The Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History (OCMCH)

Promoting historic links between Oxford Brookes University and the Methodist Church through archives, artworks, publications and research.

Library & Archives

The Centre holds several important research collections

Wesley Historical Society Library

This is probably the second most significant collection of Methodist published works in Britain. Particular strengths are British biography and local history. The on-line catalogue, which also covers libraries in Bath and Bristol:

The WHS library also holds a large number of items which are not listed on the on-line catalogue. These include a substantial collection of cuttings, portraits, and some original archive material. Microfilm copies of the Methodist Recorder and The Watchman are available.

AVEC consultancy archives

These are a valuable resource comprising extensive collections of background papers related to various phases of action-research into church and community development between 1976 and 1994.

Westminster College archives

The first Wesleyan Methodist training college for teachers was founded in Westminster, London in 1851 and moved to Oxford in 1959. It merged with Oxford Brookes University in 2000. The extensive archive contains official and personal papers, photographs and memorabilia covering over 150 years of the institutions history and heritage. This is also a major resource for educational historians.

Other archives

The papers of Rev Dr Donald English

Donald English (1930–1998) was a leading evangelical Methodist minister, President of the British Methodist Conference twice. He also had an influence on world Methodism and was Chair of the World Methodist Council 1991-1996.

The papers of Rev Bill Gowland

Bill Gowland (1911–1991) was an influential Methodist minister who constantly challenged the church and was a pioneer in industrial ministry and in building bridges between the church and ordinary life. He was President of the British Methodist Conference in 1979.

Archives of Bletchley Park College and Lady Spencer Churchill College

Established as the last of the post-war ‘emergency colleges’ for the training of teachers in 1947, under its founding Principal Miss Dora Cohen the College became renowned for excellence in teacher education. It moved from Bletchley to Wheatley in 1965 and amalgamated with Oxford Polytechnic in 1974, latterly becoming the Oxford Brookes University School of Education.

More updates to follow.


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