An Introduction to the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock

The remit of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, located behind  The Oxfordshire Museum on Park Street, Woodstock is based on three core propositions: 

  • Value Proposition – A new take on the classic military museum where everyone can be inspired to learn and share stories of courage and combat in conflict and peace.
  • Mission Statement – To inspire everyone through our collections and story-telling.
  • Key aspirations
    • Fuelling curiosity.
    • Engaging Communities.
    • Deepening Relationships.

Our Vision

Our ambition is to be recognised as a leading authority on the interpretation of conflict and its impact throughout the ages. Our vision is to enrich people’s understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and conflict.

Our Role in the Community

We are dedicated to recording and protecting the legacy of people’s experiences of conflict, exploring the causes of war and its impact on people’s lives. Our collections are made up of the everyday and the exceptional, drawn from people of all walks of life. They reflect the total nature of war and reveal stories of people, places, ideas and histories. We make our collections relevant to contemporary audiences by uncovering vivid personal stories and powerful experiences that engage visitors of all ages with the issues of war and conflict.

Our Reason for Existence

Our reason for existence is defined by our values and how we act and feel:

  • Courageous – We have the courage and confidence to challenge established wisdom through championing debate and innovative approaches.
  • Authoritative – Through our own knowledge and of those who engage with us we aim to be the first point of call on the history of the impact of conflict on the community using our rich collections. Our vision sets our standards of excellence in everything we do.
  • Relevant – We strive to make everything we do relevant to contemporary society, while maintaining a balanced and impartial point of view.
  • Empathetic – We’re sensitive to people’s emotions, respecting different points of view and the deep significance of our collections and imagery on individuals and the wider community.

Our Current Value Proposition to the Community

Our current value proposition to the community is made through:

  • A heterogeneous and diverse collection.
  • We interpret history through our collections and media that bring it to life – in film, art, photographs, sound, new media – all of which are resonant for people today.
  • The Museum comprises, a library, archives and objects. We use this facility to create a space for staff, academic and amateur researchers, collaborators, partners, volunteers and for public education, response and debate.
  • Our subject matter helps to explain why the community and wider society is like it is today and is crucial to historical understanding.
  • Our subject matter is inextricably linked with a sense of identity, national, community and personal.
  • We have a symbiotic relationship with our audiences, a significant part of whom have a real and personal connection with war and conflict. People of any age can be an expert in our subject matter because veterans and eyewitnesses of war and conflict can be of any age.
  • A focus on core, high-impact activity.

Our Challenges

The Museum will only continue to be supported, relevant, sustainable and influential if:

  • Our stories matter.
  • Our authority is well founded.
  • Our collections are rich.
  • Our service is seamless.
  • Our resources can support us.

The Museum has focussed on achieving its remit to the community through:

  • being audience centred, through our temporary exhibitions, gallery spaces, learning programmes, events, services, digital content, publications, webinars and products;
  • sustaining high levels of customer satisfaction;
  • being relevant to our audiences, ensuring that our activities are designed to have long-term impact;
  • continuously evolving in order to deliver excellence, engaging audiences and stakeholders;
  • maximising our impact on a local, regional, national and international scale, and
  • being efficient and effective, delivering the best possible value for money by continuing to focus on core, high-impact activity.

Our Stories are About People and Their Stories

WOLP students in a trench (2014)
Article on Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE
www.sofo.org.uk

Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum Trust

We demonstrate the courage, tenacity, comradeship and fellowship of the Military, their families, the towns in which they lived or were born and the close links with the population of this county of Oxfordshire.

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