Not that hard: visiting the Geelong Heritage Centre

Geelong Heritage CentreI’ve heard on the grapevine that regular visitors to the Geelong Heritage Centre in the former Little Malop Street building have not started appearing at the new location in the National Wool Museum in Moorabool Street.

Despite working in Melbourne 5 days a week, I managed to visit the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre last week – I wasn’t sure what to expect but what a pleasant surprise – you don’t know what you’re missing!

This blog isn’t about repeating the information on the GHC web site – it’s aimed at making you feel comfortable about dropping in to the new centre for a visit and some research.  Explore the web site of the GHC to find out all the details: opening times, services, activities, events, bookshop, catalogue and much more.  And hopefully you won’t miss the great news that the new Geelong Heritage Centre is open FIVE days a week from 10.00 am.

Join me on my journey to the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre …

THE OLD GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

If you mistakenly go to the Old Geelong Heritage Centre site, this is what you would have been greeted with in November 2013.  It looks pretty forlorn but you’ll have a chance to see the artist’s impression of the magnificent new building for the Geelong Regional Library and the Geelong Heritage Centre.

 Old Geelong Heritage Centre site  Old Geelong Heritage Centre site  Old Geelong Heritage Centre site

If you’re standing looking at this and cursing at anyone you can think of, don’t get too frustrated – the location of the “new” centre is not that far away.

GETTING TO THE “NEW” GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

Make your way to the north east corner of Johnstone Park – on the way, enjoy the view of the Peace Memorial, Geelong Art Gallery and the Geelong Town Hall.  It’s amazing how many people haven’t seen these beautiful buildings from this angle.

From the corner of the Park, walk along Malop Street to the next intersection [Moorabool Street], turn left and before you get to the next intersection [Brougham Street] you’ll be at the site of the “new” Geelong Heritage Centre.

OTHER WAYS OF GETTING THERE:

There are also Park & Ride options in Geelong that you might find helpful.

The City of Greater Geelong also runs a Central Geelong Free Summer Shuttle Service that stops at the train station, the Waterfront, Geelong Botanic Gardens and other Central Geelong locations.  Contact the City or Tourist Information Centres for details.

THE “NEW” [INTERIM] GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE – WHERE:

Top Floor, National Wool Museum

26 Moorabool Street, Geelong

HOW TO FIND THE GHC at the NATIONAL WOOL MUSEUM:

The GHC is located on the top [third] floor of the National Wool Museum [below left, centre and right]

Go through the main doors between the National Wool Museum [red] and Geelong Heritage Centre [blue] banners.  [below centre and right]

 "New" Geelong Heritage Centre  "New" Geelong Heritage Centre  "New" Geelong Heritage Centre

Once you are through the doors, go to the desk on your left [below left].  Ask for your pass to go up to the Geelong Heritage Centre [below right].  You must wear this pass while you are in the building to use the Geelong Heritage Centre otherwise you will be asked to purchase a ticket for the National Wool Museum.  Don’t forget to return your lanyard and pass to the desk on your way out.

 GHC Front Desk  GHC Pass for all visitors

Access to the top floor is via the ramp through the National Wool Museum.  Go straight to the Geelong Heritage Centre – your pass is not a ticket to the Wool Museum!  The ramp is a very gentle slope to the top floor – if you have any concerns, ask at the front desk for a wheelchair.  Wool Museum volunteers cannot wheel you up to the Geelong Heritage Centre – you will need to be accompanied by someone who can help you.

Continue up the ramp until you see the huge stack of wool bales [below left], go up the ramp with the bales on your right [below centre] and you will notice two entrances in front of you [below right].

GHC Top Floor GHC Top Floor OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Go to the entrance on the left first as this contains the lockers [above right].

No bags are permitted in the Heritage Centre Reading Room so they should be placed in one of the lockers provided [below left].  Remember to take your key with you and keep it in a safe place.  Only pencils are permitted in the centre – if you don’t have one, you will find some in the Reading Room.

 GHC Lockers  GHC Entrance

Return to the entrance on the right [above right], go through the entrance and turn right.

INSIDE THE GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE READING ROOM:

The reception / enquiry desk is on your left inside the Reading Room, just past the shelves of publications for sale [below left].

Report to the desk [below left] and make sure you know how and where to find resources.

IMPORTANT: The Reading Room is on three levels with a few steps on each side of the room between each level.  There are good solid rails to hold as you move up or down the steps but if you feel you might have difficulty please speak to those on duty.  Where possible they will bring items to you for viewing on the top [entrance] level so you don’t have to use the steps.

 GHC Reception  GHC Reading Room  GHC Reading Room

From the entrance:

  • rows of bookshelves are on the right of the Reading Room on all levels [above right and below left and right]
  • computers, tables and chairs are on the left on the middle level [above centre and right]
  • microfiche, microfilms and readers are on the left on the lower level [below left and right].
 GHC Reading Room

 GHC Reading Room

The new Reading Room contains most of what was available in the old [demolished] Reading Room.

WHAT ISN’T IN THE “NEW” GHC READING ROOM:

There is no direct access to the Archives at the GHC Reading Room.  Mind you, very few people ever used these archives in the old [demolished] centre – and only PART of the Archives were held in Little Malop Street anyway!

It was Murphy’s Law that the item you wanted to view was stored off-site in which case you needed to order it in advance and wait for it to be available [a couple of weeks].  So really, nothing has changed!

Make use of the GHC web site to search the Archives and order the relevant item(s) or check to ensure that what you want to view is available when you visit.  And don’t forget that many of the more popular archives have been filmed and are available to view on microfilm in the “new” Heritage Centre.

The GHC now has a terrific new scanner which means items on film or fiche can be scanned and saved as an image – don’t forget to bring your USB drive with you!

ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO THE “NEW” GEELONG HERITAGE CENTRE:

Without doubt, the “new” / interim Geelong Heritage Centre Reading Room is absolutely delightful.  It’s fresh, well laid out, and very inviting.  Do yourself a favour and drop in for some research.

GEELONG REGIONAL LIBRARY:

If you’re still standing at the demolition site in Little Malop Street and wondering where the library has gone, just look behind you – it’s in the Government Offices – the upside down pyramid building [below right].

 Geelong Regional Library  Geelong Regional Library

Not that hard: visiting the Genealogical Society of Victoria

If you think that you need to be a member to visit the Genealogical Society of Victoria [GSV] hopefully this blog will encourage you to visit and find out the facts first hand.  The other misconception some people have is that the Society’s resources are limited to Victoria.  In fact the society has wonderful resources for researching ancestors from around the world.

Explore the web site of the GSV to find out all the details: opening times, services, activities, events, bookshop, catalogue and much more. 

This blog isn’t about repeating the information on the GSV web site – it’s aimed at making you feel comfortable about dropping in for a visit.

WHERE:

Level B1, 257 Collins Street, Melbourne

HOW TO FIND THE GSV:

The GSV is located in Emirates House on the south side of Collins Street between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets.  Australia on Collins is almost opposite and Emirates House is just a few doors towards Swanston Street from the pedestrian crossing lights.  [below left and centre]

Go through the sliding glass entrance doors of Emirates House.  [below right]

 
     

Once you are in the foyer, DON’T go past the escalators!  Turn LEFT immediately before the jewellers on the left – the lifts are behind the jeweller’s shop.  Press the DOWN button and when you’re in the lift select “B1″.  [below left]

Emirates House runs between Collins Street and Flinders Lane.  If you are coming from the Flinders Street Railway Station, you can enter the building at rear – 257 Flinders Lane.  [below centre]

When you come out of the lift at level B1 you will see the GSV sign in the foyer.  [below right]

 
     

WHAT YOU’LL FIND AT THE GSV:

Turn left down the corridor – and pause to look at the wonderful family charts on the wall.  There are also photos of all the GSV’s presidents.  [below left]

At the end of the corridor is reception and the bookshop.  Allow plenty of time to browse the wonderful selection of books, CDs, charts, genealogy programs, vouchers and much more.  Have a look at the online GSV bookshop to get an idea of the huge range available … and if what you want is not in stock the GSV may be able to get it in for you.  [below right]

 
   

USING THE LIBRARY:

Prospective members may have a brief tour of the library if the staff or volunteers are available.You do not need to be a member of the GSV to use the library – there are day rates and also reciprocal rights for members of nominated interstate societies.  Ask at the reception desk to check the options for you.

Visitors and members are required to wear their name tags or membership cards at all times in the library. 

No bags are permitted in the library – these should be placed in one of the lockers provided.  Clear plastic bags are permitted for your research papers.

Only pencils are permitted in the library – if you don’t have one, you can borrow one from the library information desk.

Members should scan the barcode on their card when they first arrive at the library and at the end of the day when they leave.  [below left and right]

 
 

 

LIBRARY FACILITIES and RESOURCES:

The information and enquiry desk is the first point of call – this is where you book computers and film readers, ask for assistance and advice on using the catalogue and doing your research, and collect your printing and copying.  [below left]

Bookings must be made for using the computers and film readers as there are time limits and specific machines are allocated depending on your area and type of research.  [below centre and right]

All monitors have been upgraded to flat screens providing greater desk-space for everyone.  [below right]

 
     

You will also need to book microfilm readers and should check with the information desk on procedures for using microfiche.  [below left]

Many resources are still available on microfiche and microfilm and the GSV holds an extensive collection.  [below centre]

In addition to the film printer, the GSV has a Scanpro film and fiche scanner and printer – digital images can also be saved to USB drives from this equipment.  Check with the information desk to book the Scanpro for short-term use.  [below right]

 
     

OTHER FACILITIES:

The GSV meeting room is used for the Thursday lunchtime talks, computer classes, courses and various special interest groups.  It includes full data projection and audio equipment.  Check the GSV web site for information on all activities.  [below left]

You can plan a full day at the GSV – bring your own lunch or make use of the numerous food outlets nearby.  There is a kitchen with tea & coffee making facilities.  Relax and chat with other library users in the lunch area.  [below right]

 
 

 

There is so much to see and do at the Genealogical Society of Victoria – don’t be afraid to visit and find out what you’re missing!

Not that hard: Victorian Land Memorials [old General Law titles]

Bound Memorials

Bound registers in the Memorials Library, Melbourne

This blog will guide you through the steps to find a Victorian Land Memorial – follow the footsteps of your guide – Joan Hunt – who kindly took the photographs and demonstrated this procedure to the Geelong & District Historical Association quarterly meeting – February 12, 2011.

This guide is the start of a series called “Not that hard!” – hopefully it will help you realise that it’s not that hard to find a Memorial at the Registrar-General’s Office in Melbourne.

Of course there is no guarantee that you will find a Memorial for YOUR ancestor, but if it’s there, this guide should help you find it.

WHERE:

Memorials Library at Marland House
10th Floor
570 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000

ABOUT:

General Law Titles – some background information

ACCESS:

Take the lift to the tenth floor.  On leaving the lift note that there are glass doors both to the left and to the right.  Note the glass door with “Registrar-General’s Office” marked on it and enter.

You will pay $2.00 per hour per person. [Fee applicable Feb 2011 - obviously this amount could change in the future.]

At the counter ask for a pass into the Memorials Library, and also ask for a photocopying card.  You will use the card to access the photocopy machine but not pay until the end of your visit.

Return past the lifts and enter the opposite glass doors.  Immediately through the doors on your left is a door labelled Memorials Library – use your pass to gain entry.

In the Memorials Library you will find the bound Memorials of the conveyance (or lease or other Instrument) of land under the General or Old Law, relating to land granted by the Crown between 1838 and 1862.  The Torrens System of land registration was introduced on 2 October 1862.

NOTE: Numbers in [brackets] refer to images in the image gallery below.

LAYOUT:

Walk ahead to the compactus and note the photocopier against the wall to your right [No 2], and to your left benches along the middle of the room stretching the full extent of the row of compactus [Nos 3, 8 & 9].

Behind the benches in shelves against the wall are volumes bound in brown cloth, hardcovers, alphabetically labelled, and clearly designated Second Series. [Nos 4 & 5]

At the end of them, next to the Z volume, there are two white-cloth covered bound volumes A-K and L-A which are labelled First Series. [Nos 5 & 6]

SEARCH:

The search is in three stages.  Our example is a search for Edmond BUCKLEY who had land interests on the coast near Cobden in the 1850s, hence we will search the FIRST SERIES.

FIRST SERIES: covers the years 1838 to 1859
SECOND SERIES: covers later years with some overlap

STAGE 1:

First you must consult the indexes in the wall shelves. [No 5]
In Series One Nominal or Name Index, Volume 1 A-K was searched for Edmond BUCKLEY [No 6].
In the columns to the left for Edmond BUCKLEY:
Book 44, Number 392. [No 7]
NOTE: If you can’t read the details there are “reserve” copies of these volumes – you made need to ask for them.

STAGE 2:

Consult the Series One volumes under the benches using the Book and Number found in STAGE 1. [Nos 8 & 9]
These white-cloth covered bound volumes are all labelled in black writing.  These are the numerical indexes which give a page full of details of land transactions of a particular person – in this case we select Book 44 and Folio or Page Number 392. [No 10]

There were three entries for Edmond BUCKLEY: [No 10]

  • Book 46, No 614 – Patrick COADY – Woranga part por 15
  • Book 63, No 319 – Patrick COADY – Woranga pt sec 15
  • Book 64, No 267 – J A GOOLD – Woranga pt sec 16

In this case the first entry is chosen to view the Memorial of the Transaction (or Instrument as it is usually known).

STAGE 3:

Go to the compactus for Series One – they are arranged in numerical order – select Book 46.
Take the Memorial Book to the bench and open it at Page (or Folio) 614. [No 11]

The Memorial (Book 46, No 614) shows that it is a Conveyance. [No 12]
Edmond BUCKLEY and Patrick COADY are the two parties involved and the date is 10 March 1857.
There is also a witness name.

The right hand side of the document describes fully the land being conveyed – sometimes, if it is a hotel for instance, it may well state that the transaction contains the wooden building of eight rooms known as the King’s Arms Hotel and the outbuildings and stables attached, or something similar.  General there is no description of buildings.
At the right is the amount of money paid by the one party to the other. [No 13]

At the lower left of the Memorial is Edmond BUCKLEY’s signature. [No 14] 

SECOND SERIES SEARCH:

Follow the same procedure as for FIRST SERIES but using the volumes identified as SECOND SERIES.

PHOTO GALLERY:

BACKGROUND:

Joan learnt these procedures some years ago when she attended a Summer School run by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.  Check to see if societies in your area run similar programs or courses.

The above guide was valid as at 12 Feb 2011 – you should always check that procedures and/or rules have not changed in the meantime.  Information should be available from the Land Titles Office.

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