Over the past 40+ years the Society has become home to a variety of material relating to all aspects of the unique history of the Wychwood villages. This archive includes over 2000 historic photographs, as well as a wide variety of documents, maps, charts, census material and research records . Providing access and opportunities to engage with this information has been difficult.
Over the years, it has been stored in a variety of locations. We have been grateful for the support of Chipping Norton Museum, who held a fair proportion of the archive after its removal from the arrangements at New Beaconsfield Hall. But much of the material has been held in under-stair cupboards, garages and lofts, and never all in one place. Although some of the collection has been carefully catalogued, and some is digitised here on our website, other material remains in the bags, boxes and suitcases in which it was handed over.
For some time, the Society has been determined to catalogue and give full access to this unique collection. The first step towards achieving this aim came earlier this year when we were able to take a three-year lease on an office above Groves shop in Milton-under-Wychwood. For the first time, we have been able to bring everything together in one place to begin the process of organisation and indexing.
The society has sought professional advice on best practice in storing and cataloguing the contents of this archive. The process has begun. By spring 2023 the Society hopes to build a fully itemised catalogue of the archive and make it available for publication on our website.
Additionally, once this task is complete, we will look forward to assisting individual enquiries from members and non-members alike, by arranging personal visits to the archive Study Centre. For further information on the Archive and its availability for researchers please contact the Society Secretary, John Bennett by using our Contact Form.