I’ve been getting distracted again, there has not really been much proper genealogy going on for a few days, but my brain has been buzzing with ideas and things I want to do, not just with my family tree but with family and local history in general.
One of the things that distracted me was the Your Archives section on The National Archives website. I did look at this many months ago after it was first announced but hadn’t really been back to see how it has taken shape.
Basically it is a user contributed add-on to the main National Archives catalogue, although a lot of the material appears to be based on The National Archives unpublished guides and material. Those familiar with wikipedia will be familiar with the layout and the concept.
The idea is certainly not unique in the family history field, for example the FamilySearch Wiki, and although The National Archives is not just about family history, a large percentage appears to be related to the subject.
There were a couple of interesting projects that caught my eye. Firstly, the Metropolitan Police Records Project which provides, amongst other things, access to digital photos of some of the documents relating to the force via Flickr. This caught my eye because my 3x great grandfather briefly served in the Metropolitan Police, although I have already established that I am unlikely to find a record of his service.
Secondly, the Historical Streets Project, which is using the census street indexes as the starting point for a massive database of properties, where users can submit details about the properties. This is one database where I could probably contribute some material, not just ancestral homes, but those in my local area.
It is a very eclectic mix of subjects, as one would expect from the National Archives, but it is a site I shall keep an eye on and see if there is something that I can contribute to it in some way.