Photography in Genealogy Archives

Genealogy Camera

Just read an excellent article on Chris Paton’s blog about his attendance at a Scottish Archive Conference where photography in archives was covered and an article in the Guardian newspaper about the same subject. Those archives who don’t allow patrons to photograph documents should be encouraged to move with the times and follow the lead of the National Archives and allow such practices.

Read Chris’s blogpost and then enquire if the repositories you use allows photography and the use of Flip Pal scanners, if they don’t then start a campaign to get them to change their minds!


Oxfordshire Parish Registers to go online

Genealogy Family History Oxfordshire

I haven’t visited the Oxfordshire History Centre website for a while and on visiting it today found a small notice on the front page saying that from 25 June this year they have started an eight month project to digitise the parish registers of Oxfordshire and put them online.

I wonder if this is in conjunction with Ancestry or Find My Past or an in-house project? Either way it is good news for those of us who have ancestors in Oxfordshire. I’m thrilled!

If you are intending to visit the Centre then it would pay to contact them first to check that any registers that you wish to look at are available and not off being digitised. Their phone number is 01865 398200.

Hungerford Virtual Museum

Hungerford Virtual Musuem Family HistoryHungerford, Berkshire doesn’t have a museum in a building so the Hungerford Historical Society created the next best thing and for those of us with Hungerford ancestors, but live some distance away it is a very good thing indeed.

The society runs the Hungerford Virtual Museum and have made available a huge number of resources, indexes, lists and links. The scope of the site runs from Muster Rolls 1522, Quit Rents 1676 – 1836 to Family Histories & a Names Index.

This site is 5 star and is an example of what can be done by a local group with a passion for history. Well done Hungerford Historical Society!


Mendham Collection in peril

Mendham Collection in peril.

On Chris Paton’s blog I read about the selling off of part of the Mendham Collection by the Law Society who it seems think themselves above the law!! Below is the information sent to Chris by Tahitia McCabe from the University of Glasgow’s School of Culture and Creative Arts.

‘Canterbury Cathedral and the University of Kent have joined forces in a bid to prevent a unique historic collection of several thousand manuscripts, early books, and pamphlets being broken up.
The Mendham Collection, which is owned by the Law Society of England and Wales, contains about 5,000 invaluable items including medieval manuscripts, rare books and unique copies of some of the earliest books to have ever been printed. It has been held under the custodianship of the University and Cathedral for nearly thirty years.
Despite an agreement that Cathedral and the University will retain the custodianship of the Collection until the 31 December 2013, the Law Society has given notice of its instruction to Sotheby’s to remove the most valuable items on 18 July 2012 as part of a fundraising drive.’

There’s an online petition to sign at which is where the above text came from:

Please do take a few minutes to sign the online petition it need 5,000 signatures and when I signed had just over 3,000 so at least another 2,000 are needed. Please don’t stand by and allow our precious archives be sold off piece meal.

Chris Paton’s blog

Northumberland Archives

Northumberland ArchivesI’ve just had a look at the website for Northumberland Archives and see that they offer a Personal Mentoring Service, it is a bit pricey at £52 for two hours, but it could be just the thing to get you over a brick wall. There are the usual pages of opening hours, user guides etc. and the catalogue includes part of the collection and is being added to regularly. Of interest is that some of the documents have been scanned and are available online.