In typical frog fashion, I have decided to jump on the A-Z Blogging bandwagon at the screaming last minute. So there was no time for a theme reveal. It will have to be revealed here, today, in my first post.
I really agonized over which theme to choose but I have decided to go with Building a Genealogy or Family History Library. I am doing this from a completely personal perspective - more of a window on my own personal library. It's a reflection on the books or resources I have or would like to have in my library. I hope this helps those that might be looking for suggestions to complement their own collection or those who are just starting out. Please keep in mind that this is also from an Australian perspective and also someone who has a very WAS or white Anglo Saxon background.
And so to the letter A - which I have decided is for Acquisition, Atlases and Architecture.
This term is used often in library-land and relates to purchasing. Who are the suppliers? Where do you get the items for your collection? Family History/Genealogy can be a bit of a narrow subject area for most bookshops I so I tend to buy most of mine online or at specialist outlets.
In Australia, I think it is fair to say that Gould Genealogy is the first port of call for most family historians. My local society QFHS also has a great bookshop and some really great sales as well. State Library of Queensland bookshop is great for history, local history and archival products. The National Archives bookshop in the UK looks completely devastating.
Last but not least, there is always the Lifeline Bookfest.
If you have any favourite suppliers, please let me know. You can never have too many.
Yes, yes, I know there's Google. But places and street names change don't they? And sometimes the electricity goes down doesn't it? So I've always got an assortment of atlases or AA Guides and the like to various places. I have an AA Guide to Ireland and one to London. I have a motoring guide to Australia. And a Shell and BP Guide to England. If I want to get a feel for a place, these guides and atlases are great.
Of course it would be a dream come true to have a copy of Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers but that is a bit beyond my budget so I will have to make do with using the one at my local society.
As a family historian, I am really interested in how my ancestors lived and the types of housing in which they lived - their built environment, as it were Being the daughter of an architect has no doubt stimulated that interest. As a child, on weekends, I was often hauled alternately from display homes in new estates to National Trust properties. Weird I know. That's just the kind of family we were - really interested in housing and housing design.
Queensland is not my state of origin. I was born in Sydney, New South Wales which has a whole different architectural ethos. I need to understand Queensland or Brisbane architecture in my newly adopted "home state".
There are some great books to help me in this regard. I have borrowed from the Moreton Bay Region Library service - Brisbane House Styles 1880 to 1940 - A Guide to the Affordable House by Judy Gale Rechner, published by the Brisbane History Group. I also have a copy of Building Queensland's Heritage by Janet Hogan and published by the National Trust of Queensland. It gives a great overview of all the heritage properties in Queensland by region.
Whilst not strictly speaking about Architecture, I picked up at my local Vinnies (or charity shop) The Art of Keeping House - a publication of the Historic Houses Trust for $3. This beautifully produced volume with colour plates gives valuable insight into what it takes to curate and preserve aspects of heritage properties from walls and ceilings through to upholstery and cleaning glassware. Really fascinating stuff.
So, tell me - where do you get your genealogy/family history books from and what would you have chosen for the letter A if you were writing about your library?