Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Genealogy Unlock the Past Guides

Family History Researchers may like to review recent acquisitions to the collection which include:
Place a hold today!

New Family History Books

In the lead up to Family History Month in August when we will host a wide range of programs and events the following new titles have been added to the collection:
Photo: Pizzey Family Home, Diamond Creek Nillumbik Local History Digitisation Project Yarra Plenty Regional Library in partnership with Nillumbik Historical Society

Monday, June 22, 2015

Family History Feast

Family History Feast 2015  will be held on Monday 10 August at the State Library of Victoria during National Family History Month. Once again collaborative partners will include the State Library of Victoria, Public Record Office VictoriaNational Archives of Australia (Melbourne Office) and the Immigration Discovery Centre of Museum Victoria. The theme for this year is World War 1. Professor Bruce Scates will be delivering the annual Don Grant Memorial Lecture. Bookings are now open.
The podcasts of the 2014 event and video cast of the Don Grant Memorial Lecture are available on the Library website.
Photo: Thomson Family, Kinglake Victoria 1891 (Shire of Eltham Pioneers Photo Collection, Yarra Plenty Regional Library in partnership with Eltham District Historical Society)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ryerson now at 5 Million

This past weekend saw the Ryerson Index reach five 5 million names. The free Australian website which indexes contemporary death notices from Australian newspapers has been growing steadily since its establishment over seventeen years ago with some of the original indexers still submitting files to the website.
Volunteers at Yarra Plenty Regional Library have been submitting information from notices from the Diamond Valley LeaderWhittlesea Leader and Heidelberg Leader. Hard copies of which can be accessed at Diamond Valley, Mill Park and Ivanhoe libraries.
It is believed that the Ryerson is now the largest free database of Australian death information in Australia, and quite probably the world. The NSW Births Deaths and Marriages index has about 4.5 million entries. None of the other states are larger than this.

Image: Example of death notice indexed for Ryerson Index Leader Newspaper January 1989

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Website review : National Library of Australia (Catalogue)

The Librarians Day at the AFFHO Congress 2015 recently was hosted for us by the National Library of Australia. I was pleased that we could fit in an all be it hurried tour including behind the scenes, as this was my first visit, I was a little disappointed that we had to hurry through so will have to plan a trip in the future and undertake some research. Since my visit the new newspapers and family history zone has opened.  The catalogue is separate to the home page but a link to it can be found on the home page of the website (right beside one for Trove )
A general rule for a lot of catalogues and sites such as Trove and Ancestry is to keep your search simple, especially in the beginning. A less is more approach is more sensible as the use of filters and other options helps to narrow down your search results anyway. In the NLA case, a list of options to narrow your search appears on the right of the screen.
As researchers increasingly expect more and more content on line, you can narrow your search to online items by selecting this option from the drop down menu on the search screen.
Find something interesting, follow the links and see where they take you.
Login in with your NLA registration and keep track of the items you have found by adding them as a favourite. This is a handy option for requesting records at a later date. Information on how to do this is on the website and if after all this, you still need a bit of guidance check out this fun video : Experimenting with the catalogue.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The People in the photo by Helene Gestern is a work of fiction translated from French and set in Europe.  This book drew my attention from the outset.  Photos are a powerful tool in our family history which inspire and help to add layers to our research.  The author uses a clever storytelling device by the use of letters, emails and postcards to unite the two main characters in their quest to find the truth behind the hidden stories of a somewhat common past.    Between the letters are detailed descriptions of the photos that are the foundation of the story.  Though fiction, the author provides a good example of how a photo can be dissected for clues in a research journey.
The story of Helene and Stephane and their respective parents - Sylvia and Pierre in the end was a little far- fetched but an enjoyable light read. This book perhaps ultimately proved that the power of a photograph can bring people together.   A lofty thing indeed!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Congress 2015 - Librarians Day

The 14th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry hosted by The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra at the National Convention Centre, Canberra.  The triennial Congress is conducted under the auspices of the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations (AFFHO).  The Conference was also supported by an online research interests’ register, a Librarians day and opportunities for after- hours research at three major local repositories.  A welcome function was held at the AWM and a dinner was held at Parliament House.  The Congress was “about learning, sharing and making connections”.
This is the first of a series of posts about the conference.
Over 40 librarians arrived in Canberra a day ahead of the AFFHO Congress 2015 gathering at the National Library of Australia.
Speakers included: Jenny Higgins.  Jenny previously working at the National Library of Australia – Jenny now works with the National Dictionary of Biography. Her topic was “The Best tool for the job : choosing the right family history resources”
She reminded us that we need to review what our favourite sources actually include, their scope and content.  Some databases do not state this.  Look for a statement of scope even in the commercial databases.  Sometimes you need to know what the collection does not include.
The second speaker was Seonaid Lewis – Family History Librarian at Auckland Libraries based at the Central Auckland Heritage Centre.  One of their major programs is their “genealogy lock in” which is an event for family history researchers when researchers access the library after the library would normally close to the public.  8 pm – 8 am.   About 50 Researchers are provided with pizza, and staff and volunteers are available for assistance.
Josh Taylor Find My Past – Director of Family History is always good value.  Find My Past has recently completed integration of data from purchase of Origins.net   including UK resources.
FMP also own Mocavo. .  This site is like a genealogy search engine. It has a rich text content base. Books are being digitised as a rapid base.
The Keynote address was from Anne Marie Schwirtich Director NLA. MS Schwiortilich spoke at length. The National Library ensures that documentary resources of national significance relating to Australia and Australians. Significant numbers of family historians use the National Library both onsite and online including via the Trove portal.
A panel of librarians concluded the day.  The Panel was chaired by Anne Burrows, State Library of Victoria and included Seonaid Lewis, Auckland Libraries, Margaret Curry, NT Library, Janette Pelosi, Society of Australian Genealogists and myself from, YPRL.
With limited time we addressed some topics including Publishing trends – acquisition and selection and  staff and public training iniatives including  Branching Out: an online course in family history offered by SLV in 2014 and piloted by Victorian public libraries including YPRL.
The Librarians Day set a great tone for the rest of the conference with lots of networking and continued learning and sharing of information.