England's Past for Everyone - Oxford

EPE Oxfordshire volunteers – photography training led by English Heritage
©University of London

Region: South East

Summary: England’s Past for Everyone (EPE) is a Heritage Lottery funded project run by the Victoria County History (VCH). They run fifteen local history projects in ten counties across the country. Our Burford project in Oxfordshire looks at the origins and development of the town, its richly varied buildings, and the people who inhabited them.

Description: The project has benefited from large-scale collaboration between professional historians and local volunteers.  Building investigation has been carried out in partnership with the Oxfordshire Buildings Record (OBR), a voluntary organisation which encourages involvement in recording historic buildings.  Project partner English Heritage has provided volunteers with photography training and the photography group has built up a photographic survey of the town.  A further group of volunteers has transcribed nearly one thousand wills and inventories.
Strategy: Centrally funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, EPE is also working with local partners on each of its projects.  In Oxfordshire the key partners are Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford University Library Services.

Materials discovered during our research, including images, historical documents and audio files, are also available from our free, interactive website ‘Explore’ (www.ExploreEnglandsPast.org.uk).  Resources on the Oxfordshire Explore site include accounts of Burford's buildings and the people who lived in them, transcripts of townspeople's wills which shed light on trade, religion, family relations, and domestic life and images of Burford buildings, past and present. An Oxfordshire school project is currently in development.

A book ‘Burford: Buildings and People in a Cotswold Town’ has been published (ISBN 978-1-86077-488-1).  

The second project in Oxfordshire is a study of Henley on Thames.

Through its learning and publications programmes EPE is also helping to develop new models of working for the future of the VCH.


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