Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - D is for Databases and Dictionaries

If you've got a library card, you have access to all sorts of Databases.  Most public libraries in Australia (to the best of my knowledge) will give you free access to the Library edition of Ancestry.  And at the Redcliffe, Strathpine, Caboolture and North Lakes branches of the Moreton Bay Region Library service you also get access to Find My Past.  

SLQ eResources gives you access to The Age Library edition and Sydney Morning Herald 2006-2017 as well as the Sydney Morning Herald archives (1955-1995), British Library Newspapers 1800-1860, Irish Newspaper Archives (depending on the title - anywhere from 1738 - present), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Times Digital Archive 1785-2010 and Who's Who in Australia.

The National Library of Australia eResources gives you access to American National Biography Online, Bibliography of British and Irish History, British Library Newspapers, China Core Newspaper Database, Dublin Castle Records 1798-1928, Early English Books Online, Economist historical archives 1843-2013, Eighteenth Century Collections Online and Eighteenth Century Journals, Gerritsen Collection: Women's History Online 1543-1945, Irish Newspaper Archives, Japan Chronicle, 19th century British Newspapers, 19th Century UK Periodicals, Punch Historical Archive 1841-1992, 17th & 18th Century Nichols Newspaper Collection, Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003, Sunday Times Digital Archive 1822-2006, The Telegraph Historical archive 1855-2000, The Times Digital Archive 1785-2011, 17th & 18th Century Burney collection newspapers, UK Parliamentary Papers. There's lots more but you get the idea.

D is for dictionaries....all sorts....

I have the Penguin Dictionary of Surnames.

I have the Dictionary of Old Trades & Occupations by Andrew & Sandra Twining

I have A Glossary of Household, Farming and Trade Terms from Probate Inventories by Rosemary Milward

I have the Oxford Companion to Local and Family History which has essays and then a kind of dictionary in it with different subject headings.

I have the redoubtable The Family Historian's Enquire Within by F.C. Markwell & Pauline Saul - a wonderful dictionary of terms and phrases and acronyms you are likely to encounter in your journey.

I've got French, German and Latin dictionaries.

There are of course topographical dictionaries of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to name a few. I don't have those. They would be nice to add to the collection.

I would also like a dictionary of medical terms but perhaps the very scary Blacks Medical Dictionary that I have will do for the  moment. If you want a good fright look up Housemaid's Knee.  On principle I don't do much housework having seen the gruesome effects.  My knees weren't particularly attractive to start with - no point in making them any worse.

You can search the Australian Dictionary of Biography online here.

What dictionaries do you have or recommend?


Anne Young said...

And of course we use databases to keep track of our research. Family Tree programs are databases :)

The remote access to resources using our library cards is fantastic.

D is for Dartmouth: Guy Mainwaring and the beagle pack


Anne Young

Anne's family history

crgalvin said...

Thanks for listing all those databases at the NLA, a couple new to me. It is such a good service.

Gossip_Grl said...

I was for a time tracing my family history. I went as far back as paternal great mother. That was several years ago. My sister took over and has found a lot of info on On a lighter note, I may need more info on the house maids knee. :) Enjoyed reading your post.

Fran said...

We have a couple of super big Collins dictionaries that used to be out all the time but now I have given over to google so seem to prefence Webster online. I have given away many books but canot part with my Collins.

Alex Daw said...

Anne - yes you are quite correct..our family tree files are databases too and essential reference tools.

Carmel - it is worth going back and checking now and again isn't it?

Gossip Girl - thanks for visiting my blog and beware the Housemaid's knee !

Fran - yes I too Google probably far more frequently but I still like those specialty books that might just have more info than google.

Sharon M Himsl said...

Dictionaries used to be more popular. My grandparents had a giant one...humongous in my child's eyes. I still have a standard one on the shelf, but I rely more on the internet now and the dictionary and thesaurus built into Word. It's too convenient not to use.

"Female Scientists Before Our Time"

Anonymous said...

Our library cards here give us access to ancestry and the like. I should really use it more!

Jill Ball said...

If only we had time to make the most of these amazing resources! I have an old Concise genealogical Dictionary that I sometimes use and I love my 2nd edition of The Family Historian's Enquire Within but I find it easier to ask Google.

Jill - Blogging the #AtoZChallenge at

Alex Daw said...

Dear Sharon, Stacybuckeye and Jill - we are so lucky with all the resources we have at our fingertips aren't we? But there are so many more distractons too. It is difficult to stay focussed.