Lockdown resources and activities
Welcome to our new resource page!
We know that many of you will miss being able to visit the Heritage Hub, whether as a researcher or a volunteer. We have created this page to gather together ideas about how you can explore and engage with archives from home, as well as other free heritage-inspired activities which you can do during lockdown. The page also links to campaigns and initiatives which we know about elsewhere.
Keeping a diary
Gloucestershire Archives at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub gathers, keeps and shares the documented heritage of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. For the first time in 80 years we have had to temporarily close our doors to the public but our work goes on! We now need your help to create a "living archive" of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’d like to encourage you to pick up a pen or pencil, open a Word document or take up your phone and record your experiences, thoughts or feelings about this remarkable time in our lives.
Carrying out oral reminiscences
One activity that households self-isolating together could do together is to chat to each other about their memories. Our memories are unique. Even if a group of us have witnessed the same event, all of us will remember it in a different way. Sharing memories across generations is a particularly powerful way of both inspiring younger people, and confirming to the elderly that their lives have value and are important.
See this page for some useful downloadable help sheets.
Downloadable virtual meeting backgrounds
For many of us, Zoom meet-ups have become an important way to keep in touch with family, friends and work colleagues.
Virtual backgrounds let you skip the last minute tidying, strategic arrangement of titles on bookshelves and other home interior tweaks! They will also hide any inconvenient people or pets who may come into view at just the wrong moment (popular though they may be!)
From this page you can download 13 beautiful photographs of the Gloucestershire landscape, taken by finalists in our 2019 photographic competition. There’s also a quirky Minecraft version of the Heritage Hub in case you are missing us too much!
Here are a couple to whet your appetite!
60 seconds with...
Take the 60 seconds challenge! We have devised 40 heritage related questions which will hopefully make you stop and think about why you like history and why you enjoy using archives. However, we only want you to answer 10 questions so just choose your favourites…and we only want short answers so that the completed piece of work can be read in about 60 seconds or less!
Visit this page for more information on what to do and how to submit your answers!
Remember lego? Of course you do! Well you may be interested to hear about Minecraft - a 21st century game which lets you construct virtual buildings working from photos or plans. The “classic” version is free, so why not have a go? You could build your house, or pick a well known local landmark. If you grab a photo off google you don’t need to go outside. Advanced practitioners could even tackle Gloucester Cathedral! You can share your finished masterpieces by pinning them onto Know Your Place. Might be just the thing if you’re coping with bored youngsters. Or keep it old school and use lego!
To inspire you, here are some photos of the Heritage Hub “Minecraft style” by Mara and Evan, the talented offspring of Senior Archivist Helen.
Heritage Hub virtual jigsaws
Gloucestershire Archives and Heritage Hub partners are building up a bank of virtual jigsaws from images in our collections. Check out what we’ve done so far by visiting the free website www.jigidi.com and typing heritage hub into the search box. You don’t have to sign up to do a puzzle. Have a go and see what you think.
Like colouring? Why not enter this competition run by Living Levels - and check out the whole website too!
Gloucestershire Heritage Hub and Gloucestershire Archives websites
- general research advice
- research “mini guides” on a wide range of documents
- in depth guides on topics such as military history, resources for South Gloucestershire and Black & Ethnic communities
- online exhibitions
Digitised Gloucestershire Resources online for FREE
While Gloucestershire Archives, Gloucestershire Libraries and Gloucestershire Family History Society’s research rooms are closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, customers have been unable to access digitised copies of Gloucestershire records free of charge. We’ve been working with Ancestry and can now provide free access to Gloucestershire’s digitised resources until we can welcome you back to the Heritage Hub. Please use this link to access them.
Gloucestershire Archives blog
The Gloucestershire Archives blog is still being updated regularly. During this time of lockdown, we are posting short articles about how to preserve your family or community archive, and check out a wonderful post about how to support people with memory loss and dementia during lockdown. We have made that blog into a downloadable document and it can be found here.
Gloucestershire Archives online catalogue
Gloucestershire Archives online catalogue - browse to explore our holdings and identify interesting documents for future perusal. Not sure how to use it? Watch our 3 short YouTube tutorials: The Basics, Search Smarter and Discover More.
Gloucestershire Heritage Hub e-newsletter
Gloucestershire Heritage Hub e-newsletter- issued each quarter with contributions from Gloucestershire Archives, and Hub partners so a great way to keep up to date with local and family history in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. You can download the most recent edition from our website and subscribe to our emailing list to get future editions sent to your in-box.
Gloucestershire Heritage Hub social media
Gloucestershire Heritage Hub social media posts - @GlosHeritageHub
Follow us on Facebook and twitter for regular, informative and/or entertaining archive & heritage related posts. Test your local knowledge with our #TriviaTuesday - answers the next day!
Watch out for the #HistoryBeginsAtHome social media campaign, a united response by local government archivists to the COVID-19 crisis.
Don't forget to check out our partners on Twitter:
Gloucestershire Family History Society - @GlosFHS
Friends of Gloucestershire Archives - @FriendsofGA
South Gloucestershire Council - @sgloscouncil
Gloucestershire Constabulary - @Glos_Police
Diocese of Gloucester - @GlosDioc
Other excellent heritage-based websites & resources to explore
Know Your Place-West of England - an award winning digital mapping resource which covers Gloucestershire and surrounding counties. You can layer digital maps from different eras to see what your street or neighbourhood would have looked like in times gone by. Plus photos and information are “pinned” to specific addresses via the community layers. There are extensive pins relating to World War 1 and for women’s suffrage. And you can add to the layers. Got an old family photo showing your house? Scan it and add to the resource.
Gloucestershire Police Archives - capturing and sharing Gloucestershire’s police history and heritage
Fielding & Platt History - gathering & sharing memories of Gloucester’s great engineering firm
Dowty Heritage - the history of Gloucestershire’s global engineering group
Barton & Tredworth Community History - recording and celebrating Barton & Tredworth’s past and present
Gloucester Rugby Heritage - preserving and sharing the history of Gloucester Rugby Club
Victoria County History Gloucestershire - the “big red books“ have gone online!
Gloucestershire Traditions - one stop website for songs and tunes collected in Gloucestershire
The Institute of Historical Research have produced a neat round-up of online historic resources, including original sources.
Gloucester City Council have made videos of life in Gloucester during World War 2, in the run up to VE Day. Check them out here.
“But I thought Zoom was an ice lolly…..”
What if you’re craving face to face contact with your group but lack confidence with the technology? We can facilitate a virtual meet-up for you and your group using Zoom, Skype or similar free platforms. As virtual hosts, we’d arrange the meeting, invite members of your group and help you all to get logged on and settled. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested – there’s no charge.
Other campaigns - online volunteering projects
We will update this with more links as and when we know about them. Are you running something here that we can promote? Let us know by emailing us on email@example.com.
Many of us are finding all this unexpected time at home a challenge - there’s only so much housework a person can do! Fortunately family history is an interest which lends itself to life indoors and can take you down many different avenues. A new way to develop your interest could be to join in with Transcription Tuesday, an initiative by the Who Do You Think You Are magazine. Each Tuesday, a particular set of name rich records will be made available for the family history community to transcribe. There is no cost to this and the resulting transcripts will be shared online via free sites and platforms. If this sounds like something you would like to get involved with, you can read more about it here.
Help climate scientists understand past rainfall variations. The Rainfall Rescue Project is seeking volunteers to transfer lots of rainfall records (dating back about 200 years) into online spreadsheets using scans of the old data. Visit the website and enter the numbers into the right boxes - it's as easy as that! Click here to take part.
Leonard Cheshire project
Disability charity Leonard Cheshire are looking for digital volunteers to listen to and transcribe historic tapes, and contribute to a podcast. Training and volunteering are completely done from home. No need to travel!
More information and how to apply here https://www.leonardcheshire.org/get-involved/volunteer-us.
The project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Midlands and East.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Aberdeen Harbour transcription project
Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives are hosting an online transcription project of harbour arrival ledgers from 1914-1920. This is in partnership with the Aberdeen Harbour Board and Code the City, a local charity with the aim of developing digital skills and collecting data from the local area.
You don’t need to be a maritime expert. You can find guidance on how to join in, and the links you need at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1---eMoMUfrt-CURoMjAUY9Y9JcVDZABMOODyejdIFn4/edit?fbclid=IwAR0-6ni9bmUDMAEALia-fYs8wGewRK44ATao2QR_EFizy3VdtZA57yBqPoE#heading=h.87hofzki4jn
And check out progress so far at http://www.tulip.asae.co.uk/.
The National Archives: boredom busters
The National Archives website has plenty of suggestions for things to do at home! Check out how to date family photographs and their podcasts with research tips and information about what they hold and how to access it!
Fancy doing an online tutorial in Latin or palaeography? See this page for links to the courses provided by the National Archives.
Subscribe to their mailing list and find out more about what they're doing by visiting this page.
Council for British Archaeology
The CBA has made their publications free to download temporarily, so check this link if you're interested!
First World War poetry digital archive at Oxford University
Check out Gurney, Harvey and others at this excellent digital archive resource: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/education