Monday, 30 April 2012

Finalizing Details

Planning a group research trip is much like plannning a wedding. There is a flurry of activity as soon as the date is set. Reservations for the venue(s) - in this case the archival repositories we will visit as a group, transportation, accommodation and evening entertainment. Inviting the participants. Planning the itinerary. Organizing the research materials. And getting the attendee packages together (instead of thank you gifts).

Then there is a lull for several months. Advertising still happens, e-mails and queries are still answered, connections are still made. But there is still lots of time for other work. Writing articles and blog posts, lectures, meetings and if lucky, personal research.

And suddenly the dates are looming and once again there is a flurry of activity. Finalizing all of the initial reservations, attending to the details that can't be done ahead of time. It feels like a whirlwind but as the weeks fly by, the anticipation and excitment mount. Now to make sure my own research gets organized so that I too can benefit from the trip!

T minus 6 as the astronauts say.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Sometimes You Just Have to Let Go and Let God

My mum used to say "there are times when you just need to 'Let Go and Let God'" This seems to be one of those times. I had pre-determined that I would be taking a small group to Scotland this spring. All seemed to be set and I was looking forward to getting to Scotland to do my own research, but also to show the group just how much information can be found in the archives in Scotland. I love Scotland and was also looking forward to introducing the group to my homeland. It always seems better to visit a new country if you are with someone who knows about it and can share the "off the beaten path" sights and information.

 Then, just as I thought all was going ahead, I had three people cancel. I certainly understand that life gets in the way. So, I scrambled to fill the now open spots. Extra lectures, webinars, advertising, articles, workshops, mailings and discounts. No takers. I could be frantic. But what good would that do? My week hasn't gone well. I was so distracted yesterday morning, that I drove off and forgot to pay for the gas I had just pumped! That's when I realized I needed to "Let Go and Let God" I need to step back, take a deep breath, cut my losses and look forward to the possibilities.  

We will be a very small, very intimate group. It will have a very different feel. But I am interested to see what this trip has to offer and can only hope that it all works out. After all, I fly out three weeks today!

Scottish Nurses Archives

A little known resource for those with nurses in their ancestral lines is the Royal College of Nursing Archives Scottish Board. Their documents are not available online, but you can write to them at 42 South Oswald Road, Edinburgh EH9 2HH. Although it is not part of the research tour, it is a stop I will be making in hopes of garnering my mum's records.

Just over three weeks!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

I've Made My Lists - Now I'm Checking Them Twice

In just 4 short weeks, I will be in Glasgow as I get ready for the research tour. I am looking forward to my guided tour of the Necropolis at 2 pm. And I’m looking forward to my short time in Glasgow. I’m usually in Edinburgh when I am home, and although in the Glasgow “area”, really spend very little time in Glasgow itself. And I’m looking forward to introducing people to the rugged beauty and rich heritage of my homeland.

In preparation for the research, I have made my lists and now it’s a matter of checking them twice to make sure I get the most out of my time at the repositories. For the most part, I have the BMDs and census records. My lists are a bit different this time. Records that will help to re-build the story of my ancestors and less about the dates and places that the BMDs, OPRs and Census records provide. This time I am in search of rounding out some of the stories and of gathering records from some of the more obscure archives. 

I want to spend some time trolling the Kirk Session records and the OPRs of course. But I also want to get into the Nursing Archives in Edinburgh, and to the Archives at the University of Glasgow for the NHS records. Getting these records will provide some of the missing gaps of the social history parts of my family history.  

I am looking forward to spending time with my older aunties and getting their perspective and recollection of the stories that have been passed down over the generations.  

And I'm looking forward to sharing my research with you while I am in Scotland. Stay tuned to this blog.....