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The  Centre for Oxfordshire Studies Library (COS) has a collection of over 400,000 historical photographs dating from 1850. It holds three major collection of Henry Taunt, JW Thomas and the Packer collection.

Taunt was active between 1860 and his death in 1922 throughout Oxfordshire. Together with his firm he printed more than 60,000 photographs. His images can be viewed via Oxfordshire County Council’s Heritage Search site or English Heritage's Viewfinder site.

Frank Packer and his son, Basil maintained a family photography business in Chipping Norton for over sixty years from 1910. The Packer collection includes 55,000 photographs and includes those of another Chipping Norton photographer, Percy Simms.

JW Thomas was an Oxford commercial photographer active between 1946 and 1999 and he held 80,000 glass plate negatives and a total of 100,000 images.

Twelve other 20th century collections are held at the OSL.

A recent addition to Oxfordshire photographic history is the identification of Hinton Waldrist as the village featured in a series of stereo photographs from 1850s entitled ‘Scenes in our Village’ taken by the pioneering photographer T.R. Williams. Their history and interpretation is undertaken in A village Lost and Found, by Brian May and Elena Vidal (Frances Lincoln, London, 2009).

Three major sets of aerial photographs are held in the National Monuments Record Collection containing approximately 2.7 million photographs. They cover the period 1938 to the present day and further details can be found at the English Heritage website. 


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