Directions and opening times for the Oxfordshire History Centre

Directions, opening times, shop and café and general rules.

How to find us

The centre is based in Cowley, about three miles from the centre of Oxford and just off the eastern ring road. There is limited free parking.

Oxfordshire History Centre
St Luke's Church
Temple Road

Google map directions

Buses run every few minutes from:

Oxford city centre:
5 (Oxford Bus Company);
1 and 10 (Stagecoach),

Oxford Railway Station:
5 (Oxford Bus Company)
1 (Stagecoach)

How to contact us.

Opening hours

Day Time
Monday Closed
Tuesday 10am – 5pm
Wednesday 9am – 5pm
Thursday 9am – 5pm
Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday 9am – 5pm (research only - see below)
Sunday Closed

The centre is closed on bank holidays and bank holiday weekends.

Saturdays - research only

Please note that the centre is open on Saturdays for research only. It will not be possible to accept deposits or arrange withdrawal of material without prior agreement.

In the event of unexpected staff absence, production of material may be suspended at certain times, and it may even be necessary to close for lunch.

Saturday closures

Oxfordshire History Centre will be closed to visitors on the following Saturdays.


  • 25 August
  • 15 September
  • 6, 27 October
  • 24 November
  • 22, 29 December


  • 26 January
  • 2 February
  • 16 March

Viewing unique material

You will need a reader's ticket to see unique material – that is, anything of which there’s only one copy.

Book in advance

Family and local history are popular, so it’s a good idea to book a seat in advance. Contact us and give us a contact number in case we need to get back to you.

Documents held in our strongrooms cannot usually be ordered in advance of a visit, as we aim to retrieve requested items within a few minutes once visitors have filled out order slips when they arrive.

Staff can produce documents up to 4.30pm each day we are open.

Café and shop

The History Centre has its own small café in the reception area, where you can buy fairly traded tea or coffee together with a selection of biscuits and snacks.  We do not sell sandwiches but you are welcome to bring your own and eat them at one of the café tables.  Our drinks are all freshly made in teapots and cafetieres, not out of a drinks machine.

The shop stocks a variety of books and CD-ROMs on local and family history.

The café and shop open at the same time as the History Centre, but close at 4.30pm.

General rules for users

The history centre has a formal set of Rules which apply to all users. However, the most important things to know are as follows:

  • Bags and cases may not be taken into the searchroom, but must be left in the lockers in reception. There is no charge for this.
  • Pencils only may be used in the searchroom; no pens or permanent markers of any kind are allowed.
  • You will need a readers' ticket to see material from the strongrooms.
  • Please avoid making noise in the searchroom; other users may be trying to concentrate. Speak quietly, and do not bring in mobile phones, iPods or similar devices.
  • Food and drink are forbidden in the searchroom. However, you are welcome to eat and drink in the café. We do have toilets.
  • You are welcome to bring in your laptop, but please mute the sound. If you plug it into our power supply, it is at your own risk.
  • Our first priority is the preservation of unique material. Please understand if we cannot produce an item for you because it is too delicate to be handled.