Archive for December 2010

Guest post: Your story

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Guest contributor: Marie Hickey

Over the Christmas/New Year break many of you will have spent time with friends and family catching up on all the latest news and/or reminiscing about past events or people no longer with us, etc. Others will have done as I did and gone to visit family graves to give them a bit of a tidy - it was interesting to see how many were at Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland, on Boxing Day.

As family historians we often become fixated with the past and forget that our lives are of interest to the younger generation; young children often enjoy hearing about the "olden days". We may consider our lives to be ordinary but think of those things we have experienced during our lives that the younger generations will not. For instance, the thrill of the family getting its first television or car, milk being delivered to the house (perhaps you worked on the milk truck/cart). I know that my uncles and aunts sometimes wouldn't tell my grandad when there was a horse out in the street just so they didn't have to shovel the droppings to put on the garden.

It is important to write about our memories as we are the last with a memory of our grandparents or, if you are lucky, great granparents, uncles, aunts, etc, and if the memories of them are not noted then they will become a series of notes in someone's future research without having a personality. Having an idea of someone's personality can help when trying to work out why they took this action or made that decision. Think how pleased you would have been to find such a series of notes or stories when you started your research.

Writing your story need not be a daunting task. You could simply make notes about events and people in your life or you may decide to write a series of short essays. Given the current holiday season, you could write about Christmases past, or summer holidays - remember those essays you used to write when you returned to school, "What I did in the holidays?"

Some things in your life may bring back bad memories but do try to wirte about these as well as it could be healing for you. If you are concerned about the family reading it you could place that story in a sealed envelope with instructions that it is not to be opened until a particular time.

I hope this will encourage you to begin writing something about your own life as you may be surprised what you remember when you get started. If you want to go further with this you may find a course in writing available at your local night school or community centre.

Happy writing, and a Happy New Year!

The Roadshow comes to the new "SuperCity"

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We've breezed through our first month as a Super-Library in a Super-Auckland.

It's been wonderful hearing customers report their excitement at having access to so many more library resources. Not just books, but also eResources in our Digital Library.

A couple of recent additions to the Family History collections (courtesy of the amalgamation), is JSTORs Ireland Collection which has more than 75 journals and 200 books digitised spanning from 1780 to present day; and the 19th Century British Pamphlets with more than 23,000 pamphlets covering political, social, technological and environmental issues.

In our Super-Library system, we've joined with two other research centres. We have South Auckland Research Centre, (currently based in the Manukau Research Centre), and North West Research Centre (covering Waitakere, Rodney and North Shore), currently based in Henderson Libary.
Bridget Simpson, Seonaid Lewis and Marie Hickey at the History and Genealogy Roadshow 2010.
Marie, Bridget and myself represented the newly renamed Central Auckland Research Centre and Auckland Libraries at the Unlock the Past History and Genealogy Roadshow on Monday, November 24.

The Roadshow covered 11 cities over 20 days - eight centres in Australia, and three in New Zealand.

The Roadshow brought international speakers to the family history community: Elaine Collins, FindMyPast UK; Louise St Denis, National Institute of Genealogical Studies; Dan Lynch, author of Google Your Family Tree; and eminent Australian family history researchers and consultants Shauna Hicks (Shauna Hicks History Enterprises) andRosemary Kottipke who spoke about FindMyPast AustralasiaGould Genealogy were exhibitors as well as Unlock The Past. Each city also had local guest speakers and exhibitors. Sadly Dan Lynch couldn't make it to the New Zealand leg of the trip, due to other commitments.

The Auckland Roadshow was held in the Ellerslie Events Centre, at the Racecourse. Local exhibitors were the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, the highly esteemed Jan Gow and Beehive Books,National Library and of course, us.

The presentations were all of a very high standard and were very well received. Even the most seasoned family historian would have learned a great deal during the course of the day.

I spoke about "The Treasures of the Central Auckland Research Centre", putting a new spin on the old theme of letting the public and professionals know that there is a lot more to our Library than meets the eye. I introduced the highlights of what we also have available for family historians in the Sir George Grey Special Collections.

I was very excited to see a copy of the new magazine Inside History which was launched at the start of the Roadshow. Its a very good quality magazine, beautifully designed and printed and packed full of fabulous New Zealand and Australian content. We're going to subscribe to it here at the Library, so hopefully it will be available for our customers soon.

Happy hunting all!
Seonaid Lewis