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Visual and audio recordings are a modern source but can provide exceptional evidence for the historian. The images and voices collection at the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies (COS) contains a number of videos and DVDs. These include an array of Radio Oxford interviews from 1960s onwards relating to local history issues. Many are linked to Oral History. A list of the resources available in the COS can be viewed by searching for ‘VT’ in the Oxfordshire Heritage Search.

The Wessex Film and Sound Archive is located at the Hampshire Records Office at Winchester and contains resources from the late Victorian period to the present day. It contains over 32,000 sound and film recordings relating to central southern England, including Oxfordshire. The contents of this extensive archive can be searching via the Wessex Film and Sound Archive website.

One jewel for north Oxfordshire relates to a government sponsored film. ‘24 Square Miles’ is a 1946

24 sq miles 2.jpg

information film directed by Kay Mander and has its origin in a survey carried out in 1943 by the Oxford Agricultural Economics Research Institute. The area covered is based upon a sheet of the Ordnance Survey at a scale of 6” to the mile and covers the area of Banbury and the villages to the south-west including Hook Norton. The survey was commissioned by government to better understand the key rural issues to aid planning. The factual content, although with place names disguised, provides an important visual representation of a moment in time for part of north Oxfordshire. As such it is of significance to the modern rural historian. The film is commerically available or can be viewed at the Wessex Film Archive.

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