The Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History (OCMCH)

Last updated 6th August 2020
Name of library The Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History (OCMCH)
Address Oxford Brookes University, Harcourt Hill Campus, Oxford, OX2 9AT
Telephone 01865 488319 
Alternative names Previously Wesley and Methodist Studies Centre, and the Oxford Wesley Centre.
Contact & Job Title Thomas Dobson, Collections and Digitisation Officer
Purpose & main user community of the library Research into British Methodism and its history, wider ecclesiastical history, and the history of teacher training and educational institutions of the 19th and 20th centuries.  
Terms of access Booking via email with the Centre is requested prior to visiting.
Opening hours 10.00 – 16.00 Monday – Friday
Disabled access Disabled Access is available with prior arrangement
Lending to other libraries & visitors Due to the historic nature of our collections, we are unable to lend items to visitors.
Number of volumes Number of printed items held by the Wesley Historical Society Library: c.15,000

There is also extensive printed material within other collections held by the OCMCH.

Periodicals – Back Issues
Current Periodicals  
Other materials Books; Manuscripts; Works of Art; Photographs; Microfilm; Vinyl Records, Cassette Tapes and CDs; VHS’. 
Volumes added per year  
Special Collections
  • The Wesley Historical Society Library
  • The Westminster College collection
  • The archive of the Avec Consultancy
  • The archive of the Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies
  • The archive of the Voice of Methodism Association
  • Documents on Anglican-Methodist Union
  • The James Smetham Collection
  • The Papers of Rev. Dr. Colin Morris
  • The Papers of Rev. Dr. Donald English, CBE
  • The Papers of Prof. W.R. (‘Reg’) Ward
  • The Papers of Rev. William (‘Bill’) Gowland
Manuscripts Many of the Centre’s special collections feature extensive manuscript material. Notable items include original letters from the Wesley family and other leading Methodists, and sketchbooks of the pre-raphaelite James Smetham.
Research resource Library, Archives, Art Collections, Online material
Catalogue Type Online, physical file listings/catalogues, and card catalogue listings
URL of catalogue
Other facilities Microform and Microfiche Readers; Scanning, Copying and Printing facilities.
Full Time Staff  4
Part Time Staff  2
Voluntary Staff  1
Changes in next five years affecting the above  
Anything else about the library The Centre is located on the former site of Westminster College Oxford which, following its merging in 2000, became the Harcourt Hill campus of Oxford Brookes University. Today, the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History holds 14 collections. In addition to the collections above, the Centre also holds:

  • Works of art from Methodist Church House (25 Marylebone Road, London)
  • The papers of Francis Bartels, a notable twentieth century Ghanaian educator and diplomat,
  • The Bletchley Park/Lady Spencer Churchill College (of Education) collection.

Much of its material has been made available digitally, with images of over 15,000 items online, either in the form of a photograph or scan, as an electronic sound file, or as a 3D object. For information regarding the Centre’s digital collections, please visit the Centre’s website, which is listed above.