Archive for 'royal marine museum'

Nick’s Blog – Another Hectic Week!

Royal Marines Museum (in passing)

Image via Wikipedia

Is it becoming a catchphrase to say that it’s been a busy week again? Probably… but then, those who know me will realise that every week is busy until I’ve finished the book on Greater London, completed the last of the course preparation for the University of Dundee (I’m writing a module on House History as part of the MA syllabus) and worked on various projects relating to education, ancestral tourism, and digitization – let alone the work I do for the FreeBMD group and the associated Open Genealogy Alliance

However, this week – aside from the above – I went to the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea. It was a fantastic experience; thanks to Claire Chapman for setting this up, and even bigger thanks Matt Little for giving me such an overview of the work they do to bring the rich history of the Marines to life. I did not realise how much archival material they had at their disposal, linking directly into the service papers at The National Archives and allowing researchers to really put ‘flesh on the bones’. They are working on a three stage project to bring their catalogue to a wider audience, and part of their strategy involves an exhibition, currently on display in the museum until April, relating to family history research. You can find out more about the museum in a forthcoming issue of Your Family History, and Matt has kindly invited me back to film a vodcast there in the New Year. Watch this space for dates, but if you have any queries relating to your ancestors who were with the Royal Marines, send them in to us and we’ll try to use them as a case study in that episode.

I hope you’ve been watching Find My Past on the Yesterday channel; it’s been a refreshing spin on family history and the link to historical events, and it was great to work on the show from both a research and onscreen perspective.

News just in: My Heritage has acquired FamilyLink Inc, including the and websites that, combined, contain over 3 billion historical records. This is a major entry into the US dataset market, and it will be interesting to see how this strategy develops when linked to their existing social network sites.

Finally, how about a radical suggestion on which it would be great to get some comments and feedback from you? It struck me that there are several institutions that operate in the genealogy sector – the Federation of Family History Societies, the Society of Genealogists, the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives – as well as the British Association for Local History whose work overlap in certain areas. Would it be an idea to have a Council for Genealogy and Local History where representatives meet up four times a year to discuss the potential for collaborative work in three or four specified areas, such as education or digitization for example? Let me know what you think.

More next week (and hopefully some news about developments in the ancestral tourism sector), in the meantime please do drop us a line via facebook or twitter.



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Nick’s News and Future Enhancements

It’s been a busy week, trying to get as much material together for this new venture as possible! A quick word about what we’ll be putting onto this website. I’ll be blogging once a week, but watch out for our guest posts; whilst Laura will be tweeting and managing our Facebook presence. Keep sending in your ideas about what we can discuss in our Top Ten Tips feature, and email in your stories so we can put together a case study to help other viewers.

Also, a big ‘thank you’ to My Heritage who are supporting this venture; I’ve been impressed with their approach to personal archiving, and as well as helping get Family History Show off the ground, they are also kindly assisting with an education pilot that’s running in a number of schools across the country, called Making History and run by the actor Colin McFarlane. Some amazing stories emerging from the work of these enthusiastic students (aged 8-18)…

We’re still building additional features to the site. A few suggestions have come in for a resource list, linked to the Top Ten Tips – working on it! We are also exploring an online shop, where you can get selected materials and publications to help you with your research.

Royal Marine MuseumWe hope you like the Dan Cruickshank interview. It was great fun to film. I’ve known Dan for the best part of 15 years, and it was tremendously kind of him to give up his time to share his passion for old home movies. The idea to view the films he’d collected appeared as a tentative suggestion, and our cameraman Seb knew of a little shop in Hackney that might have the right projectors. We all jumped in a cab, and we held our breath as Umit looked at the film that contained grainy images of Mickey Mouse…  Could it be a lost classic worth thousands of pounds? The results of our impromptu viewing are well worth a watch, if you haven’t seen it already.

I’ve been continuing to work on the history of Greater London (this will be a weekly feature until all the chapters are finally delivered to my publisher Nigel, who  is simply the nicest and most patient man in the world) as well as running around the country talking to county archives, extolling the virtues of ancestral tourism as a way forward whilst exploring collaborative opportunities for family history societies, voluntary groups like FreeBMD / FreeCEN / FreeREG, and county archives to transcribe document content whilst permitting commercial companies to charge subscribers to view the actual images that they have digitised (unless a free digitisation agency appears that can cope with the sheer amount of work, although there has already been one such offer that’s being investigated at the moment). This is a thorny issue, as there is no standard model across the country – but ‘best practice’ that keeps all parties happy will gradually emerge.

I’m looking forward to a visit to the Royal Marine museum next week, and then a catch up with the Ancestral Tourism Partnership in Nottingham on 25 November. So it’s all go this end, and no rest in site with Christmas beginning to loom on the horizon.