Thursday 7 January 2021

Revisiting the AJCP in Trove

Australian Joint Copying Project

In my preparations for a webinar for the Society of Australian Genealogists about the Australian Joint Copying Project now available through Trove, I uncovered many treasures awaiting the family historian, too many indeed to include in a presentation.

My points emphasised the need to browse the Finding Aids to make best use of this huge resource as so much of it is manuscript, inaccessible via text searches through the current limitations of OCR technology. There are more than 8 million digitised images along with over 10,000 digitised text pages.
The Finding Aids accessed from the AJCP portal provide a comprehensive view of the kinds of resources within both the PRO (Public Records Office) and M (Miscellaneous) series.

One should not be discouraged if searching by name but rather think about the types of records that may have recorded the names or other details about one's ancestors. Some examples:
  • By browsing within the emigration records housed within the Colonial Office records, one can find individual letters of application as well as registers where emigrants names, occupations, ages and place of origin are handwritten.
  • Looking inside the Finding Aid for the Board of Trade - registers of seamen with their qualification as mate or master can be found.
  • Job applications for missionary positions in the colonies provide a wealth of personal details about the applicants. These are found through various organisations listed in the M Series.
  • The records preserved by a wide range of societies and businesses provide rich background material for family historians
  • County Office archives Finding Aids provide a window into the various resources that have been digitised, so if you know the county from where your emigrants came, browse that finding aid.
  • Personal letters exchanged between family members give details of trips, living conditions and sometimes include photos. Signatures are a treasure to collect.
To whet the appetite to explore more here are a few finds that were not included in my webinar.

Enjoy exploring these vast resources not just from the AJCP portal page but also by searching within the Diaries, Letters &Archives category in Trove where all this material in now available.

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