Friday, 25 February 2011

A day at TNA

On Thursday I spent the day at the UK National Archives following some research interests, attending a lecture and taking part in a special tour.

I had ordered a legal document from the 1850s, related to an investigation of some indentures rescued almost half a century ago from being trashed as a church in Quebec was being cleared. I'd ordered well in advance and there was a three day delivery period on the records. Their permanent storage is in an old salt mine in Cheshire which supposedly provides ideal environmental conditions. Apparently fish aren't the only things that can be preserved by salt!

Although I didn't get to read the legal file in detail I did take photos for later examination.

After lunch I took a quick peek in the bookstore, flipped through Chris Paton's book on Scottish genealogy which shared selk space with several others on the same topic, then went upstairs to attend a presentation by Bruce Durie, course director for genealogical studies at the University of Strathclyde. He also has a book on that shelf.

In a talk which was both information and entertaining Durie spoke on Scottish testaments (wills). As mentioned on the blog recently, he is lecturing in Guelph on April 1, and based on what I heard at TNA it's a session I would highly recommend.

Afterwards I was invited to join a tour of TNA for US visitors in London for the WDYTYA event. The tour was organized and conducted by Audrey Collins, seen here on the first floor at TNA (second floor in North American terms) speaking to a tired looking Dick Eastman, he only got off the plane nine hours earlier, and President Laura G Prescott of the Association of Professional Genealogists, with Craig Scott CG from Heritage Books, Inc looking on.

According to TNA staff the building was busy, as it often is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and extra busy as it was also UK half-term (spring break), there was a tour group from the University of Strathclyde and people going to WDYTYA.

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