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

Update on Geelong Advertiser on TROVE

Geelong Advertiser 9 January 1841 p1It’s so much fun watching the progress of the Geelong Advertiser through TROVE - the anticipation is mounting!  Priority has been given to the years 1914-1918 and this is what has already been completed and available online:

  • 8 Jan 1914 – 24 May 1915
  • 17 Dec 1915 – 31 Mar 1916
  • 14 May 1917 – 31 Dec 1918

And checking the ones still to come, they’re VERY close!  They appear to have been digitised and searches during this period will find the entries marked as [Coming Soon]:

  • 26 May 1915 – 16 Dec 1915 [6,101 entries "coming soon"]
  • 1 Apr 1916 – 13 May 1917 [11,340 entries "coming soon"]

So you know what that means!  Once those ones are finished, they’ll be starting on the rest of the promised Geelong Advertisers … it is so reassuring to look at the NEW TITLES COMING list for the current year:

The following titles are intended to be made available to the public during the coming year [July 2013 to June 2014]. Multiple titles may be processed and made available at any given time. Dates of when specific issues will be available unfortunately cannot be provided.

And find this entry:

Geelong Advertiser 1857 – 1918 National Library of Australia and selected by Australian Newspaper Plan libraries

And when that’s all done we’ll have a complete run from 1840-1918.

And while we’re holding our breath with excitement, I found this reference to the Addy in a book I was indexing – oh how politically INCORRECT our newspapers used to be!

 

14 May 1942 – Tobacco Shortage Hits Councillors

Cigarettes will in future grace the Bannockburn Council table in place of cigars.  The supply of the latter has run out and as replacement cost is 2 pounds 8 shillings a box, no more will be purchased.  Those Councillors who do not smoke the humble cigarette can, if they so desire, provide their own cigars.  But as Bannockburn is largely composed of Scotchmen, the risk of that is not great.

And before ANYONE complains, that is a direct quote and not something I would DARE to say in mixed company!

Latest additions to database

Break O'Day, later CorindhapBreak O’Day, later called Corindhap, featured in Shot for Gold: the murder of Thomas Ulick Burke on the Woady Yaloak Goldfield – a fascinating reconstruction from many original records of this murder which resulted in two executions.  Details are now part of the Geelong & District Database.

Recent additions to the database include a number of local history books.

We now have 1,423,946 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 24 November:

  • The Life of our Years: a pictorial chronology of Geelong – Book – 1,534 entries
  • Vision Splendid: Geelong - Book – 91 entries
  • Shot for Gold: the murder of Thomas Ulick Burke on the Woady Yaloak Goldfields – Book – 423 entries
  • The Sisters of Mercy, Queenscliff 1916-1992 – Book – 151 entries
  • The Life & Times of Jack Borbidge - Book – 324 entries
  • Shipwrecks at Barwon Heads 1853-1940 and The Historic Barwon – Book – 421 entries
  • Shire of Bannockburn: from pioneers to presidents – Book – 871 entries
  • Geelong District: Midwives from the Victoria Government Gazette 1941, 1954 - 84 entries ***

*** This completes the series of Registers of Midwives however we are missing one year where we can’t find the Register for 31 December 1921 which would normally have appeared in the first half of 1922.  If anyone locates this register, please get in touch.  We’re now starting on the Registers of Nurses from the Geelong District.

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages and the Geelong & District List of Books.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Time Capsules and the Geelong Advertiser

Old Geelong Advertiser buildingSometimes when you’re indexing, your mind wanders in strange directions – well mine does anyway.  I index things at random – usually it’s a really good chance to clear your overloaded mind so you can work on another task or project.  It’s one of those terrific “brain-dead” tasks that you can end do while watching a movie.  The eyes read, the fingers move, you turn a page and keep repeating these tasks!

At other times, while you’re indexing it’s a chance to come up with strange ideas and questions – sometimes even rash statements.  So, while I was indexing a book this morning I came up with a rash statement …

I bet the Geelong Advertiser has been placed in more Time Capsules than any other newspaper in Victoria – maybe even Australia!

I agree – that is a VERY rash statement but there is some basis to it:

  • The Geelong Advertiser was the “local” paper for much of Western Victoria for most of the 19th century and beyond
  • The Geelong Advertiser is Victoria’s oldest morning newspaper, the first edition being published on November 21, 1840 and it’s still going

And how on earth do you prove something like that?

We start compiling a list / database – not many entries yet but you can change all of that!  Make use of the Time Capsule form.

And if we have any Addy journalists watching … well you can help even more!!!

Latest additions to database

Geelong Hospital c1915Geelong Hospital features in the latest additions to the Geelong and District database with the index of the book Visions & Realities: a history of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum by Dr W R (Roy) Lang.

It also includes the final part of the index to Pioneering Days: a woman’s life compiled by the Colac & District Family History Group.  The complete index for this book contains 6,809 entries and provides a wonderful ‘local directory’ for people in the region.  Where the same people appear multiple times, by referring to the entry in the book you will find the relevant years for each reference – a terrific resource.  The book can be purchased from the Colac & District Family History Group.

We now have 1,420,041 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 10 November:

  • Visions & Realities: a history of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum – Book – 575 entries
  • Pioneering Days: a woman’s life – Book – 2,683 entries
  • The Lockies of Gheringhap – Book – 391 entries
  • Ss Peter and Paul’s, Ashby 1866-1966 – Book – 292 entries
  • Geelong District entries from Index: Mail Contractors of Victoria 1838 to 1901 - 305 entries
  • Geelong District entries from Index Victoria’s Postmasters and Postmistresses 1837 to 1901 - 835 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages and the Geelong & District List of Books.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Latest additions to database

InvestigatorThe latest additions to the Geelong and District database and web site include the index to the Investigator journals for the years 2010-2012.

It also includes the index to the next part to the book – Pioneering Days: a woman’s life compiled by the Colac & District Family History Group.  The group spent almost 10 years compiling the data and so far, after indexing 150 pages, you can understand why the index is so important – there are already more than 4,100 entries!  The book can be purchased from the Colac & District Family History Group.

We now have 1,414,960 records in the Geelong and District database.

This is what’s been added since the last major update on 26 October:

  • Investigator, journal of the Geelong Historical Society: volumes 45, 46 & 47 for 2010-2012 – 2,049 entries
  • Pioneering Days: a woman’s life – Book – 2,136 entries
  • Geelong District: Surnames of Interest - 16 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Latest additions to database

Episcopal Chapel, Ballan - later St John's, Ballan.  Source: SLV IAN18/03/65/5/0More than 2,000 entries have been added to the Geelong and District Database since the last update.

More than three quarters of these entries came from a terrific book A Pictorial History of the Shire of Ballan – the index includes children named in school photos and names on various Honor Boards.

Those midwives keep popping up and are such a popular collection.  As I’ve mentioned before this is one of the few professions that help us track our married or unmarried female ancestors – they didn’t have to give up this role when they married.  Even better the Midwives Registers in the Victoria Government Gazette give us name changes [generally due to marriage] and address changes.  Once we’ve finished the Midwives Registers we’ll start on the Nurses Registers – another great source for our female ancestors and relatives.

Our Book indexes and Midwives indexes are the product of our wonderful volunteers in our region – some long-term volunteers and others who just pop up through Mailing Lists, Facebook, and of course this Blog.  They’re all wonderful!

This is the list of additions since 3 August making a total of 1,410,769 entries in the database:

  • Geelong District: Midwives from the Victoria Government Gazette 1931, 1945-1954 - 561 entries
  • Geelong District: Surnames of Interest – 20 entries
  • Ballan [book]: A Pictorial History of the Shire of Ballan – 1,558 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

 

Excitement for Geelong

A Whirr of Many WheelsThis afternoon I was at the Victorian Community History Awards for 2013 … lots and lots of people to catch up with … Weston & Janice Bate and heaps of others.  Just as we were being mustered towards the seats I spotted another familiar face and bounded over to say hi to Rod and Anne Charles.  It must have been fate because there I was sitting beside Rod after all the Category winners and commendations had been announced …

That was when they announced the winner of the Judges’ Special Prize ……. YES !!!  It was our Rod!

Congratulations Rod from all of your mates in Geelong & District – it’s a fantastic award and a really deserving winner.

I confess that there was a bit of cheering and shouting from the back row but all for a good cause!

Now Rod just has to finish Volume 2 and Volume 3.

I know the Public Record Office sent an embargoed Press Release to the Geelong Advertiser – not sure which of our other papers – I hope you guys are all paying attention and follow up on Rod winning this prestigious State award.

Three cheers for Rod !!!

A full list of winners in each category is now available on the PROV web site.

P.S. We have a copy of Rod’s book in our Genealogical Society of Victoria library.

Geelong Advertiser: WWI years

Geelong Advertiser 8th June 1918I hope everyone has been keeping tabs on the National Library of Australia / TROVE additions!  If not, you will have missed the start of the 1914-1918 copies of the Geelong Advertiser appearing.

So far the uploads include part of 1917 and 1918 – keep watching and DON’T FORGET to register and do your bit by correcting as many entries as possible to make it easier for others to find their families.

Thank you to the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia – where would we be without them?

I must confess to smirking last Thursday – sitting in the audience listening to an American genealogist – he was SO jealous of our NLA digital newspapers and TROVE!

Spotlight on Steiglitz

Township of SteiglitzThe town of Steiglitz in the Brisbane Ranges north west of Geelong is a fascinating place to visit with a rich history from its peak time as a goldfield site in Victoria.  It is just 40 Km from Geelong and 50 Km from Ballarat.  A detour off the main highway between these two regional cities is where you’ll find the Steiglitz Historical Society and learn more about this virtual ghost town.  [WARNING: The society are currently upgrading their web site - try their link a bit later if it doesn't work!]

The latest update to the Geelong & District database just happened to include two groups of records for Steiglitz.  In the process of looking for a suitable image for this blog, I came across a lovely digitised geological map of the Steiglitz goldfields on the State Library of Victoria web site.  Browsing the two images for this map, I was amazed at the number of features that were named – reefs, gullies, mines etc.  I’m afraid when you’re addicted to indexing, you just can’t pass up something like this, so instead of two Steiglitz indexes, this update includes three!

This is the list of additions since 3 August making a total of 1,408,630 entries in the database:

  • Steiglitz: Borough Rate Books [GRS 820] - 1865-1878 – 2,952 entries
  • Steiglitz: Court Records [VPRS 351 / P2 / Unit 1] – 1862 – 246 entries
  • Steiglitz: Geological Map of the Gold Field – 1909 – 196 entries

And don’t think these are the only Steiglitz entries in the database!  Over the years there have been a bundle of entries including:

BOOKS indexed

  • History of Steiglitz: 1835 – 1951
  • The Pubs and Licensees of Steiglitz and History of the Alfred (ANA) Hall
  • Steiglitz Memories of Gold

DIRECTORIES transcribed – extracting Steiglitz entries

  • 1857 Bradshaw’s Guide to Victoria
  • 1858 Bradshaw’s Guide to Victoria
  • 1859 Bradshaw’s Guide to Victoria
  • 1860 Bradshaw’s Guide to Victoria
  • 1861 Geelong and Western District general directory
  • 1866-67 Stevens’ Geelong & Western District Directory
  • 1866-67 Butler & Brooke’s National Directory of Victoria
  • 1868 Bailliere’s Victorian Directory
  • 1870 Bailliere’s Victorian Directory
  • 1871-72 Bailliere’s Victorian Directory
  • 1875 Bailliere’s Victorian Directory
  • 1880-81 Bailliere’s Victorian Directory
  • 1882-83 Maning & Bishop’s Geelong and Western District Directory [Shire of Meredith]
  • 1888-89 Wise’s Victorian Post Office Directory
  • 1891-92 Wise’s Victorian Post Office Directory
  • 1893-94 Wise’s Victorian Post Office Directory
  • 1895-96 Wise’s Victorian Post Office Directory
  • 1897-98 Wise’s Victorian Post Office Directory
  • 1899-1900 Wise’s Victorian Post Office Directory
  • 1904 Wise’s Victorian Post Office Directory
  • 1911 Sands & McDougall Directory
  • 1913 Sands & McDougall Directory
  • 1915 Sands & McDougall Directory
  • 1919 Sands & McDougall Directory
  • 1924 Sands & McDougall Directory
  • 1928 Sands & McDougall Directory

BURIALS / HEADSTONES data including:

  • Early Steiglitz Burials
  • Steiglitz Cemetery Burials
  • Steiglitz Cemetery Headstone Transcriptions

Details on all these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages and other database pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

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