Week 1 – Genealogy SA Professional Placement

Week 1 of my professional placement completed! The Genealogy SA resource centre is located on Unley Road in Adelaide in lovely heritage building. Within the four walls of the resource centre there is housed a vast collection of indexes, directories, newspapers, microfiche documents, reference books, family history books and computers for use by members. There are a few individuals employed by the society but many of the workers are there on a voluntary basis. There is a wonderful sense of community and cooperation amongst those who spend multiple hours of their day either researching their own family histories or volunteering to keep the databases up to date.

I spent the first day at Genealogy SA on a bit of a scavenger hunt. Richard set me a task to search for information about one of his distant relatives. I soon got the knack of searching online through Ancestry.com and other sites like Trove and was able to uncover some useful information. I then set about to research some of my own family history which, I must admit, became quite addictive! I’ve been able to fill in a few gaps and add a several details to my family’s history which was extremely rewarding. It makes one appreciate all of the hard work and dedication of volunteers over the years who tirelessly update information from old registers and directories and onto electronic databases.

My next task was to investigate a way to deliver an online course for beginning family history researchers. This has been an interesting task as I, myself am so new to the process of researching family history. Nevertheless, I decided to look at other online courses and the way are delivered. I also searched through the library and came up with a few books to help me write up the course design and curriculum content. As well, I have discussed specific areas such as Births, Deaths and Marriages which are very specific and unique to South Australia because of it being a colony of free settlers with some of the resident experts at Genealogy SA. It has been a good learning experience and a challenge. So far, I have come up with an outline of a six module course with some multimedia files. I created a Slideshare with some of my own photos and photos that I took at Genealogy SA. I am also keen to film a few members to produce a YouTube clip for the society which can be part of the learning package.

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