A tribute to Trove volunteers
Sharing the stories that you shared with us
17 May 2016
During Volunteer Week we asked you, the members of the Trove community, to tell us why you choose to volunteer your time to help Trove become a better resource. We were overwhelmed with the amount of responses we received and we’ve picked some of our favourite stories to share.
A handy way to contribute
Many volunteer their time because Trove has helped with their research goals, some also find that it’s a good way to contribute to Australian heritage.
I found Trove when I Googled my great great granny's name looking for information about her work as a Temperance speaker. I've been able to build up the story of her life from domestic servant to world-wide traveller and campaigner. It's been fabulous! I correct every article that I download as a thank you for the information.
I've made lots of public lists about different families' stories and even managed to build an exhibition about the Teetulpa goldfields using Tim's code on github. I'm adding some historic photos as I find and digitise them. Just love all of Trove's zones. Thanks Trove!
The Sydney 2000 connection
We had a couple of responses from people who had volunteered at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and even knew the people in our photo.
I recognise some of the volunteers in the photo from when I too worked and volunteered for SOCOG.
Members of the Australian Society of the Lacemakers of Calais (I'm one of them) are working on correcting and tagging articles containing information about our Lacemaker emigrant (refugee) ancestors and their descendants.
For the same reason I volunteered for the 2000 Olympics...I spend time in Trove correcting...when I look up something for myself I correct the rest of the column as well! It does not take very long!
A surprise in the family
Some correctors found something in the family tree that they didn’t expect.
I've found lots of things from descriptions of great aunties' deb dresses, an uncle's motorbike accident and a little boy's letter to Corinella about lizards. The most amazing was to find dozens of articles from the 1860s through to almost the end of the century about my husband's great great grandfather who spent his life in and out of Pentridge Jail and other jails. We knew nothing about him.
I could never find the ship on which my great grandfather came to Australia. By using the advances tools in Trove I found that my great grandfather was an inveterate writer of letters to the editor between 1910 and his death in 1926. There are about 10 letters, telling me family details I could never find any other way. In one letter to the editor he told the story of the ship he came on and who the captain was and more!
Take me away Trove
We found that some of our correctors just couldn’t help getting carried away.
I am using Trove for my History Honours thesis and course work. I consider my text correction a kind of 'fee for service'. I'm also a touch fastidious and a massive procrastinator, so text-correction allows me to pfaff about while still technically 'researching'. When I discovered I could make lists I squealed a bit - I now have a way of tagging everything I might need for my research and keep it in one spot.
I started using it to read family stories, being very lucky in having many relatives mentioned in the papers in the past. I now just do it because I love it! I HAVE to correct a whole set of family notices though, I can't just do the ones where family members are mentioned. I love correcting old social pages to read all the amazing descriptions of clothes people wore and the sort of activities they engaged in.
The weird and wonderful
We love to hear that Trove is keeping the community entertained, whether it’s an item that satisfies a specific interest, or some computer generated textual silliness.
I enter knitting patterns from old newspapers into Ravelry, and create lists to keep track of which patterns to add. I correct patterns when I decide to use them in a project.
Many weird OCR pages have been corrected by me. Sometimes it seemed a shame to fix the quirky text.
Trove is the source of many great finds, sometimes all it takes is a little digging.
I hadn't touched the family tree for a couple of weeks now - I needed a break. Yesterday with the help of Trove, I solved one of my 30+ year old mysteries, by finding a married name in a death notice for a nephew killed in WW1. Once I had the married name, I was also able to find the obituaries of husband and wife which proved it was my Sarah, then I found her death in NSW, also proving it was definitely my missing lady. From the obituaries of husband and wife, I was also able to glean the names of their children. When the lady in question died in 1941, aged 93, according to her obit(uary) she had 23 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. That is one big new-found branch to add to the tree. Thank you Trove, I couldn't have done it without you
If I hadn't discovered Trove a few years ago I wouldn't have known that my great great grandfather, Thomas Fox, lost his bird importing business when the wall of the Haymarket theatre in Melbourne crashed down upon his stall in the Eastern Market in 1871. I would never have known that my great uncle George Fox had a leg amputated after his legs became entangled in a winch rope on the wharves at Woolloomooloo in 1918, or that my great grandfather was present and met the Prime Minister Mr Lyons in 1932 at the opening of the Gundagai Pioneers monument. I would never have imagined the horror of the London Blitz as so bloody raw as through the letter sent by my great aunt Faye Taylor to the Gundagai Times in December 1917. Having this very personal family information has provided a real sense of belonging and a strong connection to our past.
Final word from Trove
Thank you to everyone who kindly contributed their stories for this blog and to all our text correctors who make Trove a better tool. We hope that Trove continues to be a source of fun and discovery for all of you.
Featured image: S. Alston Pearl, Tamara Toumanova writing letters, Original Ballet Russe Australian tour, National Library of Australia, nla.obj-141365491