Thursday 11 July 2013

Genealogy notes 4-11 July 2013 State libraries for genealogy

Well we have farewelled yet another house guest, this time someone we used to know in Canberra but who is now living on the Gold Coast. It always surprises me that people living in Queensland have never been to Bribie Island but then I think I like it as a secret little hideaway!

As usual having people in the house takes me away from the laptop and genealogy pursuits and this time it made me completely forget that it is Diary's anniversary! Two years ago on 1 July 2011 I started up Diary of an Australian Genealogist to prove to someone that it was very easy to set up a blog and keep it going. Time has gone quickly but then lots of things seem to happen in my life. Two years ago I was still working full time and had more time for genealogy and social media  whereas now I'm part time and living in a beach paradise with lots of other distractions.

Still I do manage to get to some great genealogy events and yesterday I attended the local Bribie Island family history group meeting where old friend and colleague Stephanie Ryan was talking about the genealogy resources at the State Library of Queensland where she is the Genealogy Librarian. It was a bit of a walk down memory lane for me as I first went to work at SLQ in 1981 and I went back to work there in 1990. Both times I left to go and work at Queensland State Archives. It was also good to see that SLQ still supports researchers who live outside the capital city, all too often regional and rural people miss out on personal visits although I can understand that there are time and travel costs involved. We just need that 'beam me up' technology!

Anyway enough of memory lane, it was great to hear Stephanie mention the AJCP (Australian Joint Copying Project) which has to be one of the most under-utilised resources for genealogy and she definitely invoked memories when she mentioned the A2 series of microfilm which was a joint copying project between SLQ and State Records NSW back in the 1970s. It is really good to know that they are currently working on a better index to all the wonderful material that relates to pre separation Queensland (1824-1859).

Stephanie mentioned all the useful family history information guides which are all online and nice to see that they have been recently updated. All too often you see guides which are out of date! There are more online indexes at SLQ than I realised so I have a bit of exploring to do just in case any of my families are mentioned. I have been using the Library's One Search to find information so I was interested to hear that you can also still search the former online catalogue as well. Like most things it can be useful to search both as sometimes the results vary.

I recently applied for my SLQ library card which gives me access to the Library's e-resources at home and I really must make the trek down to Brisbane and check out the new building. It has changed a lot since I last worked there in 1994. The trouble is I expect I'd want to spend more than a day there as there is just so much available for both Australian and UK genealogy.

National Family History Month has been keeping me busy with lots of events being added over the last week. It's only three weeks to launch so I'm expecting the next weeks to be busier than ever. I'm looking forward to the announcement of the Nick Vine Hall awards at the launch and I hope that genealogy and family history societies have nominated their journals this year. It is good to recognise the enormous effort all the editors do to bring new information and stories to society members.

Finally I would like to say that it was wonderful to see that Diary was listed in Jill Ball's 50 Blogs You Need to Read in the current issue of Inside History Magazine. It was a great anniversary present although I expect Jill doesn't remember it has been two years this month. We obviously have similar interests as many of the genealogy blogs she listed are ones that I try to look at on a regular basis. It's divided up into Institutions, Organisations, Niche Topics and Societies, Personal Genealogists and Professional Genealogists. However there are some that I haven't seen before so there's another thing down on my list to do - check them out! If you are looking to find some good blogs to read check out Jill's list and they are not all Australian, some overseas ones as well.

I'm off to Chinchilla for the weekend for the genealogy seminar with the Chinchilla Family History Group and I have a number of historical villages on my list of things to do while I'm out that way. At least that gives me something to write about next Diary! Until next time, try and find some time to do your own genealogy.


  1. Have a wonderful time in Chinchilla Shauna. Congratulations on your anniversary and the listing is Jill's list. It's a good list isn't it? And I really like how she's segmented it this time. Well worth investigating.

  2. Congratulations. It was also great to see Genealogists for Families, and individual blogs by many members of our team, on the Top50 list.

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  4. Thanks Alex, Chinchilla was great and nice to be back in Queensland.