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A variety of exhibits outlining the history of Oxford County, its culture, and its residents.

COA202 Farms and Families Tweedsmuir - Mr. Royal Brink on his 88th birthday with puppy

Animals in Archives

Humans and animals go way back. Humans have been relying on animals for transportation, labour, entertainment, companionship, food production, and more for thousands of years. In this exhibit, you will discover many of our archival records relating to animals and the stories contained within them. We invite you to examine what they can tell us about the human-animal relationship, and how animals and humans impact one another today and historically. 


Donald Sutherland

Learn more about the life of Canadian politician Donald Sutherland with this online exhibit. Donald Sutherland, born in West Zorra Township in 1863, was a prominent county, provincial and federal politician. He worked as a public servant from 1896 until his death in 1949 while still a member of the Senate of Canada. This exhibit provides a look into his accomplishments and features a variety of primary and secondary documents from the Oxford County Archives’ repository relating to Senator Donald Sutherland.

Joe Boyle

Explore the life of Joseph “Klondike” Whiteside Boyle. Boyle was a Woodstock native who became a successful entrepreneur in the development of the gold field in Dawson City, Yukon during the late 1890s and early 1900s. Lt. Col. Joe Boyle’s involvement in the First World War led to his acknowledgment as a national hero in Romania and he was awarded the honorary title of “Saviour of Romania”. Learn more about Joe Boyle with this online exhibit.

Honouring Oxford

The Honouring Oxford project, an online exhibit and interactive map, aims to tell just some of the stories behind Oxford’s First World War memorials and to shine a light on the many lives that were lost during the war. This interactive exhibit will help you navigate the stories behind the memorials and find their location in Oxford County.

Catherine McMullen Mann Scrapbooks

These scrapbooks are comprised mostly of newspaper articles concerning local happenings in Otterville and the surrounding area. They span a time period of 1940 - 1998 - 58 years of community history.

spanish flu

Spanish Flu: Food for Thought

The Spanish Flu was a worldwide pandemic that began in the early spring of 1918 and lasted until December 1920. This exhibit delves into a brief history of the Spanish Flu and looks specifically at how Canadians cooked at home during the pandemic. Discover a variety of recipes from the period, many of which were created in response to limited food resources during the First World War. Do we eat food similar to what Canadians were eating in 1918? Find out and try one of the recipes at home!

The Oxford County Gaol

The Oxford County Gaol, built in 1854, is both architecturally and historically significant. Having housed prisoners until 1977, it has many fascinating stories to discover throughout its history. From international conmen to women arrested for practicing witchcraft, the gaol’s walls have stood witness to all manner of inmates. In this exhibit, you will read about daily life for prisoners and staff at the goal, discover which architectural elements make the goal so beautiful and intimidating, and learn about some of Oxford County’s most infamous criminals.

moustache portrait

The History of Facial Hair: A County Warden Gallery

This exhibit designed in celebration of "Movember" features a gallery of Oxford County Wardens modeling facial hairstyles through the ages from 1850 to 1950. Discover the history behind growing facial hair and the culture surrounding it. This exhibit is a collaboration between the Archives, the Beachville District Museum, and the Norwich and District Museum & Archives. Artifacts and content from both museums are also featured.


Tillsonburg 150: Celebrating Business & Industry

Take a trip back in time to Tillsonburg’s incorporation in 1872. “Visit” some of the businesses that were booming in the early days of Tillsonburg and “meet” some of the men and women who were the forces behind these businesses and local industry. From brewers to undertakers, photographers to dressmakers, Tillsonburg had it all. These businesses shaped the town of Tillsonburg and the people who lived there during the mid-1800s. Discover more of Tillsonburg’s history with the archives.


Wardens and Council in Oxford County

View over 100 years of County Council composite photographs from 1896 onward. Read all about the life stories and achievements of the County Wardens from Benjamin Van Norman, the very first Warden elected in 1850, to the present day, and view the official portraits of each Warden since the county’s incorporation.