Institute of Historical Research is part of the University of London. While its focus is on education for historians, it has several free resources available on the Internet that look as though they could be useful for family historians also.
A few free online courses are offered. "Sources for British History on the Internet" sounds like a good resource if you have British ancestry. "Palaeography Learning Materials" sounds really interesting, even though its emphasis is on Medieval manuscripts. The process of learning how to read those scripts probably would be good experience for learning to read other difficult handwriting, such as Colonial American or Old German. And if you are lucky enough to trace your family back to the Medieval period, you'll be prepared for the materials you'll be reading!
More than 200 archived Podcasts
are on the site. Topics range over all geographical areas, ancient to
modern history, and specific topics such as agriculture, maritime
history, medicine, oral history, and Christian missions in global
history (these are just a few among dozens). This type of information
is wonderful for learning about the context of your ancestors' lives and
the times they lived in.
The Digital Resources page has many links, including "Bibliography of British and Irish History", "British History Online" (Middle Ages to about 1900), and "Connected Histories: Sources for Building British History, 1500-1900", which allows searches across fifteen databases (among them Old Bailey Proceedings Online, Convict Transportation Registers Database, and London Lives 1600-1800). And there's a blog called History Spot, to help you keep up-to-date on all the Podcasts and seminars offered.
There is so much great material here! I think I'm going to start with the palaeography course ....
Genealogy is like a jigsaw puzzle, but you don't have the box top, so you don't know what the picture is supposed to look like. As you start putting the puzzle together, you realize some pieces are missing, and eventually you figure out that some of the pieces you started with don't actually belong to this puzzle. I'll help you discover the right pieces for your puzzle and assemble them into a picture of your family.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Free Online Resources from Institute of Historical Research
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