Last weekend (3 & 4th October) I attended the In Time and Place conference . It was ably organised by History Queensland, Genealogical Society of Queensland and Queensland Family History Society.
The State Library of Queensland had provided some free registrations for non-metropolitan people who wished to attend.
It had two streams: one local history and the other family history.
There were also a number of exhibitors and they were stationed around the eating area. Unlike the NSW-ACT State Conference they did not do an open day the day prior to the conference.
|Guild of One Name Studies/Society for One Place Studies table|
So as you can see a lot of information providers and places to spend some genealogical dollars!
The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages made an exciting announcement at the conference which I have already written about on the Genealogical Society of Queensland blog which was that they have been digitising the marriage source documents so we will be able to get copies of marriage documents that contains our ancestors signatures rather than the copy of a copy we currently are able to purchase. Six to eight weeks for the first release so hopefully a Christmas present for Queensland researchers.
The conference was held at the Riverglen conference centre at Indooroopilly. I got there early as I was also an exhibitor for the Society of One Name Studies and also the Society for One Place Studies. Janice Cooper was also on the stand for the Society of One Place Studies although her conference duties kept her very busy.
|Geoff Doherty and his sash|
I am only going to talk about a few of the presentations as there have been a number of bloggers who have already posted. See Shauna Hick's post where she lists a number of other posts.
Denver Beanland opened the conference for the180 or so attendees.Then time for the first keynote Dave Obee, a well known Canadian genealogist, editor and writer talking about A sense of time and place: putting ancestors in context and showing the closeness between Australia and Canada. Dave was an informed and entertaining speaker. He loves our Trove (as of course we all do too!) and talks often about in Canada as newspapers all over the world fill their paper with news. So he suggests to his Canadians they should check out Trove to see what Canadian news has been mentioned then check out the microfilms of the Canadian papers having an approximate idea of time frame.
This is very true and in my own research I had found out about a grave robbing in Kent from a South Australian paper. It had not been reported in the Kent paper due to a very important person's death taking prominence.
Then we had a dual session and I went to Duncan Richardson talking on "Beyond distinguished gentleman" which was on using letters, diaries and anything you could to hear the real people and not just the formal things written down for posterity. people say it is just letters or diaries so not important to keep for posterity but if we don't keep these we never find out the emotions and thoughts behind what has been written for history.
Janis Wilton spoke on Connections: talking local and family history Oral history is a true marker as you are hearing people speak and remember in their own words what has happened, how they felt, their impressions and knowledge and reactions to events. Certainly memory of the past can be influenced by further knowledge gained after the event but oral histories add so much colour and knowledge. Literally colour in one example, as when Janis spoke to a relative about the photo of the house the person said the colour the house was painted when she was a child (which was the time frame of the photo) rather than the white it was painted when Janis knew the house.
Take the time to capture your family or local community while you still can.
Rosemary Kopittke spoke on Suffrage in Queensland and it is important to realise it is suffrage for men as well as women as women as there were requirements for men to have the right to vote. The knowledge of who has the right to vote at which time in which areas allows us to know in which records we can find our people.
Lots of food was available at the various meal breaks and a number of us met up at the buffet dinner. It was nice to get together in person rather than just online.
Sunday the first keynote was Shauna Hicks and if you ever get a chance to hear this presentation run don't walk to it! Shauna kept us all enthralled!
It was a fantastic interweaving of time, place, history utilising a wide range of records and using context. You can't work out why without the context.
Dave Obee gave a presentation on Mythbusters: challenging some common beliefs. A good presentation. You could hear the audience sighing and agreeing with each of the myths as they arose.
I was last on the day speaking on The Words of the People: treasures within government inquiries This fit in very well with a number of other talks as it was about hearing the words of the people from the past. These inquiries are in an inquisitorial format where a person is asked a question and they answer and the words are transcribed as spoken without being "interpreted" for posterity. Examples of the types of inquiries are Royal Commissions, inquests, some trials, etc.
One of the examples I used was from the 1842 Royal Commission on Employment in Mines in England. For those of you who have miners in your family you should read these accounts.
Then it was time for the closing session and the all important announcement who had won the many raffle prizes (I didn't win any but many people I knew were lucky). The big gift basket prize was won by Janis Wilton who asked for it to be redrawn as taking it on the plane home wasn't really possible
All in all an excellent conference and kudos to all the people involved in the organisation as I know how much work has gone on behind the scenes in the lead up to the conference.
Hopefully another society will take up the gauntlet and host the next conference in two years time.