The National Library

Today I went for a half-day visit to the National Library reading room down on Thorndon Quay.  It was a new experience for me.†

I have been a long time user of my favourite online digital treasure from the National Library – Papers Past.  So long that I once did transcriptions for a side-blog I have.  That was before the days of improved OCR search facilities.  Seriously, this is one of the very best resources you have available to you here in New Zealand if you are doing your family history.
It also makes for darned interesting reading if you just choose a newspaper and date at random and read through it from start to finish.  Quite an eye-opener to life in a new country and all that this entails.  Oh, and the idea of newspaper owners having axes to grind of all sorts, including political, is certainly not a modern one.

A more recent website is the Manuscripts & Pictorial one.  I haven’t had reason to use this yet but it is in a similar vein to Papers Past, simply restricted to the correspondence of Sir Donald McLean.

If you are a Flickr-ite then you may be interested in their online photostream and perhaps you might find an image of interest hidden away in the Timeframes database.  Bless you Mr Turnbull.

So, you get the idea that it is a pretty handy place to visit.  As a complete newbie to the collections held here in Wellington, it was only a very small dipping of my toe into the water.  But I am now signed up with my own Readers card and that means I can order books and other wonders.  Hooray!
Today I just stuck with the known universe and used their complete record of Electoral Rolls on microfiche, along with the BDM fiche and some local records for a family who had been based in Wellington for a period of time.  I ordered a book for next week, so that should be interesting reading.  I learned quite a bit of military history by looking up records for a particular chap who came out with the 65th Regiment in 1846 and stayed.  And if this description of the electronic and CD-ROMs in the Family History collection is anything to go by, I haven’t really scratched the surface just yet.

Oh I can see more days surrounded by books doing family history.  Joy !

† see yesterday’s post regarding novelty and happiness.

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