Thursday, June 23, 2011

Society of Australian Genealogists - June activities

Society of Australian Geenalogists

Saturday 25 June 20-11 (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Blogging Your Family History
A blog is a type of website that can be used tell your family history. Perhaps you've wondered what a blog is and if it could assist you. Pamela Mawbey will introduce you to the features of blogging using her own Mawbey Family Australia blog and show you how to create your own. Bookings essential. $20 ($25 non-members).

Thursday 30 June 2011 (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Getting Started on Your Family History - Members Only
Are you wondering how to get started, or what questions to ask? This opportunity is especially for new members with no family history research experience. Learn the fundamentals to start you on the road, and where to find and ask for help. Members Only. Special Price of $10.00. Bookings Essential.

Google strikes digitisation deal with British Library

Search engine company Google has struck a deal with the British Library on the digitisation of over 250,000 texts dating back to the 18th Century.

As per the agreement with the British Library, Google will cover the digitisation costs. In return the company can put the digitised books on its Google books website for free. The works will also feature on the website of the library.
The digitisation process will include only those books which are out-of-copyright.
Article at Computer Business Review.

Feasibility study for new site for Maitland library

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland City Council is preparing to undertake a feasibility study for a possible new site for the library in the coming financial year in response to growing demands for space and resources at the existing site on High Street.
Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 22 Jun, 2011.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Grantseeker Manual

The Grantseeker Manual is a new resource for non government organisations and agencies that support them in the process of applying for funding. The manual provides step by step guidance on the important steps involved in seeking funds, including finding the right grant for you, planning and presenting information about your project, planning and writing your application, and ongoing engagement with the grantmaker. The resource also contains a list of web links and additional resources to support NGOs in this process. The manual is designed to support small to medium sized NGOs that may not currently have the capacity or resources to undertake effective grant seeking activities.

Download the manual here (PDF)

16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference

The theme for the 16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference is Conserving our heritage – Make a difference!  some of which will present successful conservation achievements. Part of the four day pre-conference events is a tour to the north and west of the State, featuring convict-built bridges, a restored windmill, a historic mining museum, redeveloped railway workshops, operating steam engines, a rack railway and more.
The conference may be followed by a training day for heritage and conservation engineers.
Where: Wrest Point Conference Centre, Hobart, Tasmania
When: 13-16 November 2011
Further information:

Maitland Gaol, 1851

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Two desperate prisoners, chisels, a saw, an accomplice .. and a windy winter's night.
The winds that swirled through Maitland Gaol on the night of Wednesday, August 6, 1851 masked the noise of sawing and chisels as two prisoners executed their escape.
Patrick McNamara, 27, was awaiting trial on a charge of murdering his wife; Patrick Walsh, 34, was charged with burglary and larceny. On the night of August 6, the men put the tools to use. They smashed the padlock of the inner cell door with the cold chisels, ripped the iron casing from the lower part of the outer door and sawed through the woodwork.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at Maitland Mercury, 13 Jun, 2011.

Historic Houses Trust new exhibitions

Exhibitions and events - Historic Houses Trust
  • Persons of interest: There are secret ASIO files on an estimated 500,000 Australians. Are you a person of interest?
  • 52 Suburbs: Photography that celebrates vibrancy, multiculturalism and community in Sydney’s suburbs.
  • Redcoats & convicts: Join us for a day of family fun and adventure as living history enthusiasts re-enact convict life at the Hyde Park Barracks. Meet convict blacksmiths, stonemasons, dressmakers and cooks. Watch woodworkers as they piece together the guardhouse domes. You may even see Governor Macquarie inspecting the barracks – make sure you stand clear of the redcoats (and cover your ears!) as they fire their muskets.
    Hyde Park Barracks Museum
    Sunday 26 June, 9.30am — 4.30pm

Memories of the '55 flood

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Mount Pleasant Street and surrounds were the area worst ravaged by the 1955 flood and is the focus of the fifth Walk and Talk flood series Mr Bogan developed in conjunction with the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority. After the 1955 flood, the government outlawed building in that area and it is now part of the mitigation scheme and the Oakhampton spillway.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at: Maitland Mercury, 09 Jun, 2011.

Friday, June 10, 2011

History: magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society

RAHS History magazine June issue:
  • From the President's Desk - After eight years of distinguished service as President of the RAHS, Ian Jack decided not to seek re-election to that position at the Annual General Meeting on 27 April 2011. David Carment, the outgoing Senior Vice President, was elected to succeed him. Ian remains a Council member. The Manager, Mari Metzke, is retiring from the RAHS on 31 August 2011 after many years of outstanding work.
  •  One hundred years of Australian Antarctic expeditions
  • Thinking Antarctica? Remember Edgeworth David, a not-quite forgotten hero of the sSouth
  • The long silence - Cara Edgeworth David
  • Celebrating Mawson's centenary Australasian Antarctic expedition, 1911-14

Newcastle Ghost Tours at Miss Porter's House

Join Newcastle Ghost Tours team of paranormal investigators in a night with a difference. Learn how to detect a presence - what to look for, what you might experience and how to use investigative tools. Learn about Miss Porter's House, its inhabitants and the area around Cottage Creek.
Sun 26 June
6.30pm - 9.30pm
Enquiries: Newcastle Ghost Tours 0411 357 519 and speak to Renata

National Trust Open Day: Woodford Academy

Visit Woodford Academy on 18 June. Built as an Inn in the early 1830's, it later became a gentleman's residence with additions to then cater for a boarding house, and later a boy's boarding school. See the water pump in the courtyard, check out the breakfast room and the Chapel dining room.
Saturday 18 June
10am - 4.30pm
Contact: Marilyn Wright on (02) 4758 7809

Book pays homage to our coal heritage

From the Maitland Mercury report:
More than 1900 working coal mines have been established in NSW since European settlement. Some had as few as two workers, and the mines had names such as Cramp and Folly.
But regardless of the size of the operation, or the length of time they operated, all are listed in the Coal Mines of NSW Index book to be launched today.
Coalfields historian Brian Andrews has spent 20 months on behalf of Coal Services, formerly the Joint Coal Board, trawling through dusty record books at the Department of Primary Resources’ headquarters in Maitland, as well as newspapers and other sources, to track down a definitive list of all of the coal mines in the state.

Full article by Briony Snedden available at: Maitland Mercury, 02 Jun, 2011.

18th Australasian Irish Studies conference - Canberra

The National Museum of Australia is hosting the 18th Australasian Irish Studies conference: The Irish in Australia 1788 to the present
Explore the impact of Irish culture, religion, language and music in shaping Australian identity at the Irish Studies Association annual conference.
Speakers from across Australia and Ireland will spend two days at the National Museum in Canberra, which is hosting the exhibition Not Just Ned: A true history of the Irish in Australia.
Friday 1 - Sunday 3 July 2011
More information at: Irish Studies Conference 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recording the past: Harry Boyle and Andrew Burg collections

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The research and papers of historians Harry Boyle and Andrew Burg represent a lifetime of work. The Harry Boyle and Andrew Burg memorial collections were launched at Maitland City Library on Saturday after “a number of years” had been spent sorting and cataloguing the material for easy access and use.

The extended Boyle and Burg families joined a who’s who of local historians, including representatives from Maitland Historical Society, at the event. The mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore, who launched the collections, said the information contained within the folders would be integral to the Maitland local studies collection.

Full article by Briony Snedden availabe at Maitland Mercury, 30 May, 2011.

Coalfield Heritage Group: Tumblebee journal

The June 2011 edition of Tumblebee features a number of in-depth local history articles covering bushrangers as well as a focus on East Maitland:
  • Bushrangers - reminiscences of Charles T. Clifton
  • Relics of the Jewboy gang of bushrangers
  • Captain Thunderbolt's revolver mystery solved
  • Recollections of Thunderbolt
  • Something of Mrs. Thunderbolt
  • Thunderbolt and the Tenterfield Races
  • Days of horse and cattle stealing
  • 1870 - East Maitland
  • Alexander Dodds - leading East Maitland citizen

'Obituaries Australia'

'Obituaries Australia' is a new digital repository of obituaries published in newspapers, journals and magazines. Recently launched, you will already find a great collection of stories about various Australians from the earliest times to present. The website is hosted by the National Centre of Biography at ANU. The 'Obituaries Australia' site will focus on published obituaries, which will be great for family and local historians. Easy to use, there is a Quick Search as well as Advanced Search and you search place names, occupation, dates etc. The organisers are keen for community participation by sending copies of obituaries of people you have researched.

National Archives of Australia plays vital role in returning lost war medals

The British War Medal and World War I Victory Medal that turned up in a garage sale in the Sydney suburb of Kogarah last year have a proud tale to tell. First, there’s the story of Australian soldier Private Murray Thomas who was awarded the medals. Then there’s the story of how the medals were reunited with Private Thomas’ family via the Lost Medals Australia initiative.
Read the full story at the National Archives web site.