Oxfordshire Museum Service

Anna Griffiths, 15.01.2014
Oxfordshire Museum Service commissioned Sharon Woodward, an independent filmmaker, to produce three films as part of our History in the Making project – a three-year project scoped to re-engage Oxfordshire communities with collections from their local area, funded by Arts Council England as part of the Oxford Aspire programme.

The aim of the films has been to tell the story of how different objects in the county collection were made, while showcasing traditional crafts still practised in Oxfordshire.

On top of this the films document some of the research and community engagement that has happened throughout the project. Making these films was a learning experience for the museums service and the filmmaker, as we worked together to produce the best results.

The Oxfordshire Oar Makers film follows two volunteers curious about a locally-made oar in the collection.

The Alchester Project film follows a group of army cadets as they learn about a Roman soldier’s tombstone and work with a sculptor to design and produce their own war memorial.

A third film about the production of a replica Anglo-Saxon pattern-welded sword is currently being produced.

All of the films will feature in exhibitions at the Oxfordshire Museum, where they will provide an extra layer of interpretation to help people engage with the objects on display.

The Oar Makers film was screened on the Community Channel in November 2013 and there are now plans to deliver events in the county promoting the films throughout 2014, and possibly to commission more films.

Anna Griffiths is the county collections project officer at Oxfordshire Museums Service