A new way to find new acquisitions

Twelve months ago, the bookshelves in the WAGS library were culled of obsolete and duplicated material. Since then, they've been filling up again and members making regular visits to the Society's premises in Bayswater would have seen some of the new titles displayed on the bookcase facing the main entrance into the Library.

Now all members are able to see what new items have been added to the WAGS Library.

All that's required is a visit to the Members Only area of the WAGS website and a click on the Acquisitions link which is found under Library in the sub menu on the left hand side of the homepage.

Members can borrow up to four items for a two week period and extensions will be given if titles have not been reserved by another member.

Now is a excellent time to make use of your entitlement the Library is closed for five weeks over Christmas 2012 from 5pm on Saturday 8th December until 9.30am on Monday 14th December and no overdue notices will be issued during that time!

Above the New Acquisitions list is a link to the WAGS Library Resource Recommendation Form which can be downloaded, completed and mailed or left with one of the Library Volunteers for me.

WorkhouseOne of the fascinations of family history is finding out about the lives and times of our ancestors. If forebears spent time in English workhouses, The Workhouse Encyclopaedia is the definitive guide. Compiled by one of Britain's foremost experts on the subject, it contains hundreds of fascinating anecdotes, plus priceless information for researchers including workhouse addresses, useful websites and archive repository details, maps, plans, original workhouse publications and an extensive bibliography.

The author also hosts a website http://www.workhouses.org.uk/ which contains in depth information about workhouses, primarily in the United Kingdom but also outside Britain.

The emerging topic of DNA and social networking is represented in the subjects explored in the new items as is that of single female migration to colonial Australia.

Blue ChinaJan Gothard's Blue China, a winner of the WA Premier's Book Award for History, is a fascinating account of the experiences of the almost one hundred thousand women who emigrated from Britain to the Australian colonies under schemes organised and funded by Australian colonial governments.

Would a synopsis of the major events in Australia, Victoria or Western Australia in any one year be helpful to set the context of your ancestor's lives? If so, then three recently donated substantial tomes The Chronicle of Australia; 160 years of news from The West Australian; or The bible of the Bush: 125 years of The Weekly Times (Melb) 1869-1994 will provide the information to set the scene. The Chronicle of Australia presents a year-by-year coverage comprising over 10,000 news items and 3000 illustrations. Produced in collaboration with historians, journalists, photographers, editors and researchers it attempts to 'turn the raw stuff of the nation's history into an authoritative and accessible work'.

Ancestors AtticAncestors in the attic is a guide to a fantastic and often overlooked resource for learning more about ancestors' everyday lives. Much family history focuses on digging around archives and web searches, but this book shows that attics and closets can often hide a treasure trove of personal documents and ephemera. Boxes full of photographs, hastily written notes, old tickets, postcards, ration books, a soldier's hat, a bundle of letters, perhaps a diary, are all invaluable sources of information about family history. These are crucial in piecing together the everyday lives of one's ancestors, exposing secrets, and family relationships. Family historians might discover favourite family recipes, information about their schooldays, reconstruct a Victorian family holiday. This book guides readers through 200 years of different types of memorabilia: how to interpret them and how to use them to make one's own family history, perhaps making a scrapbook or website.

Datchworth Tithe Accounts 1711-1747 is obviously essential reading for anyone whose ancestors lived in Datchworth in the first half of the 18th century. However Datchworth was a typical rural parish and while the names may be different, the general scenario will be similar to that faced by many living in rural conditions. The Introduction includes a very full discussion of the history and collection of tithes and also has a good look at farming practices, while the accounts give a good indication of the prices being obtained in Hertford market.

TheodosiaAnother recent donation to the Library is the Diary of Theodosia Mary Welch, an unaccompanied 16 year old who made the voyage to Australia in 1855. The original diary has been lost, however the Battye Library fortunately holds a photocopy of the original and it is from this copy that Ken Terry [member 12380] put together this slim, interesting and informative volume about his great great grandmother. It was thought that a daguerreotype of Theodosia could be found at Wallcliffe House, however before the image could be located, this historic homestead was lost in the 2011 Margaret River fire along with all its contents. Theodosia was an entertaining diarist and the publication is worth a look just to see the voyage plotted on Google Earth.

Take time out from searching for detail and discover the bigger picture - This Festive Season, lose yourself in a book from your Library.

This article was first published in November 2012