Celebrate Oxfordshire's History!

Help us mark 120 years of the VCH with the Oxfordshire Big Red Box

The VCH is marking its 120th birthday as a national enterprise with a light-hearted ‘Red Box’ project open to all, celebrating the history of each county.

Every county with an active VCH has a Red Box modelled on the famous VCH Red Books – to be filled with as wide a range as possible of small objects symbolising some aspect of the county’s history, landscape, places, and communities, from prehistory to the present. All the boxes will form part of an exhibition at the Institute of Historical Research in London in the autumn, as well as forming a permanent digital exhibition

We don’t want objects as yet, just creative and original ideas for what to include – which can be as odd, as obvious, or as unexpected as you like provided they highlight a significant theme or event which you think ought to be represented, are not unique, irreplaceable, or perishable, and have no great monetary value (so not the Watlington Hoard, please!). The Cowley car industry, for instance, might be represented by a piece of personal memorabilia or by a toy Mini (and probably in lots of other ways!).

Please send thoughts and suggestions (including how objects can be accessed) to simon.townley@history.ox.ac.uk by the end of July. We shall sift through them all and make a final choice during August, ready to return the box to VCH Central Office.