Thursday, 29 October 2009

Online Research - Free Access to Ancestry.Com and More

Did you know that there are several online subscripitions accessible free from home and library computers, through the Norfolk Online Reference Library? The full list of subscripions available can be seen on

For local and family history the highlight is free access to through computers in Watton or other Norfolk Libraries. It is a genealogy research tool, which gives instant access to a wide range of resources for genealogical and historical research. With more than 7 billion names in over 4,000 databases, ALE includes records from the U.S, Europe, Canada, Australia and the UK and Ireland. It includes UK Census Records from 1841-1901, Military Records, Court, Land, and Probate Records, UK Civil Registration Index (1837 – Present), Directories, Passenger lists, and lots more!

There are several other subscriptions you can also search from your home computer, buy typing in the number next to the barcode on library card, such as:
19th Century British Library Newspapers contains full runs of 48 mainly regional, but some national newspapers…e.g. Birmingham Daily Post, Ipswich Journal, Manchester Times, Liverpool Mercury. Covers England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Access the database from home by typing in your library card number when asked.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - An illustrated collection of 56,000 specially written biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the year 2004. The dictionary does not include any living people. Follow this link to access this database from home by typing in your library card number when asked. Please enter NOR before the number when prompted (with no spaces)

Times Digital Archive (1785-1985) - The complete digital edition of The Times (London). Use keyword searching and hit-term highlighting to retrieve full facsimile images of either a specific article or a complete page. Access the database from home by typing in your borrower number when asked.
Who’s Who – directory of UK and worldwide noteworthy ad influential people from all walks of life. Plus “Who was Who”, dating back to 1898. Follow this link to access the database from home. When prompted, please type NOR before your library card number (with no spaces)

Oxford Reference Online – fast access to information on every subject …from Art to Zoology using over 175 different reference works in one database. Follow this link to access this database from home.
Please enter NOR before your number when prompted (with no spaces)

Monday, 26 October 2009

Digitising the Griston Parish Records

On 22nd Oct.  members of the Griston Community Archive Group, and Capturing Our Wayland Heritage project, spent the day at the Norfolk Record Office making a digital photographic record of the Parish Registers. The Griston Parochial Church Council gave their approved for the copying of the documents. On the day assistance on photographic recording techniques was available from the COWH project’s heritage officer. The team of five photographed the seven registers dating back to 1654, as part of a joint agreement with Record Office to make them more accessible to the public.  The Record Office waved the normal photographic fee in return for having a copy of the digital record being made by the group.  The digitised registers will be made  available as PDF files on CD at a reasonable cost to raise money for the Griston Church Fund.

There are plans to have recording days on the Thompson and Merton Parish Records, once permission is granted, and the conservators have checked the documents to make sure they are in a good enough condition to be photographed. If there are any other parish groups in the project area that would like assistance in arranging and coping their records please get in touch with the project officer Sue White.