oxford Journal.
  • The Times Digital Archive - a fully searchable database of the Times newspaper from  

Available at Oxfordshire History Centre and Oxfordshire Libraries only:

  • Newsquest Oxfordshire newspaper archive - a searchable database of articles from Newsquest titles covering the period 2002 to 2013. See our list of titles included.

Newspaper cuttings and indexes

There are many collections of press cuttings held as part of Oxfordshire History Centre’s archive and local studies collections. Collections and albums of press cuttings are listed in our online catalogue Heritage Search

Heritage Search also includes these indexes selectively compiled from local newspapers 1800 – 2006:

  • Oxfordshire People Index of obituaries and other biographical notices
  • Oxfordshire Business Index, including Inns and Public Houses,

Picture Oxon  includes Oxford Mail and Times Biographical collection of photographs and press cuttings about local people dating from 1930s-1970s.

Other indexes available at Oxfordshire History Centre include:

  • Jackson’s Oxford Journal name and place indexes 1791-1900
  • Oxford Journal Illustrated newspaper photographs index, 1909-1928

Periodicals

Oxfordshire History Centre currently receives almost 100 new periodical issues every month as well as maintaining back files of many more titles, some of which have now ceased publication.

Local and family history periodicals

Titles include parish and community magazines from across the whole of Oxfordshire as well as local and national publications relating to the study of local and family history.  These include:

Local history titles

  • Berkshire old and new
  • Current archaeology
  • Local historian
  • Local history news
  • Oxfordshire local history

Family history titles

  • Berkshire family historian
  • Catholic ancestor
  • Family tree
  • Genealogists magazine
  • Journal of one name studies
  • Oxfordshire family historian
  • Your family history

Periodicals of corporate bodies

Periodicals of corporate bodies

Many local organisations publish periodicals containing news of their activities and articles of interest to their members.  Titles in the collection cover a wide range of topics, and include:

  • Bloxhamist (Bloxham School)
  • Cake and cockhorse (Banbury Historical Society)
  • Great Western echo (Great Western Society)
  • Journal of the William Morris Society
  • Odd bob (Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers)
  • Oxon recorder (Oxfordshire Buildings Record)
  • Oxoniensia (Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society)
  • South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group bulletin
  • Journals published by individual Oxford colleges.

Record Society publications

Berkshire Record Society, Oxford Historical Society and Oxfordshire Record Society  all publish extensive ranges of transcripts of important local documents with useful introductions helping the researcher to interpret their contents.

Details of these publications can be found in our online catalogue by typing the name of the society in the ‘exact phrase’ box.

The originals of many of the documents included in these publications are held by Oxfordshire History Centre, but many others are held in other repositories such as the National Archives, so would not otherwise be accessible within the county.

Directories

Trade and street directories

The original purpose of directories was to provide information about towns and villages for residents and visitors.

They included a general description of the area covered, and details on transport, churches, schools, local government, shops and businesses.  Information on individual people was also included. In earlier editions this was restricted to gentry, clergy and people in business.  Later, directories also included both street and alphabetical listings of householders.

Directories locate individuals in a particular place and time, and can be particularly useful in the years between those covered by censuses and for the period before censuses were taken.  They also contain background information, giving context to life in the community at the time they were published.

It should be remembered that the information presented in directories is correct only at the moment of compilation.  Businesses could start and cease trading at any time.  Also, householders are the only residents listed – not their families or any other individuals living at their addresses.  They, too, could move in or out of the area between directory editions.

The collection contains county directories for Oxfordshire as well as some for the neighbouring counties of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.  These cover the period 1783-1981.

There are also directories for Oxford and larger towns. Please see List of directories at Oxfordshire History Centre (pdf format, 468Kb) for a summary of titles and dates covered.

Telephone directories

Telephone directory holdings are:-

  • Oxford from 1944
  • Oxford classified/Yellow Pages 1962-1967, from 1979
  • Banbury 1982-2007
  • Reading 1914, 1925, 1944-1954
  • Reading Yellow Pages 2008/09
  • South Midlands 1939/40

The early editions, when few individuals or  businesses had telephones, covered very wide geographical areas.