Growing up, the local library was somewhere I visited quite regularly for school assignments and projects. My visits became less frequent when I was at university because the university had its own library facilities, and more and more of the information I needed was moving online, removing the need to visit a physical library. However, when I started research into my family tree I found a renewed need to visit my local library.
This week the topic for 52 Ancestors is library, a place I visited a lot during the initial stages of my family research.
Beyond the initial physical evidence I had of my ancestors, I needed to make use of birth, death and marriage records in order to build out my family tree. To begin with, most of those ancestors lived in Victoria and I was surprised (and disappointed) to find that in order to search and browse the Victorian index online there was a fee to view a page of results! Given some of those early searches can be quite broad, and there is a need to click through several pages of results in order to explore the results and find near matches, this could quickly become quite costly.
To my relief I discovered that our local library had a single PC with copies of the Victorian Birth, Death and Marriage indexes on CD-ROM. And so begun my frequent visits to the Croydon Library, at least for a few weeks until I had captured most of the information I needed.
Fortunately, the Victorian Registry have now updated their website and the indexes are free to search and browse, but without having access to the CD-ROM I could never have made such quick progress on my early family research.