On 13 December 2012, my colleague Penny Hyde and I participated in Inside History Magazine’s weekly Expert Q&A hosted on their Facebook page. For weeks prior to the forum, we brainstormed the kinds of questions people were likely to pose. Nothing, however, could have prepared us for the deluge of interesting questions and comments posted over just one hour! One thing certainly became clear throughout this experience, and that is, there is a growing network of people present online who are passionate about all things genealogy and family history. This is an audience hungry for information and willing to delve into the various research tools open to them. We enjoyed ourselves so much, in the end, we’re not sure if we learned more from them, than they did from us!
For a full transcript head over to Inside History’s blog, however, following are a few interesting and useful points to keep in mind:
- Although the museum is not a repository for State or Commonwealth records, the Vaughan Evans Library and the museum’s collection provides a wealth of information. This includes records such as shipping registers, shipbuilding magazines, shipping histories, personal records and an extensive photographic collection
- For personal service records, encompassing the Royal Australian Navy, see the National Archives of Australia
- The Vaughan Evans Library have a range of digitised resources available, including periodicals, our quarterly magazine Signals and some shipping registers
- Search through thousands of objects from the ANMM Collection
- Vaughan Evans Library staff have produced a number of comprehensive research guides, topics include coastal shipping, immigration, First Fleet and many more
- Browse our Flickr Commons photostream for a range of pre-1955 photographs
- Make an appointment with one of our librarians
- Mariners and Ships in Australian Waters – browse shipping records from State Records NSW
- Trove – National Library of Australia’s research tool (and search engine in itself), covering digitised newspapers, books, photographs and audiovisual material.
Many thanks go to those who participated in the forum. These people have exposed the need for the museum, and indeed other cultural institutions who strive toward a similar purpose, to digitise their collections and continue to develop their online presence.
A huge thank you to our friends at Inside History Magazine, whose tireless efforts online have breathed new life into historical research and allowed institutions like ours to showcase our collection and events, as well as share our expertise and resources to new audiences.