Volunteering at the Oxford County Archives

Due to my interest in the Public History Master’s Program at Western University, I decided to get some experience in an archive to give me a competitive edge. I emailed the Oxford Historical Society to ask if they had any volunteer opportunities available for the holidays. The Oxford Historical Society, Oxford Genealogical Society and the Oxford County Archives are now all under one roof at 82 Light Street, Court House Square, Woodstock, Ontario. This amalgamation of services allows easy accessibility to all services related to Oxford County history. The Archivist offered me a volunteer position for the holiday season. Last Friday was my first day at the archives. I got the opportunity to tour the facilities and see the vast number of resources that the three groups have in their space. They have a temperature controlled vault containing a lot of their collections and binders and binders of important people of Oxford. After my tour I was given the task of creating an index for a collection of Probate of Wills, Deeds of Separation and Letters of Administration from the early1930’s on. During my 8 hours at the archives I entered approximately 300 into the index and Monday morning I will be continuing the project. After I finished for the day, head Archivist showed me a deed for land near Woodstock from 1801 that the archives are in the process of purchasing. It was so interesting to be able to see and touch something from the area that dates back 211 years! Even parts of the wax seal are still intact and attached with the original ribbon. I will be volunteering for the next four weeks and I hope to learn lots of valuable information about possibly working in an archive in the future. I will provide updates on future projects during my volunteer position in the weeks to follow.



4 thoughts on “Volunteering at the Oxford County Archives

  1. Its nice to learn that there are young people who are interested in historical records and archives. As I began to read your blog I thought that you were in Oxford, North Carolina but then I saw that you were writing about a library in Oxford, Canada. Congratulations on your volunteer position. Be careful that the genealogy bug doesn’t bit you! Its a disease of which there is no cure!! I live in Franklin County, NC and there is a Heritage Society which was established about 3 years ago. Although we are a young organization we hope to encourage our young people to take an interest in their heritage. Good Luck !

    1. Thanks for your interest and comment! I have been getting a lot of people surprised at my interest in this area and I don’t see how people can’t be interested in it! I have been working for a few years off and on on recording information from my older relatives about our family history, so I guess I’ve already been bitten! Thanks again for your good luck wishes!

      1. Please don’t forget to ask your older relatives the most minute questions as to their parents, grandparents, such as where they were born and under what circumstances and anything that they can remember about their early lives. Please record and re-ask a few days later if they remember anything else. Don’t wait to interview your older relatives…they might not be there next week. One interview does not make a complete record. Just a few things that I wish that I had known 15 years ago !!

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