Trove Tuesday : A Real Treasure

Have you reserved a place for the Trove master class at the Family History Fair? Running in conjunction with Conference 2013 and exclusive to conference delegates, experts from the National Library of Australia will conduct a master class to help you get the best out of Trove for your family history research. The session is on Friday 20 September between 10.30am – 11.30am. Bookings are now open so go to the Conference 2013 website to register.

If you haven’t discovered TROVE yet, it’s a free on-line search service available through the National Library of Australia. Yes, it’s all about Australia and Australians. Use Trove to explore digitised newspaper articles as well as books, maps, images and music. 24/7 access means I can get on-line and browse the collection at a time that suits me. And once I start browsing I often find myself in for a long stint—I always find something that catches my interest. Not surprising as Trove has over 50 million digitised newspaper articles alone.

Recently I found a newspaper article that I didn’t know existed on Trove about my father-in-law. The Canberra Times of 18 February 1949 reported:

Truck and Lorry Collide – A utility truck, driven by Emily Scott, of Sutton, and a motor lorry, driven by George Francis Tooke, of Eastlake Hostel, were involved in a collision near the Patent Office yesterday morning. The vehicles sustained slight damage.

This small article was sandwiched between other stories—the cost of cows at the Homebush Stock Sales, and a report about a possible inquiry by the NSW Trotting Club into the confusion of a judge who had semaphored incorrect placings for four of the six races. And of course there was an inevitable advertisement—Aunt Mary’s Baking Powder, which always ensures success… and is available everywhere.

It’s fascinating to look back at these early newspaper editions and I find it amusing that such small incidents were newsworthy enough to make i t into the newspaper of the nation’s capital city. I suppose this a reminder of how small Canberra was in those days—can you believe a population of around 17,000? Thankfully as far as we know George didn’t suffer any serious consequences from the truck and lorry collision. We can only guess and hope that Emily faired as well. And who knows about the fate of the poor confused judge…

If you want to find out more about Trove and how to use it why not attend one of the Learning @ the Library sessions. I attended a session on Learning Trove for Family History and got heaps of information and some good search tips. It’s also worth checking out the Trove Forums – there is a genealogy forum where you can ask questions and connect with other family historians.

Personalised help to support your research on subjects covered by the library collections is available through ‘Ask a Librarian’. HAGSOC member John T recently mentioned he is very impressed with the service and found the librarians always provide good answers to his questions. So if you need help finding and using Library resources why not use this terrific service.

The National Library is a wonderful resource for your family history research. Hope you enjoy making discoveries as much as I do. And don’t forget to register for the Trove Master Class during Conference 2013.

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