History centre visitor information

Practical details for visitors to our History centre.

7 July 2022 update: Due to the staff lift being out of order at Oxfordshire History Centre, there may be delays or restrictions on access when ordering certain documents from our strongrooms, depending on their size or extent.

Booking a session

We recommend advance booking for all visitors to Oxfordshire History Centre’s Searchroom. Sessions are split into 9.30am - 1pm, and 1pm - 4.30pm and should be booked via Eventbrite - information on how to book a session. There are no limits on the number of sessions you may book.

Accessing documents

All documents from our strongrooms (archives, library materials and microfilms / fiches) must be ordered in the Searchroom, on arrival or during your visit. We are unable to accommodate advance requests.

We recommend that you plan ahead by checking the summary guide to our catalogues, and consulting our Heritage Search catalogue, the National Archives catalogue, or our microfilm newspapers list (pdf format, 234Kb) to find specific references for the items you require.

Depositing documents

If you have archive, photographic or library material that you wish to deposit with or gift to Oxfordshire History Centre, you must contact us in advance. Check our Depositing or donating page for further details. We will not accept any material brought in without prior agreement and an appointment.

Café and toilets

We have a café selling a small selection of hot and cold drinks and pre-packed snacks. Payment by card is available. Visitors are welcome to eat their lunch in the reception area. Public toilets are available.

Self-service resources and copying

You can consult or use the following self-service resources in the Searchroom during your visit:

  • Hard-copy catalogues (volumes and index cards) and online catalogues.
  • Local Studies (library) materials, including transcripts. These are marked “Open Access” in our Local Studies catalogue and in the Oxford University SOLO catalogue.
  • Online resources
  • Self-service photocopying and self-service printing from computer and microfilm. 
  • Self-service copying using your own camera or smartphone - a permit fee is payable.
  • Payment by card is available.

Oxfordshire Health Archives

Oxfordshire Health Archives catalogues are not currently available online. These catalogues are in hard copy (volume) format and can be consulted in the Searchroom.

Undigitised photographs

Our photographic collections are catalogued online at www.pictureoxon.org.uk. Thousands of photographs are available to view online, but not all are currently digitised.

Some undigitised photographs are available to visitors in these formats: A4 printed copies in browser files; photographic microfiches.

Consultation of any other original, undigitised photographic material is only possible by prior arrangement with our Photographic and Oral History Officer. 

Uncatalogued material

If you wish to examine uncatalogued material (e.g. archive accessions), please contact us well in advance of your visit to discuss what you wish to look at.

Arrangements for disabled visitors

If you require someone to accompany you when you visit, they will also need to book a place in the Searchroom. 

An adjustable height computer table is available for use in the Searchroom.

Please let us know when booking if you have any other special requirements.

Use of lockers

All bags must be left in the lockers provided and can't be brought into the Searchroom. There is no charge for using the lockers.