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. We are unable to supply ’gift-quality’ replica copies of whole pages or issues.
Local newspapers online
British Newspaper Archive includes Oxfordshire local newspapers among the 100s of titles covered. 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 included (pdf format, 284Kb).
The following online sites are accessible from home for Oxfordshire Libraries members (via Oxfordshire Libraries Reference Online) or on site at Oxfordshire History Centre and in Oxfordshire Libraries
- Newsbank which includes the full-text of selected local and regional newspapers. Coverage varies but dates range from the 1990s to current. The Oxford Mail and Oxford Times coverage is 2007 to the current edition.
- 19th Century British Newspapers - a fully text searchable database of 71 national and regional British and Irish newspapers, 1800-1900, including Jackson’s Oxford Journal.
- The Times Digital Archive - a searchable database of the Times newspaper from 1785-2014
Newspaper cuttings and indexes
Heritage Search Details of the many collections and albums of press cuttings held in Oxfordshire History Centre’s collections can be found in the archive catalogue and local studies catalogue. The site also includes Oxfordshire People Index of obituaries and other biographical notices and the Oxfordshire Business Index of selective news articles compiled from local newspapers 1800 – 2006.
Picture Oxon includes
- Oxford Mail and Oxford Times Biographical collection of photographs and press cuttings about local people dating from the 1930s-1970s.
- Oxford Journal Illustrated newsprint photographs of World War 1 soldiers
Other indexes available include:
- Oxford Journal Illustrated newspaper photographs index (pdf format, 7.5Mb) 1909-1928
- Jackson’s Oxford Journal name and place indexes 1791-1900. (Hardcopy held at Oxfordshire History Centre).
Oxfordshire History Centre currently receives almost 100 new periodical issues every month as well as maintaining backfiles 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 and local and national publications concerning local and family history. Local history titles include:
- Berkshire Old and New
- Current Archaeology
- Local Historian
- Local History News
- Oxfordshire Local History
Family history titles include:
- Berkshire family historian
- Catholic ancestor
- Family tree
- Genealogists magazine
- Journal of one name studies
- Oxfordshire family historian
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.
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.
Journals and newsletters of local organisations and societies
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:
- Cake and cockhorse (Banbury Historical Society)
- Great Western echo (Great Western Society)
- Oxon recorder (Oxfordshire Buildings Record)
- Oxoniensia (Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society)
- South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group bulletin
- Journals published by local societies, schools and colleges and some local businesses.
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.
The History Centre collection contains county directories for Oxfordshire and 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, 280Kb) for a summary of titles and dates covered.
Oxfordshire History Centre’s holdings of directories covering Oxfordshire 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