Sunday, July 29, 2012

Free from Issue 4 :: How to get more from death certificates

A death certificate is one of the most valued tools among family historians. But is there more information on them than meets the eye? Written by Helen Smith, as part one in a three part series on medical history.

Published in Issue 4: May-June 2011 edition of Inside History magazine.

Sign our petition to make Australian BDMs easier

Recently we signed a petition to reduce the costs of research copies of Birth, Death and Marriage [BDM] certificates from the United Kingdom [UK] and make them easier to access, and it got us thinking. Why are BDM certificates so expensive in Australia and why does the process for requesting and receiving them vary so much state by state?

Do you think that it should be easier and cheaper to obtain BDM certificates in Australia for research purposes? And should there be a consistent process and pricing across all states for those same certificates? If you think that it should, then please sign this petition.

You just never know what people power can achieve, so have your say on this issue. As of today, over 650 fellow historians have already signed and had their say. Sign and spread the word!

Links for Birth, Death and Marriage certificates:

BDM transcription services:

Online databases:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Expert Facebook Q&As :: Trove Australia

Well, that was a hour of history power! Thanks again to Virginia and Mark from Trove Australia! Here is the blog of our second Expert Facebook Q&A including links. We promise to have Trove back for another Q&A soon! Remember, if you have other burning questions you’d like to ask you can use Trove’s contact form here.

Don't forget our Expert Q&As happen every Thursday night on the Inside History Magazine facebook page.

When: 8:30-9:30pm EST | WA: 6:30-7:30pm WST | SA - NT: 8:00-9:00pm CST | Weekly on a Thursday night

Summary of links from the Trove Expert Q&A:

Transcript of Expert Q&A - How to get the best from Trove:

Welcome everyone, thanks for joining us tonight. The rules are simple. Try to keep your questions concise and focused on Trove, that will help Virginia and Mark to answer as many as possible in the hour that we have.

Q. Hi Virginia, I've spoken to quite a few history teachers in NSW who aren't aware of TROVE. They love it when they try it and all swear they're going to share with their senior students. Are there any plans to raise awareness of Trove to teachers?
A. Virginia: ‎@James Definitely! We're actually going to be presenting at the History Teachers conference! We feel the education sector is one area we need to try and engage with more!
A. Virginia: @James, if you have ideas that we could do to engage with the school sector more, please do contact us! We'd love to know how Trove could help schools and teachers more.
A. James: Virginia, maybe do a tag team presentation with National Archives - They have the Vroom site which has themed archive records.... I reckon they're really good for younger students but think Trove could scaffold for senior students
A. Virginia: ‎@James, That's a good idea! We do think Trove is more for senior rather than primary, but need to find good ways of appealing to teachers.
A. James: Hmmm. I think it's just awareness of how powerful a tool it is. If you set up a curriculum linked program question that structure in the need to quote original sources found on Trove in the reponse, teachers would probably see a range of interpretations based on sources. Great way to open a topic on multiple interpretations!
A. Virginia: James I'm going to note that one down James. :)
A. James: It's funny, I just realised that I never log in to Trove even though I use it a lot.
A. Virginia: Tsk, James, you're missing so much. ;) You could correct text without having to enter the captcha, create lists, merge/split records, make public or private comments.
A. James: I do have one because I have corrected quite a few early Sydney Gazette articles in the past....Need to get back in there!
A. Virginia: Go for it James. ;) Dare you to get into the top 5 text correctors.

Q. Hi Virginia & Mark. As an industrial-strength Trove user I love the site, but is there any hope of changes to the copyright issues so we can access newspapers post-1954?
A. Virginia: ‎@Lyn... that would be up to the copyright council or the copyright owners. We've received approval from the Canberra Times to go post 1954 but unless we get permission we can't go beyond 1954. :(
A. Mark: Hi Lyn, There is work in progress to get some post-1954 newspaper titles up in Trove. We aren't directly involved in the selection of the newspaper titles for digitisation, however I do know that there are about 7,700 newspaper titles published prior to 1954, so as these are more straightforward to get in they have been the focus (as are the 1914-1918 papers for the state libraries)

Q. I am interested in future plans and the papers that shall be scanned in future. Is there a list somewhere?
A. Mark: Hi Sharon - future titles list at - this list is updated irregularly, but definitely in June/July each year
A. Mark: selections are made on an annual basis - although sometimes additional titles are added in during the year as specific funding is provided

Q. The Queensland country newspapers have been a wonderful bonus, especially in our area the Nambour Chronicle. Are there any more Queensland provincial city papers to come?
A. Mark: Hi Helen Page - have a look at the list of future titles
A. Helen: just checked the link to coming titles too - great to see the Country Life and Sunday Mail in Queensland list!

Q. Do you know of any plans to digitise the Renmark South Australia Murray Pioneer? It's a treasure of history pertaining to a huge area along the Murray from over a hundred years ago. It claimed a circulation of over 500 miles of river front in the 1920s.
A. Mark: Hi Helen - have a look at the list of future titles, I think there are a couple of more regional titles in there - specifically from renmark
A. Helen: or the MIldura Sunraysia Daily?
A. Mark: Renmark Pioneer is selected for the next year's digitisation, unfortunately we can't provide a date that it will be available. Mildura Sunraysia daily isn't currently selected

Q. HI, I am investigating pilgrimages to Gallipoli 1919-1939, and find that it is hard to pin down actual stories, any hints, please
A. Virginia: ‎@Christine, Hmmm... have you found anything at all so far?
A. Virginia: ‎@Christine, Interesting... I just did a quick search for Gallipoli pilgrimage in Trove and there are over 1500 articles in newspapers did you find those?
A. Lyn: Thanks Mark, we live in hope! @Christine, if you just search Gallipoli Visit in Trove digitised newspapers you will find a few references starting from 1919. Once you have names of people you may be able find any diaries, books etc that are in public institutions.
A. Virginia: ‎Thanks Lyn! :) It's great that we have power users that can help other users! We hope to promote the Forum more so these kinds of questions can be shared and answered by other users. :)
A. IHM: Hi Christine Alexander, try putting keyword Gallipoli into Tim Sherratt's querypic tool that graph's Trove results ::
A. Christine: @Virginia, yes I have but it is so time consuming when you get 2 or 3 thousand hits, but what a fantastic resource, love it
A. Christine: graph thing brilliant, many, many thanks
A. Rhonda: That querypic link is AWESOME! Thanks!

Q. When I tag items, is there a way I can then just visit all the pages I have tagged?
A. Mark: You can visit just the articles you have added a specific tag to by selecting your username in the top right hand corner of a screen, the select the 'tags' tab, and click on the tag that you want to see the articles you've added that tag to.

Q. I tagged about 20 articles with the same name and only one remains. Have they been deleted?
A. Mark: @Lyn - tags shouldn't have 'vanished', could you please put an enquiry with your username & the tag that has gone missing so we can investigate it properly?
27/07/12 update: This issue has been resolved, after Lyn submitted details of the problem via the Trove contact form.

Q. I'm in the process of putting together funding to get a title on there. But is there any way you would open some form of donation site where people can donate towards specific titles?
A. Virginia: ‎@Linda For digitisation of a newspaper title? That's fantastic that you're getting funding together! We've got information on how to do just that here:
A. Linda: Hi Virginia, yes, wonderful way to go. We have almost got there, have talked with NLA re exact amount etc. But we have several small runs for towns where I am sure if a site was open, enough people would donate to get those titles up there. Maybe if a starter was lodged to get a title up on a donation site, then people we don't even know about would finish it off.
A. Virginia: ‎@Linda, Oh that's so good you're on the way! I'll mention it to ANDP but you may want to talk more with Wan Wong about things like for newspaper digitisation donations. Wan's email is
A. Linda: or maybe if Trove put the first ten years of a paper up, and it went on in ten year increments as people donated enough. We will raise the $7,300 to get the 1855-1868 total run of this paper up (don't rely on that figure people, as it is a page count thing), but now we have our teeth into it, we want more!
A. Virginia: ‎@Linda, LOL, that's great! Sorry I can't be more help. Unless you think setting up a pozible yourself could help at all...
A. Virginia: ‎Wow Linda, that's amazing! What a donation! Kudos to you!
A. Linda: @Inside History - would be good if you did a story on someone like us, so people knew you can get papers onto Trove like that. One promise of $2,000 came in as soon as I mentioned the project - person did not realise this was an option.
A. IHM: Hi Linda Barraclough, a great idea! Let's talk on

Q. I am researching locks and weirs on the Murray River. It is a bother that the word lock returns so many hits, but I do advanced search and put all the words together: eg Lock 5 River Murray. Is there a 'smarter' way to search when I have to use combinations and permutations, Like "Number 5 lock, river murray" or 'Murray river lock 5' or Lock number 5 River Murray." It scrambles my brain.
A. Mark: @Helen There is indeed a smarter way to search for the various permutations, Trove has a 'near' search functionality that can be used to catch these - so for 'Murray river lock 5', try putting "murray river lock 5"~5 in the search box - this will find all articles that contain these terms within 5 words of each other -

Q. Is there a way to use 'wildcards' to search? In my family history, with name spelling variations, it would be great to put a * in place of a letter variation?
A. Mark: Helen - unfortunately we don't have this functionality in Trove - if it is the 'last' characters that are changed around you can cut the word off at the last common character and add a * to truncate the word, but we don't have the ability do replace a single character with a wildcard.

Q. Helen: I run the Quested one name study and often get re- quested in search results so can I do a negative search within 5 words?
A. Mark: This should be possible - so I can investigate it properly, can you please put in an enquiry through the contact us form with a sample search / scenario?

Q. IHM: Thanks to everyone for attending, that was a brilliant Q&A. Thanks especially to Virginia and Mark! To finish, what would be your Trove golden rules - to Virginia and Mark?
A. Virginia: Just search... play... try advanced search... look at the help (which we're re-working!!!) and if all else fails, contact us.
A. Mark:
  1. Start simple - Although advanced searches are useful, they also make it easy to over-think the query and miss important results
  2. When searching newspapers, don't forget that newspaper titles change over time, so you may need to look at the title details pages to see which other newspapers you need to look at to capture all of that newspaper
  3. Trove is more than just newspapers - it can also help you find a library that holds that elusive book (or sheet music, or photograph)
  4. has some helpful tips on how to enhance your newspapers search.
  5. If searching for a name where you only have a surname, try using the near search with a title - e.g. "Mr Black" ~2 - you may be surprised at the results
* Read more about Trove in other posts on this blog:
[1] Graphing Trove - Papers Past newspapers

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Long Tan Cross at the Australian War Memorial

Something special happened at the  Australian War Memorial today. For the first time in Australia, the original Long Tan cross arrived to go onto display to the Australian public.

This iconic cross holds massive significance for Vietnam veterans, as it tells the story of the battle fought by the 6th battalion 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC) on 18 August 1966 in the Long Tan rubber plantation in Phuoc Tay Province (now Ba Rai-Vung Tau), in what was then South Vietnam.

Vietnam Veterans Day is commemorated on 18 August every year. The day was originally known as Long Tan Day, chosen to commemorate the Australian and New Zealand men who fought in the battle of Long Tan.

The battle of Long Tan has come to symbolise our nation’s ten-year long involvement in the Vietnam War and the cross is the symbol of the sacrifice of those that fell at Long Tan and their families.

Three years after the battle, on 18 August 1969, soldiers of 6RAR/NZ erected the cross in the Long Tan plantation to remember the fallen. In 1975, the Long Tan cross went into the collection of the Dong Nai Museum and they have now loaned the piece to the Australian War Memorial.

The Cross will be on display from 17 August 2012 until April 2013.

“During Australia’s ten-year-long involvement in the Vietnam War, few battles were as intense or dramatic as Long Tan,” said Dr Peter Pedersen, Acting Assistant Director National Collection, Australian War Memorial. “The bravery, tenacity and sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Long Tan have become legendary.”

The public is invited to come to the Memorial and be part of a special ceremony at 4.45pm on Friday 17 August to commemorate the 108 ANZACs who fought in the battle of Long Tan and to remember those who died on both sides. All Australians who served during the Vietnam War will be recognised at a commemorative closing ceremony on Saturday 18 August.

Useful links for finding out more about Long Tan:
[1] Vietnam War:
[2] Australian War Memorial

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pick your favourite history book :: Our Top 10 shortlist

Earlier this year we asked our readers to nominate which non-fiction works inspired you to fall in love with history, or that contributed to your research. Here, in no particular order, are the ones that made it to the top 10!

From the classics of last century, to the latest in literature, we loved reading about your nominations. Now it's your chance to vote for your number one! We want to know which inspired you the most, or which you'd most like to get your hands on! Click here to pick your favourite.

  • Dancing with Strangers: Sydney 1788-1800 | Inga Clendinnen
  • Port Arthur: A Place of Misery | Maggie Weidenhofer
  • In Her Own Words: The Writings of Elizabeth Macquarie | Robin Walsh
  • Pioneers of Martins Bay: Life in New Zealand's Most Remote Settlement | Alice McKenzie
  • The Convict Ships, 1787-1868 | Charles Bateson
  • A Million Wild Acres: 200 Years of Man and an Australian Forest | Eric Rolls
  • Seeing the First Australians | Ian and Tamsin Donaldson
  • The Second Fleet: Britain's Grim Convict Armada of 1790 | Michael Flynn
  • Digging for Diggers: A Guide to Researching an Australian Soldier of The Great War | Graeme Hosken
  • Private Journal of A Voyage to Australia | James Bell

Pick the book above that really grabs your attention? Click here and have your say in Inside History magazines best 10 history books!
Image courtesy of State Library of Queensland

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Expert Facebook Q&As :: No. 1 - Shauna Hicks

Are you having problems starting your family research? Was starting your family history a New Year's resolution and you haven't had time or did you start but stopped quickly because you hit a brick wall?

Well, we're starting something today, Thursday July 18th at 8:30pm EST on our Facebook page, that might just help get you started or moving again with your family history. Expert Q&As.

Our first expert is Shauna Hicks and answering questions on how to start your family history. Join us on our Facebook page - Inside History Magazine - with your questions ready tonight. What is the subject?

  • "Getting started: if you're new to family history have you got a burning question"

Time:  8:30-9:30pm EST | WA: 6:30-7:30 WST | SA/NT: 8:00-9:00pm CST
Date:  Weekly each Thursday night

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How To :: Getting started at National Library of Australia

A year ago we wrote about how much we love libraries* and let's face it we haven't really stopped talking about them - there is little doubt about how we feel about libraries. So, when the National Library of Australia told us they were bringing out a range of videos on how to use the library, then we knew we wanted to let you know, too. Here's a selection below ::

You may have also noticed the eResources flyer in our Issue 11. Every state library, along with the National Library of Australia have their own sets of valuable eResources that you can access. Go check them out today - click on the links below:

[*] Read our July 2011 article, "Libraries - find yours today"

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grave Tales 4 :: Fatality at Warragul. A youth drowned

Here is the next instalment in our series of Grave Tales. The 4th in the series, sees Ancestry's Brad Argent in Melbourne and walking the well kept rows of the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery. It was a cold winter's day, unlike the hot summer's day that Alan Burnett lost his life in 1901.

Don't forget to read instalments 1-3, the links are at the finish of this tale, and find a sample of what history awaits to be discovered when you go walking.


It was a cold and rainy afternoon when I ventured into Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery in Melbourne – perfect weather to mingle with the departed.

This beautiful cemetery is located about 20kms south east of Melbourne’s CBD and rests against the railway line that was cut through in the 1880s. The grounds are well kept and despite the rain I was able to get around with relative ease. The grave stones and monuments are in very good order, thanks no doubt to the wonderful work of the Friends of Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries.

Whilst the rain impeded my usual wandering approach, I still managed to get around the ground relatively protected from the water thanks to the boles of some of the larger trees and it was from under the branches of one such tree that I spied the final home of the Burnetts.

Many and varied things draw my attention to a particular gravestone but the thing that spoke to me this time was the ages of its occupants: 95, 87, 90 and 16 – the octogenarian and nonagenarians each emphasising the lost potential of passing at only 16.

Alan Gordon Edgar Burnett was the first child Henry Halford and Frances Rosina Burnett [nee Monk]. They married in 1884 and Alan was born a short time later in 1885. Henry and Fanny went on to have three more children Ellenor Mary, Mildred May and Cedric Henry.

Sunday January 20, 1901 was a very warm summer’s day in Melbourne. The previous day had seen the temperature hit 98 fahrenheit [36 Celsius] and perhaps the prospect of yet another hot day led Alan and his workmate Ernest Symons down to the Warragul Public Baths. Alan and Ernest were engaged as watchmakers for the Jeweller and Optician H.J Day.

According to Ernest’s account of events they went to the baths at about 11am – Sunday’s temperature was rising to a high of 87 fahrenheit [30 Celsius]. Ernest went in first and then swam to the jetty waiting for Alan. Alan dived in feet first and when he surfaced a few moments later he appeared to be struggling. Ernest tried to assist Alan, but in a panic Alan tried to drag him down. Edgar sought assistance but to no avail. Alan’s life ended at the Warragul Public Baths after just 16 summers.

No doubt the years crept slowly by for his parents, Henry and Frances, who were long-time residents of Cheltenham and lived on the same road as the Cemetery. But in the end they were reunited with Alan – Frances first, and then, just under a year later in 1945, Henry joined them both.

Alan’s younger brother, Cedric – a veteran of both world wars, joined them all some 87 years after the tragedy at Warragul.


Read the previous instalments in the series of Grave Tales:
[1]  Story of Strange Butson Hartigan
[2]  The murder of William Hird
[3]  The loss of the 2 Graham girls

The Coroners Inquest, from the 22 January 1901 West Gippsland Gazette
[1] Fatality at Warragul. A youth drowned. Source: Trove

Brad Argent is content director at Australia’s leading family history website, contains more than 930 million records in its Australian and UK collections.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Win passes to the Byron Bay Writers Festival!

Byron Bay holds many family memories for Inside History magazine; Ben grew up just down the road in Lennox Head and often surfed Byron Bay's beaches as a teenager. His family were one of the foundation families in the Lennox Head area and Skennars Head, just to the south of Lennox, still carries the family name. There is a brilliant story of that land being lost by the family in a card game - one day we'll find out if it's true!

Along with the memories though, Byron Bay now holds one of this country's best writers festivals every August and it's nearly that time of year again! Inside History first became involved with the festival in 2011 and this year we're very excited to have our own sponsored event, Bringing history to life, on August 3 - click here to view the program and find out more!

To celebrate our involvement, we thought we'd have some fun - after all, Byron Bay is all about fun, whether you're a bookworm, foodie or surfie it's got it all. So, here you go, with the help of our friends at the Byron Bay Writers Festival, we're giving away two 3-day passes valued at $490.

That's right, nearly $500 worth - two 3-day passes!

So, how do you enter I hear you ask? Simply send us an email to hello[at], including the answer to the question:

  • "Name one of the authors on Inside History's panel for the Festival's event "Bringing history to life" 

Entries close 11.59pm 19th July and the winner will be announced on Inside History magazine's Facebook page on 20th July.

Terms & Conditions:
Entries close 11.59pm, 19/07/12. One name will be drawn at random and the winner notified by 20/07/12. Prize includes 2 x 3-day passes to the 2012 Byron Bay Writers' Festival for the winner and their guest. Total prize value is $490. Travel to Byron Bay is not included in the prize and is the responsibility of the winner. Entrants must be aged 18 and over. Prize is not redeemable for cash. Winner of the prize must contact Inside History magazine by 5pm Monday, 23rd to claim their prize or the competition will be redrawn.

Archivists, librarians & Antony Beevor

There are many, many reasons why having a human to talk to and a library or archives to walk into are important but while I was re-reading Stalingrad by Antony Beevor, I found this quote which pretty much sums it up:

"A good deal of the time spent researching this book might well have been wasted and valuable opportunities missed if it had not been for the help and suggestions of archivists and librarians"

Why was I re-reading Stalingrad you ask? Well, Antony Beevor is visiting Australia to head up a distinguished line-up of historians and scholars from Britain, the United States, and Australia at Kokoda : Beyond the Legend conference on 6-7 September at the Australian War Memorial.

Beevor’s keynote address on “The World at War, 1942” will be a highlight for conference attendees seeking to place the story of Kokoda in a broader context. The aim of the conference is to reassess the battles fought in Papua and discuss the campaign from both the Allied and Japanese perspectives.

The Australian War Memorial’s international history conference Kokoda: Beyond the Legend is on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 September, 2012. Tickets to the conference are limited and are selling fast. For program details and to register, go to the Australian War Memorial site.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Next Chapter History Group :: Capital Punishment in NSW

The Next Chapter History Group meets on the second Thursday of each month at Randwick City Library, Randwick from 10.30-11.30am. Facilitated by Inside History editor Cassie Mercer, each month a guest speaker talks about an aspect of Australian history.

On July 12, local Randwick historian, Pauline Curby, presents: To die or not to die, Capital Punishment in NSW 1910-1939.

Long Bay Gaol, undated. The last 9 NSW executions, between 1917 and 1939, took place at this gaol. 
(Courtesy of Randwick Library & Information Services)

One hundred years ago opinion was sharply divided in NSW on the merits of capital punishment. It was either a deterrent to crime, as many conservatives believed or a “relict of barbarism”, as one Labor politician proclaimed. Despite these polarised attitudes, hanging was falling into disuse in early 20th century NSW, as was the case in other Australian states. Why then were a handful of offenders executed, when their crimes seemed no worse than those who received gaol sentences?

The seminar is followed by morning tea. All are welcome.

Cost: FREE - $0
Time: 10.30am - 11.30am
Contact: For more information call Jane on 02 9314 4888.

Find out more about Pauline Curby and Download Chapter 1 of her book, Randwick, for free on the Randwick City Council Library page.

To celebrate Randwick City Council's 150th anniversary, Council commissioned professional historian, Pauline Curby, to write a fully referenced, illustrated, comprehensive new history of Randwick.

The 406 page hardcover book celebrates the history of one of New South Wales' oldest local government areas and tells the story of the diverse range of people who live in this scenic part of Sydney. Indigenous Australians, Anglo-Celtic Australians and more recent migrants all feature in its pages, as do jockeys, surf lifesavers, bodgies and widgies. Social problems such as the care of neglected children and the issues of crime and punishment, drinking and gambling are also part of the rich tapestry of this history.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Issue 11; Jul-Aug 2012 is now available!

Fashion photography, early film clips and our 1858 “champion of Australia”: Issue 11 of Inside History is fresh off the press!

Inside History is a bi-monthly magazine for people who are passionate about Australia and New Zealand’s history and heritage. In our July–August edition:
  • Ever wondered if your family was on film or radio? We show you how to find out where
  • It’s the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay. Read about it from a pilot who was there 
  • Our experts show how to preserve your audio records 
  • Read about the influence fashion and photography had on our ancestors’ lives 
  • Discover who is the dashing gentleman gracing our cover 
  • Copyright and your genealogy: find out who owns what 
  • Plus reveal your top 10 history books! 

And much more – in fact, 76 pages of terrific features, practical information on genealogy, chances to network with other family historians, and book and app reviews. On sale now online - click here to buy!

Issue 11 will be available in newsagents nationally by July 13 - click here to see where. You can also request us at your local newsagent, and we'll make sure that our next Issue 12; Sep-Oct 2012 is sent there for you!

Authors to look out for in Issue 11:

Travel Journalist :: Teresa Cannon
Author :: Hazel Edwards @muirmoir
Journalist :: Miranda Farrell
Historian :: Michael Flynn
Journalist :: Paula Grunseit @PaulaGrunseit
Australian genealogist :: Barbara Hall @IrishWattle
Australian genealogist :: Shauna Hicks @HicksShauna
Military Historian :: Michael Martin @RegimentalBooks
National Archives of Australia :: Elizabeth Masters @NationalArchivesAus
Australian genealogist :: Merrill O’Donnell @1891Women
Intern Journalist :: Pristine Ong
Australian genealogist :: Annie Payne @annie_histheart
SLNSW Curator :: Margot Riley @statelibrarynsw
Journalist :: Emma Sutcliffe @littleriveremma
Intern Journalist :: Sarah Trevor
New Zealand genealogist :: Mark Webster @macnzMark
University of New England historian :: Janis Wilton

For more information please contact: 
Cassie Mercer, Inside History magazine
phone: 02 9590 9600 | email:

Have a sneak peak inside our new magazine; Issue 11; Jul-Aug 2012.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Graphing Trove - Papers Past newspapers

Firstly, we have to say thank you to Tim Sherratt for building QueryPic. What is Querypic you ask? It builds a graph to display how your research keyword appeared in Australian and New Zealand papers over time.

QueryPic accesses data from either Trove [Australia] or Papers Past [NZ].

You can also explore the results of your query in more detail by clicking on any point of the graph and you'll you being given a list of the first 20 matching articles. We've found it a very useful way of summarising our research in old newspapers. For example, in a conversation with NZ History, we saw how powerful the system can be in describing the buzz in society around a certain subject or event. Gallipoli was chosen and produced the graph below.

You can see the spike in discussion of Gallipoli during WW1 but what was even more interesting were the two smaller spikes in the 1800s, probably showing the 1953-56 Crimean War and 1877-78 Russio-Turkish war, and the rate at which the mentions of Gallipoli dropped away after the war.

We can't recommend enough that you use Trove and Papers Past as two of your primary family history research tools. They are our first port of call for Australian and New Zealand research respectively. Find out more at:

Papers Past has 74 publications from 1839 to 1945 in it's online collection and Trove Australia is continuously adding new publications to its collection - click here for more info.

Get updates on Tim Sherratt's work on twitter at @wragge and on his blog - - I'm sure there's more in the pipeline that makes history even more fun!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Oral History :: Stolen Generations Testimonies

The personal oral histories of 50 Australian Stolen Generations survivors will be preserved for future generations with the State Library of NSW confirmed as the new custodian of Stolen Generations Testimonies.

“As a memory institution the State Library is honored to be hosting this remarkable site and providing a living home for these stories, which will be available to current and future generations.” NSW State Librarian Alex Byrne,

It's National NAIDOC Week from today to July 8. To find the events near you and celebrate the first Australians, got to the NAIDOC website.

The first NAIDOC poster was created in 1972 - 40 years ago, go to the gallery to see the history.
Are you looking for more information on Indigenous family history? Here are some useful guides from the nation's libraries: