Monday, September 20, 2010

Out in Kingswood Country

My trek to State Records at Kingswood last week was most rewarding. As I stated on Twitter " Worth a visit @staterecordsnsw Had a wonderful visit yesterday-found some juicy info in probate packets and divorce papers #genealogy".

Main Reading Room

Microforms aplenty
As it had been a while since my last visit I read all the info on their website before setting out. I would only add "wear clothing with lots of pockets".  One must leave bags in a locker before entering the Main Reading Room. I had a laptop, pencils, wallet, smartphone (for browsing the internet while there) , digital camera and extra battery and SD card (for photographing documents. If I wouldn't have had pockets in my trousers and cardigan it would have been quite a juggling act! If they supplied transparent plastic bags for bits and bobs, like the National Library of Australia does, this would be most helpful.

Pencils only

During the seven hours I spent in the Reading Room I did quite a bit of eavesdropping. I was most impressed with the manner in which the female members of staff on the information desk dealt with requests from members of the public. There was a range of enquiries from basic to complex; all users were treated with courtesy and a genuine interest. These staff members went out of their way to make the users feel comfortable with using the records and gave the impression that each query was important. Unfortunately the one male who worked on the desk at times did not demonstrate the same level of interpersonal and listening skills.
Glimpsing the past at State Records
I can recommend the trek to Kingswood to anyone with an interest in genealogy in  NSW.  The parking is convenient, the facilities good, the staff helpful, the rewards surprising and it's free.

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