Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lonely no more

This diagram from The Perennial Lone Wolf Librarian's Weblog started me thinking about how the development of the internet, email and web 2.0 applications has changed genealogy from a rather lonely pursuit to a collaborative activity.

When I started out in the late 1980's I spoke to people in the family to gather the data that was in their heads then I headed off to libraries to search printed resources,microfiche and microfilms. I also made contact with a few people I found in Pioneer registers from various areas in Australia. Some of these people responded by post and sent photocopies of certificates and handwritten trees. Most of the information in these handwritten trees was not sourced; verifying sources meant trips to libraries and genealogical societies and much searching of indexes on microfiche, visits to cemeteries etc.

I embraced technology in the late 1980's when I started entering my data into a basic database. I was then able to share printed reports with new found cousins but I needed to go to the library (luckily I worked in one) to make photocopies of certificates as I did not have access to scanners and copiers at home.

Fast Forward twenty years to today and, thanks to advances in technology, I have a smorgasbord of tools with which to communicate and a broad range of virtual genealogy friends with whom I can share information, news and tips and discuss the trials and tribulations of ancestor hunting.

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