Week 4 – Free Offline Genealogy Tools: For which free offline genealogy tool are you most grateful? How did you find this tool and how has it benefitted your genealogy? Describe to others how to access this tool and spread the genealogy love.
My favourite free offline genealogy tool is Dixson Library at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, Australia. I have been using this library since 1978 when I began university.
If you have ancestors who lived in the New England area, the New England Room may be just the thing for you.
The New England Collection exists to ensure the preservation of works related to the New England region...It covers a collecting area from the Queensland border in the north to the Gloucester Shire in the south and from the coast to the Bourke Shire in the west.
Check out what is in this collection via the online catalogue. I have been able to access many books and ephemera about the towns where my ancestors lived and worked.
Dixson Library also has a family history collection with many varied resources including:
- BDM indexes
- shipping records
- convict records
- electoral rolls
- land records
- muster and census records
- naturalisation records
Of course, many of these records are available online so these resources are probably not used as much as they once were.
My favourite section of Dixson Library is the newspaper collection. Microfilms of newspapers from the northern part of NSW (including the north coast), Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne can all be found. Best of all, you don't need to request access to individual microfilms as they are all on open access. This collection is particularly useful as there are few NSW country newspapers on Trove. The range also goes beyond 1954 so more recent news stories can easily be accessed. You can either print pages or save them to a thumb drive.
As a member of the community you are free to use the resources at Dixson Library. However, if you wish to borrow from the library in person you must become a member.
If you live nearby a visit to Dixson is well worth the effort. If you don't live close, why not include a visit to Dixson when you are next holidaying in the New England region. Don't forget to check opening hours before you leave home.