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Research at the archives

Our research facilities

The Oxford County Archives provides visitors a space with free public wifi for research within our reference library. Our library collection is publicly accessible and includes publications on the general history of Oxford County and specific subjects relating to local history. Other resources include early marriage, birth and death registers, atlases, County maps, poll books, voter’s lists and the “Woodstock Daily Sentinel-Review” newspaper on microfilm. A microfilm reader and printer is available to view records on microfilm. Additional resources within the archives’ collections must be requested and retrieved by staff. 

Types of records

The Oxford County Archives provides access to a variety of valuable resources applicable to all types of research including genealogy/family history; property history; academic research; specific topics in local history; the cultural, social, economic, political, legal and administrative history of Oxford County. Below is a selection of the types of records available at the archives:

  • Artwork - County Warden portraits, collections of artwork by local artists
  • Architectural plans and engineer drawings
  • Birth, marriage, death registers
  • Business/corporate records - correspondence, sales receipts, marketing material, financial ledgers, account books, etc.
  • Church and cemetery records
  • Community records - relating to the general history of a community within Oxford County (e.g. Beachville, Ingersoll, Innerkip, Norwich)
  • Genealogical & personal records - family/personal records and collections (postcards, greetings cards, correspondence, journals, books, family trees, scrapbooks, etc.)
  • Government records - administrative, fiscal, legal and historical records relating to Oxford County (1850 - present) and its predecessor the District of Brock (1842-1849).
  • Local newspapers
  • Military records
  • Organization/institutional records - newsletters, scrapbooks, meeting minutes, posters, brochures, etc.
  • Photographs, negatives, and audio-visual material
  • Property records - maps, land deeds, tax assessment rolls
  • School records - photo albums, trophies, certificates and yearbooks
  • Voters’ lists and poll books


Research tips

  • Contact us ahead of time - Scheduling an appointment allows our archivists time to process your request, find what you need and retrieve the required records. This also saves you a trip to the Archives if the records you are looking for are inaccessible or located elsewhere.
  • Bring what you know - Bringing any information you can provide about your research topic, i.e. names, dates, addresses, etc., will help our archivists help you and create a more efficient and effective research experience for everyone involved.
  • Bring a notebook and pencil or a laptop - You will likely be taking notes during your visit to the Archives so a notepad will be useful! We ask that all visitors please use a pencil rather than writing utensils with ink in order to protect our records. Or you are welcome to bring your laptop or tablet as we have free public wifi.
  • Have you checked online? - While most archives stress to always check the sources and accuracy of any information you read online, it can be beneficial to do a preliminary Google search about the topic you are researching before visiting an archives. Many useful records such as the Canadian Census, military records and maps have been digitized by other libraries and archives and made available online.
  • Take some pictures - We allow researchers to take photographs of most records using their own camera, there are some restrictions due to copyright and privacy legislation. It can be useful to take photos of records so you can study them further at home. We can also photocopy or scan records to make a digital copy for a fee.

Appointments

It is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment to conduct research at the archives. Booking an appointment ensures that all of our resources are available, including staff.

Providing archives staff with your research request before you arrive also allows time for staff to retrieve the appropriate records and ensure that all of our resources have been searched through thoroughly prior to your visit. This guarantees a positive research experience for both our patrons and our staff.


 

Booking an appointment

To book a research appointment please contact the Oxford County Archives using the contact information below:

Telephone: 519-539-9800 x3918
Email: archives@oxfordcounty.ca


 

Handling records

Due to the unique and irreplaceable nature of archival records, strict handling polices are enforced. Researchers will be provided with cotton gloves when using primary source records. Archives staff reserve the right to restrict access to original documents, where microfilm or other facsimile exists, and to fragile documents.